11/30/2007 12:00AM

Unbeaten Euroears tries turf

EmailNEW ORLEANS - After two straight dominating efforts, then a vacation to rest his shins, Euroears will face his stiffest competition and perhaps the first real challenge of his career in Sunday's feature race at Fair Grounds, a second-level allowance going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

Unraced at 2 and not asked to run until July, the 3-year-old Euroears is making up for lost time. He easily won his maiden first time out at Lone Star, scoring by nine lengths after coming from off the pace at six furlongs. In his next start, he wired a first-level allowance field going six furlongs at Remington Park, winning by six lengths. He has not raced since that Aug. 2 race.

"He had shin problems that delayed his start, so I didn't get him until he was a 3 year old," said trainer Bret Calhoun. "Then we had to back off after that second win because of the shins again. We were just fixing to stretch him out."

Euroears has been working steadily for his return, with three works locally in November, including two bullets. The only real question about him is the surface, since both of his wins came on the dirt.

"I really would have preferred to run on the dirt," said Calhoun. "I didn't want to enter him on the turf, but it was really the only spot where the timing was right. He's by Langfuhr, and they seem to go both ways pretty well."

Euroears will again have Ramsey Zimmerman aboard.

"He hasn't had anybody who can challenge him yet," Zimmerman said. "He's always done everything right. He's a racehorse."

If Euroears takes to the turf, the race looks to be his to lose. If he doesn't perform, there are several logical contenders waiting.

Pimm's O'Clock and Pay Now meet for the third time, each having narrowly defeated the other once.

Wherethewestbegins returns to the races after being overtaken in the stretch in a second-level allowance at Woodbine.

"It looks like he fits in with these," said trainer Malcolm Pierce. "I'm thinking he'll like the 5 1/2 furlongs."

As for Euroears, Calhoun is cautiously optimistic.

"I think he could be any kind of horse," he said. "He's got tremendous talent, but he's going to have to prove it in the afternoons against better horses than he's faced."