12/30/2009 12:00AM

Sun or rain, either is fine for Scherer


NEW ORLEANS - Trainer Merrill Scherer will be looking to the skies above Fair Grounds on Thursday, conflicted about what he hopes to see.

On the one hand, he'll be wanting rain for Red Rally, his heavily favored runner in the open division of the Louisiana Futurity. On the other hand, he'd prefer a fast track for Hunt for Candie, who is entered in the fillies division of the Louisiana Futurity. Each race is worth $50,000 and will be run at six furlongs over the dirt main track.

In the colts division, carded as the fifth, nine opponents will be gunning for Red Rally.

Red Rally enters off a victory over a sloppy track in the $100,000 Louisiana Juvenile on Dec. 12 at the Fair Grounds. Red Rally was impressive in that race, as he went three wide and drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths.

The victory took Red Rally's record to 2 for 2 at six furlongs, and while Scherer concedes that Red Rally likes the distance, he believes the horse really takes to an off track.

"I think the slop moves him up a whole lot," said Scherer. "He's bred to go further than three-quarters of a mile, but three-quarters has been his best distance."

Red Rally will be looking to add to his bankroll of more than $230,000, and he has soundly beaten several of those entered against him. Two new opponents, Ide Better Win and Lovely Tribute, enter off a maiden victory and could challenge Red Rally.

In the seventh race, 11 2-year-old fillies take their turn.

Scherer's entry, Hunt for Candie, finished 11th in the Louisiana Lassie on Dec. 12, more than 24 lengths back.

She raced on the inside of the track that day, and racing was cancelled soon after the race was run due to poor track conditions.

"She didn't handle the slop at all," said Scherer. "Maybe she was trying to run away from the dirt hitting her in the face."

Hunt for Candie will have her work cut out for her on Thursday, as she faces The Rumor's True, who has won two stakes races for Louisiana-breds.

"I like her chances, especially if the track is dry," said Scherer. "But I can't wish for one race dry and one wet, because the one I want wet is first."