08/17/2007 11:00PM

Super Derby next for Forty Acres


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Forty Acres earned a berth into next month's Super Derby with a front-running, 2 1/2-length win Saturday in the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs. The race was the richest on a card of five stakes, all designed as preps for the stakes on the Super Derby program here Sept. 22.

Forty Acres ($11.20) will advance to the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby after his sharp score in the Prelude. He broke on top in the mile and a sixteenth race and was quickly clear through an opening quarter in 23.59 seconds. Forty Acres remained clear thorugh a half-mile in 46.93 seconds and six furlongs in 1:11.71. He covered the distance over a fast track in 1:44.92. "The horse broke good," said Carlos Gonzalez, who rode Forty Acres for trainer Jorge Lara. "I put him down on the rail and just let him run his race. From there on, we're history. He kept rolling."

Forty Acres came into the Prelude following a 7 1/2-length romp in an allowance at Louisiana Downs on July 26. Overall, he is 4-for-6 in Bossier City. Lara looks forward to running him in the Super Derby.

"He's the local horse, he's got to be in there," he said. "He ran awesome today."

Beta Capo rallied for second in the Prelude, finishing a head in front of third-place finisher Strong City. Greeley's Conquest, the favorite, stalked the pace and finished seventh. The Prelude was the first career stakes win for Forty Acres, who races for Bill and Denise Morrison.

Starspangled Gator delivers in Concern

Starspangled Gator took the lead soon after the start in the $75,000 Concern, then turned backmultiple bids to secure a length and a quarter win over Electric Chant. It was another half-length back in third to Middleweight.

Starspangled Gator, who was the only favorite to win a stakes Saturday, paid $6. After dictating the pace, he covered the mile and a sixteenth on firm turf in 1:44.03.

"He got to do what he wanted up there, and he wasn't laying down," said E.J. Perrodin, who rode Starspangled Gator.

The Concern was a prep for the $200,000 Unbridled Breeders' Cup, and Starspangled Gator, who shipped in from Kentucky, could return for that race, said his trainer, William Gowan.

Whisper to Me takes Lyrique

Whisper to Me ($7.80) closed fast for a 1 3/4-length win over Blue Angel in the $75,000 Lyrique for 3-year-old fillies on turf, which served as the prep for the $200,000 Marie P. DeBartolo Oaks. It was another length back in third to Wine Diva.

"She was just automatic, push-button," said Quincy Hamilton, who rode Whisper to Me for trainer Donnie Von Hemel. "I can't say enough good things about her."

* Justaclown ($11.20) closed from last for a one length win over Canny in the $75,000 Sunny's Halo, a prep for the $200,000 Sunday Silence. Pantara Phantom, the favorite who set the pace, finished third in the one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds. Hamilton rode Justaclown for trainer Bob Young.

* Timely Reflection ($10.20) rode the rail then rallied to catch Vengeful Shadow by a half-length in the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies that served as the prep for the $200,000 Happy Ticket. Gonzalez rode Timely Reflection for trainer Bret Calhoun.

* Handle from all sources on the 11-race card was $2,635,842.