11/03/2009 1:00AM

Theregoesjojo seeks to regain his old form


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Theregoesjojo has been unlucky in recent starts for a variety of reasons, but trainer Ken McPeek considers him a lucky horse - lucky to be alive.

This past summer, when recuperating at McPeek's Magdalena Farm from a stifle injury he incurred in finishing ninth in the Grade 1 Bluegrass Stakes, Theregoesjojo flipped over after rearing up when walking, cracking a bone in his skull.

"Ruel Cowles, his vet, probably saved his life," McPeek said. "He stopped the bleeding, gave him DMSO and cortisone to stop the swelling in the brain from being too bad."

Now that Theregoesjojo is healthy, McPeek is hopeful the colt can return to peak form. And perhaps that time is Wednesday, when he faces a full field in Churchill Downs's ninth race, a $50,000 second-level allowance at seven furlongs on the main track.

The potential is there. Last winter, Theregoesjojo, a son of Brahms, established himself as one of the top 3-year-olds in Florida by defeating Quality Road in an allowance race before running second and third behind that rival in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and Grade 1 Florida Derby.

Those races, however, were before the accident. In two starts since his head injury in May, Theregoesjojo ran third in the Prairie Meadows Derby and ninth in an allowance at Keeneland on turf - races McPeek expected him to "win easy."

He did have excuses. Theregoesjojo was too eager when returning to the races in the Prairie Meadows Derby, showing speed and fading to third late, and he did not seem to take to the grass in his debut on that surface when tiring to ninth.

He is a proven commodity under Wednesday's conditions. He won over the Churchill strip last May, showing a liking for the surface, and last winter when he beat Quality Road, it was over seven furlongs.

Heading the opposition are a pair of last-out winners of entry-level allowances, A Diehl and Mythical Pegasus, plus stakes winner Parade Clown and Evade, who ran third against similar company when returning from a layoff at Keeneland last month.

* Churchill's Who's the Champ? handicapping tournament continues Wednesday after beginning Sunday. The twice-weekly contest ultimately leads to a berth for two in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA Handicapping Championship Jan. 29-30 at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas.