06/06/2004 11:00PM

Trion Georgia ready to stretch his 'old bones'


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trion Georgia has been good enough to earn nearly $300,000 in a career of just 19 races, a statistic that speaks to the solid company he has kept. With past performance lines dotted with names such as Macho Uno, Orientate, Private Horde, and Crafty Shaw, Trion Georgia's Beyer Speed Figures are also impressive, having reached triple digits on several occasions.

A nagging rear suspensory ligament and what trainer Rob O'Connor calls "old bones" led to some recent time off for Trion Georgia, a 6-year-old. But Trion Georgia figures to return eager and willing Wednesday in the fourth race at Churchill Downs, a $63,000 allowance that highlights a 10-race card. O'Connor acknowledged that a layoff of nearly nine months will most likely be a disadvantage for Trion Georgia, but he also expressed optimism that Trion Georgia is ready to fire a big shot.

"It's not like we're in a life-or-death situation to win, but my horse is ready, absolutely," said O'Connor, who has more than 300 wins and won the leading trainer title at the 1992 Ellis Park meet.

is one of five horses entered in the Wednesday feature, a six-furlong allowance that essentially carries a four-other-than restriction. O'Connor says he is hoping that a speed duel will develop between Cojet and the lone 3-year-old in the lineup, Wildcat Shoes. O'Connor also says he hopes Trion Georgia, with Calvin Borel riding, will then outrun the other effective closer, Clock Stopper, to prevail.

"My instructions to Calvin are going to be, 'Let the horse run his race, and let's not worry about the rest of it,'" said O'Connor.

, a 4-year-old gelding who won the Perryville Stakes last fall for trainer Dallas Stewart, will be making his second start after a layoff. In his May 20 comeback, Clock Stopper lost virtually all chance when broke poorly, but he still ran gamely to finish fourth, beaten just two lengths by the victorious Cloud Walker.

Wildcat Shoes, trained by Jinks Fires, brings perhaps the most interesting form into the race, having used his high turn of foot to whip fellow 3-year-old sprinters in the Sugar Bowl and Lost Code. One name stands out on his past performances: Smarty Jones, who won the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, where Wildcat Shoes faded to a seventh-place finish.

Two other allowances (races 6 and 9) also are on tap Wednesday, when first post is 1:15 p.m.