03/09/2007 12:00AM

A wiser Wilson returns home


NEW ORLEANS - Following Saturday's Louisiana Derby Day, with only two weeks remaining on the Fair Grounds racing schedule, some of the major players will begin heading to their next destination. Emma-Jayne Wilson, 2005 Eclipse winner as North America's best apprentice jockey, leaves Tuesday after riding over the winter here.

"I'm riding Monday and driving home to Canada Tuesday," said Wilson, 25, who will prepare for the March 31 opening of the Woodbine meet. "This was my first winter away to ride races, so my goal was just to learn as much as I could and enjoy myself. A lot of the guys in the room are journeymen who helped me out quite a bit. I've learned a lot and I'm excited to go home and test my skills."

Wilson had 23 winners in 228 mounts going into Friday's races, good for 13th in the jockey standings.

"I didn't have any expectations coming in," she said. "I know they ride a little rougher in the States. It was a little tighter but race riding is race riding."

The highlight of Wilson's meet was winning aboard Get Rich Quick in a maiden race March 2 for trainer Malcolm Pierce.

"That race was the epitome of the patience and skills I learned this winter," she said. "I ended up winning the race because of some of the strategic aspects I've learned since I've been down here. It wasn't anything you could really tell by watching the race, but I made decisions during the race that I wouldn't have made as an inexperienced bug rider coming up."

Fortin shaping up as rematch

Next weekend's feature, the $75,000 Fortin Handicap on St. Patrick's Day, looks like a rematch between Delicate Dynamite and Eyes on Eddy, who finished one-two after a thrilling stretch battle in the Feb. 17 Chou Croute Breeders' Cup Handicap. That race was a half-furlong longer than the one-mile Fortin.

Delicate Dynamite started off the Fair Grounds meet as a promising turf filly, finishing second in the Pago Hop in November. Delicate Dynamite blossomed into a main track star for trainer Tom Amoss when she won an off-the-turf allowance, then turned in an impressive performance on the dirt in the Truly Bound Handicap in January.

Eyes on Eddy, who also finished second to Delicate Dynamite in the Truly Bound, her first start for trainer Steve Asmussen, is a multiple stakes winner who won the $100,000 Suwanee River Handicap at Gulfstream Park last year. She had been off since October before the Truly Bound.

Both trainers nominated multiple runners. Amoss also named Burletta and Stormy Amber. Asmussen also named Dyna Slam, Morlana, Plaid, Rolling Sea, and Wild as Elle. Other possible runners include Christmas Lily, Space Cruise, and Vote Earl.

Lemons Forever preps for Oaklawn

Trainer Dallas Stewart sent 2006 Kentucky Oaks winner Lemons Forever out for a six-furlong work Friday morning, and she breezed the distance in 1:12.

"It was a really good work," said Stewart. "We're trying to get her ready for the Apple Blossom Handicap."

That Grade 1 race is April 7 at Oaklawn Park.