12/22/2008 1:00AM

Woodbourne targets another step forward


NEW ORLEANS - Woodbourne took a big step forward in his last race, a Nov. 21 allowance on the turf here, scoring his first allowance victory. He'll be looking to take another step in Friday's ninth race, a second-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles on the turf for a $46,000 purse.

Woodbourne's victory here came in his first race over the Fair Grounds turf and first going two turns. He previously had gone 1 1/16 miles over the Woodbine turf course, but that came going one turn.

"It was a big question mark, how he would handle the two turns," said Norman Casse, assistant trainer to his father, Mark Casse. "The other worry was that he shows early speed, which can be a problem when going into the long stretch."

Woodbourne showed he could handle two turns and harness his speed. He stalked the leader before taking over on the turn and winning by 1 3/4 lengths.

"He came out of that race great," Casse said. "He's been training well, and I am looking to see him take a step forward off that race."

Another Woodbine import, Get Rich Quick, also has expressed an affinity for the two-turn configuration at Fair Grounds.

Get Rich Quick won a maiden special weight at 1 1/16 miles on the Fair Grounds turf in March 2007. In his last race, on the Polytrack at Woodbine, he ran a solid second at 1 1/16 miles. The Fair Grounds course fits his closing style.

"The Fair Grounds turf course has been notorious for closers," trainer Malcolm Pierce said. "We are going to let him be comfortable and then run the last three-eighths of a mile."

Get Rich Quick has made only five starts this year and hasn't won. Pierce said bad weather cost the horse several turf opportunities.

"He's been scratched more than he's run," Pierce said. "It rains every time we enter him, and they are calling for rain all this week here."

If the event is moved off the turf, King of Speed and Smokeyjonessutton will become the likely favorites.

Smokeyjonessutton closed well to be beaten by only a neck in the Delta Mile on Dec. 5.