02/24/2007 12:00AM

Total, Get Ready Bertie turn in stakes works


NEW ORLEANS - Trainer Al Stall Jr. sent out Total for a half-mile breeze in 50 seconds Saturday morning in preparation for her next assignment, the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 10.

"I talked with Jesse [Campbell] about going in 50 and she hit it right on the head," said Stall. "She's just push-button, she does everything easy. We're going to try the same thing next weekend, maybe a tick or two faster."

Total finished second to Appealing Zophie in her last start, the Grade 3 Silverbulletday, her first try around two turns. Stall may also have a starter for the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, also March 10, in Ketchikan, who turned in an eye-catching allowance victory Feb 16.

"Right now, everything is on schedule for both of them to run," Stall said. "Ketchikan is tentatively scheduled to work Monday assuming we don't get too much rain this weekend."

Get Ready Bertie Florida-bound?

Get Ready Bertie turned in a five-furlong workout Saturday morning for trainer Steve Flint, breezing the distance in 1:02.20. An impressive winner of the Tiffany Lass, she came back to finish third in the Silverbulletday. The early fractions of the race were slow, which compromised the chances of Get Ready Bertie, a deep closer, and Flint is not sure he'll run her in the Fair Grounds Oaks if it looks like Appealing Zophie will be allowed another walking lead.

"She's fine," Flint said. "We'll decide whether to keep her here or send her down to Gulfstream. She needs some speed in front of her, so unless we get some horses shipping in that weren't in that last race, we'll probably send her down to Florida."

Cotton Blossom possible for Oaks

Cotton Blossom has not started since finishing third, beaten less than three lengths, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, and she may well return in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Todd Pletcher trains the daughter of Broken Vow for Dogwood Stable, which may also run Soaring By in the Louisiana Derby. Pletcher already has Circular Quay scheduled to run in the derby for different connections.

Dogwood president Cot Campbell confirmed that Soaring By is being pointed to the derby, and said regarding Cotton Blossom, "We're not as sure about her."

Campbell said that a decision will be made after the horses work again.

"We'll have more definite plans after they both work," he said.

Cotton Blossom won the Grade 3 Schuylerville and finished second in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga last year.

Campbell said that he would like to get John Velazquez, who is named to ride Circular Quay, to ride Cotton Blossom if she goes in the Oaks.

"We are trying to get Garrett Gomez or Edgar Prado for [Soaring By], because we can't get Velazquez."

* Swept Gold, the favorite in Friday's feature race at Fair Grounds, fractured his right front cannon bone in midstretch and was euthanized on the track just past the finish line. "When a horse suffers a fracture like that you have no choice," said track veterinarian Tom David.