08/16/2005 12:00AM

Terroplane's luck bound to turn around


DEL MAR, Calif. - At some point, the bad breaks will even out for Terroplane. He might have been second-best in last year's Del Mar Derby, but a traffic jam hindered his run and he finished fourth. He might have been best in the Wickerr Handicap here at Del Mar on July 30, but he took the worst of a chain-reaction bumping match and finished third.

has raced three times at Del Mar, and though he has yet to win, he has run well each time. He has a chance to get over the hump and grab both an elusive Del Mar victory and his first stakes win in Thursday's feature, the $75,000 Harry F. Brubaker Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Only six entered the Brubaker, carded as the fourth race on an eight-race card. Terroplane and Just Wonder, who both exit the Wickerr, should be the top two choices.

Terroplane finished a neck behind the winner, Tsigane, in the Wickerr after rallying wide and then taking a solid bump at the top of the stretch.

"He got banged around" said Neil Drysdale, Terroplane's trainer. "It probably did cost him the race. Now one has to hope he'll run back to that form. I thought he ran a winning race. What happened was very unfortunate. He's always been knocking at the door."

Terroplane "came out of his last race with a bruised right hind foot," said Drysdale. "He was off on it for a few days, but he appears to have recovered."

was fourth in the Wickerr, a neck behind Terroplane. Just Wonder has not won in more than 13 months, but his last race was a significant improvement over several of his previous races and coincided with the addition of blinkers.

"He improved huge off the blinker addition," said Laura de Seroux, who trains Just Wonder. "The blinkers put him more in the race, let him lay closer."

De Seroux had high praise for Del Mar's turf course, saying, "They're recovering off this turf course very well." De Seroux said she had initially planned on running Just Wonder later in the meet, but said he bounced back quickly from the Wickerr.

comes off a victory in an optional-claiming field, but that was going 1 3/8 miles.

is an intriguing longshot. A 3-year-old by Prized out of a Riverman mare, he is facing older runners for the first time, but has sharp early speed and a pedigree that suggests he will improve on grass.