The longest turf race of the Fair Grounds season marks the first North American race of any sort for 4&#45;year&#45;old colt Darain.Darain&rsquo;s main claim to fame so far is his ancestry and purchase price, but with some encouraging overseas form, Brad Cox charged with his training, and Florent Geroux in the irons, Darain &ndash; his 8&#45;1 morning line notwithstanding &ndash; figures to be favored in Friday&rsquo;s featured eighth race. The race is for second&#45;level allowance horses with a $40,000 claiming option, is carded at 1 1/8 miles, and drew a very competitive field of 14. Spa City is entered only to run on the main track, but a surface switch seems unlikely.Darain is by Dubawi and out of Dar Re Mi, an excellent race mare who captured multiple Group 1&rsquo;s over 1 1/2 miles and finished third in the 2009 Breeders&rsquo; Cup Turf. She&rsquo;s gotten six foals to race, including two Group 1&#45;placed runners and Too Darn Hot, the undefeated European champion 2&#45;year&#45;old of 2018. It was that year that Darain, owned by Qatar Racing and his breeder, Watership Down, sold at auction for approximately $4.8 million, 2018&rsquo;s highest&#45;priced yearling.Darain&rsquo;s career began promisingly if belatedly last summer with smart 1 1/4&#45;mile wins at Newbury and Newmarket. Trained by John Gosden, Darain was 7&#45;2 for the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes in August, finishing a lackluster fifth. Cut back to 1 1/8 miles for the Group 3 Darley Stakes in August, Darain was seventh, and connections decided to send him overseas. Darain posted his first work for Cox in late November and has three Fair Grounds breezes.&ldquo;He&rsquo;s been training well,&rdquo; Cox said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re still figuring him out a little bit &ndash; what he wants to do, how far he wants to go.&rdquo;Finding Darain&rsquo;s proper distance might take experimentation. Too Darn Hot was quick and ran best over seven furlongs and one mile, but Dar Re Mi, wanted 1 1/2 miles, and Darain&rsquo;s sister Lah Ti Dar placed in the Group 1 St. Leger at roughly 1 3/4 miles.Since 2018, Cox, according to DRF Formulator, has started 11 European imports on American turf. The first three went unplaced, but the eight subsequent starters produced three wins and five seconds at odds between 9&#45;5 and 6&#45;1. Two of those horses made their U.S. debut at Fair Grounds &ndash; Ruffina won in January 2019 and Clara Peters was second by a neck last March. Cox likes what he&rsquo;s seen from Darain but tamped down hype saying he &ldquo;wouldn&rsquo;t feel that confident yet&rdquo; that the colt is a standout.Capable opponents oppose Darain on Friday, the second day Fair Grounds grass races will be run with the temporary turf rail down. This is the second time this meet track management has opened the innermost lanes; the move in December didn&rsquo;t produce a bias but it did last January, February, and March. During those periods, racing along the inside, especially with speed, conferred considerable advantage.Two Emmys took advantage of those circumstances winning a first&#45;level allowance about a year ago, and off a good second last month making his first start in five months, Two Emmys can contend again. Bundibunan might want to run longer than 1 1/8 miles and lacks positional pace but has nibbled at stakes purses and can race competitively. Trainer Mike Maker&rsquo;s two entrants are Space Mountain and On a Spree, but his Fair Grounds stable has but two winners from 27 starters this meet.