01/14/2009 12:00AM

Timely Advice must rate

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NEW ORLEANS - Malcolm Pierce was having trouble getting Timely Advice to relax off the pace, so he ran him in a race with a lot of pace. The result was a relaxed first quarter-mile followed by Timely Advice's first victory since winning his maiden.

He'll look to build off that effort when he returns Friday in the $46,000 feature at Fair Grounds, a six-furlong second-level allowance with a $40,000 claiming option.

After winning his maiden at seven furlongs in September on the Polytrack at Woodbine, Timely Advice ran two races in which he took the lead early only to flatten out in the stretch, finishing third and fourth.

"If he gets hooked up on the lead, he doesn't have much at the end," Pierce said. "We are trying to get him to relax early."

His last race was his shortest race yet, a six-furlong first-level allowance on Dec. 12 at Fair Grounds. In that race, he rated in fifth in the early going before taking over at the top of the stretch and winning by three-quarters of a length.

"We seem to be able to get him to relax better at six furlongs," Pierce said. "It's easier to get off the pace when you are sprinting because the fractions up front are much speedier."

With Miguel Mena riding at Oaklawn on Friday, Pat Valenzuela will be in the saddle, and there should be plenty of pace up front to encourage a relaxed first quarter for Timely Advice.

Wizard's Laugh has set the pace in most of his seven races and has made it wire to wire in two of those efforts. He won his maiden four races ago at Delaware, winning by 21 lengths at six furlongs.

In his last race, a second-level allowance Dec. 5 at Fair Grounds, he set the pace into the stretch but was unable to hold on, finishing third.

"He was a little rank early and he came close," trainer Steve Klesaris said. "You have to sit quiet on him before you ask him to go because if you ask him early, you're fighting him the whole way."