10/14/2002 11:00PM

Walk in the Snow a gift horse


When Walk in the Snow finished second at 30-1 in the $500,000 Super Derby, owner Ginger Taylor was so happy it was almost as if she had won the race.

"If he would have won, it couldn't have been any better," said Taylor. "I felt that I'd won."

In fact, after the race Taylor said to her husband, Herman, "We forgot to take the picture."

Walk in the Snow's entry in the Sept. 21 Super Derby was something of an anniversary present that the Taylors gave to themselves a week after having celebrated 34 years of marriage.

Herman Taylor, who trains Walk in the Snow, had been pointing the colt to the $40,000 Wilhite on the Super Derby undercard, but after the couple discussed it, they decided that a good 3-year-old only comes along so often and took a shot in the big race.

On Saturday Walk in the Snow will be a short-priced favorite when he returns to racing with statebreds in the $60,000 Louisiana Breeders' Derby at Louisiana Downs.

The 1 1/16-mile race is one of eight restricted stakes worth a total of $380,000 to be run this Saturday and Sunday at Louisiana Downs during the annual Louisiana Breeders' Festival.

Ginger Taylor seems in line to have her picture taken Saturday. Walk in the Snow is a two-time stakes winner over Louisiana-breds, his most recent score coming over six furlongs in the $40,000 Arcadia Stakes at Louisiana Downs on July 6.

His most recent starts have come around two turns. He was just edged out in the $50,000 Prelude at 1 1/16 miles, then came back to race second throughout in the Super Derby, beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Essence of Dubai.

Herman Taylor likes how well the colt has made the transition to route racing.

"He's improving," said Taylor. "I think he can still sprint, but he seems to be enjoying himself more around two turns right now. He's settled down."

Walk in the Snow worked five furlongs in 59.20 seconds Oct. 9 in one of his final major preps for the Breeders' Derby under regular rider Kirk LeBlanc. Later this year, the horse will be pointed for the Classic on Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds.

Injury sidelines Boots on Sunday

Boots on Sunday, who has not raced since he finished fourth as the favorite in the $40,000 Folklore at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 18, was scratched out of the $30,000 Longhorn on Saturday night at Retama Park because of a tendon injury. He will miss at least 90 days of training, said Danny Pish, who trains the gelding for Wilton Scott.

Boots on Sunday strained his tendon during a quarter-mile blowout for the Longhorn. He was later found to have a small tear. Pish said he had seen similar injuries often enough to be confident that "he will return to racing. As a precaution, he'll have an extended vacation."

Pish said he plans to send Boots on Sunday to Texas A&M University next Tuesday for further evaluation.

"They have a brand new super-sensitive sonogram machine that will give a clear, clear picture of everything," said Pish.

Boots on Sunday has been one of the top sprinters in the region for years, and has won 14 of 35 starts and $417,965.

Beau's Town coming home

Beau's Town, another top regional sprinter, is scheduled to return to trainer Cole Norman at Louisiana Downs on Oct. 25 after having spent the summer at Saratoga. The gelding has been getting some rest at a farm in Kentucky following his fifth-place finish to Orientate in the Grade 2 Vanderbilt on Aug. 11.

Norman said Beau's Town could make his comeback at Fair Grounds, and is also being pointed for a campaign at Oaklawn, where last meet he was perfect in three starts, including the $50,000 Hot Springs Stakes. Beau's Town is co-owned by David Hulkewicz and Robert Beck.