02/21/2003 1:00AM

Testify headed to Mardi Gras


Testify, explosive winner of the $50,000 Turf Sprint at Sam Houston Race Park on Feb. 15, will make his next start around two turns in the $75,000 Mardi Gras on turf at Fair Grounds on March 4, said trainer Randy Morse.

It will be a rare two-turn appearance by Testify, who last spring won the Grade 3 Aegon, a turf sprint, at Churchill Downs.

"The first time I ever ran him on the grass was in New Orleans going seven and a half, actually," said Morse. "He got beat a head." Morse noted that the rider dropped his whip in that race.

"The way he's been running, he acts like he can get the farther distance," Morse added.

Morse's other top turf horse, five-time stakes winner Morluc, returned to training last week. Both horses are based at Oaklawn.

"He'd been turned out all winter in Florida," said Morse. "We're going to race him this year and retire him. That's the plan. He'll go to stud."

Morluc, who twice has placed second in the Hong Kong Sprint, could make his comeback in either the Grade 3, $100,000 Shakertown at Keeneland on April 12, or the Aegon. He has won both races before.