11/03/2009 12:00AM

Uh Oh Bango to stretch out a bit after Iroquois


Two turns is next for Uh Oh Bango following his runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Iroquois last weekend at Churchill Downs, trainer Kory Owens said.

The Iroquois, a one-turn mile race, was the first start beyond six furlongs for Uh Oh Bango, who in September earned his division's best Beyer Figure to date, a 102, for a stakes win at Prairie Meadows.

"Right now, my goal is to run him one more time before the season is over," said Owens. "We could bring him back at the end of the month to Churchill to run there again, or we could go in the Springboard at Remington or the Delta Jackpot. They're all about a week apart from each other."

The Grade 2, $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill is run over 1 1/16 miles Nov. 28. The Grade 3, $750,000 Delta Jackpot over 1 1/16 miles at Delta Downs goes Dec. 4, and the $200,000 Springboard Mile at Uh Oh Bango's base of Remington is Dec. 13.

Owens said a decision will be made after he sees how Uh Oh Bango bounces back from the Iroquois, in which he finished second by a length.

"Down the lane, I think he got a little bit tired," Owens said. "He was slightly rank at the very first part of it. I think he'll improve off of that."

Louisiana Downs track still closed

Louisiana Downs reopened its casino and simulcast facilities late Monday after briefly being closed for precautionary reasons. The track had evacuated about 250 horses from its backstretch Saturday over concerns a nearby levy could breach and temporarily closed its plant early Sunday morning.

The levy has not breached, but the track's stable area has not yet been reopened. The day horses will be able to return was to be discussed Tuesday night, said Trent McIntosh, director of racing operations for Louisiana Downs.

"We're waiting on the water to get below the bank level before we make a decision on the backside," he said Tuesday.

Louisiana Downs has been operating as a training center since its meet closed Oct. 4, and the region has been hit with high levels of rain in the last month. McIntosh said a tributary of the Red River runs off near the track, and that has been the source of concern. He said there was no flooding of the racetrack surfaces at Louisiana Downs.

Illness leads to shipping restrictions

Because several horses on a working ranch in south Texas tested positive last weekend for the tick-borne disease equine piroplasmosis, all horses from the state traveling to Kentucky, Montana, Oklahoma, and Washington are facing additional shipping requirements. Tracks in Texas have also set new guidelines for horses coming into their facilities from certain counties.

"Were supportive of the action that the tracks are taking at this point," said Jean Cook, spokesperson for the Texas Racing Commission.

Cook said racehorses are not considered a high risk for the disease by the Texas Animal Health Commission.

The horses who tested positive are all based at a now-quarantined ranch in Kleberg County, which is south of Corpus Christi. Horses from that county and those that surround it will need a health certificate within 14 days of shipping to gain entry to Retama, Sam Houston, or Lone Star. Upon arrival, the horses will be placed in special barns. A typical health certificate is usually issued within 45 days.

Canada is not accepting horses from Texas.

Security guard wins trip to NHC

Thomas Fuller, a security guard in Dallas, beat 149 other horseplayers to win Lone Star's qualifier to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA Handicapping Championship. He is one of six handicappers who will represent the track at the NHC on Jan. 29-30. The tournament will be held at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas.

Fuller earned $1,500 for his win Oct. 24, when he accumulated a bankroll of $8,943. Audrey Ruedas of Dallas was the runner-up, with a bankroll of $5,601.

Others who qualified for finishing in the top six were Jason Gibbons of Dallas, Beverly Mosier of Fort Worth, Richard Polishuk of Dallas, and Mohamad Farhat of Grand Prairie. All six earned an expense-paid trip to the NHC.