07/18/2007 11:00PM

Ahead of Her Time brings unbeaten record into Oaks


Ahead of Her Time is unbeaten in her four-race career, with her best effort coming in her two-turn debut last out. She will attempt to build on that effort Saturday in the $100,000 Louisiana Breeders' Oaks. The 1o1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies is one of 13 stakes worth $1.3 million on Louisiana Downs Champions Day.

The Louisiana-bred showcase features eight stakes for Thoroughbreds and five for Quarter Horses.

Ahead of Her Time stands out in her division. She won three six-furlong races at Louisiana Downs to open her career, then moved to two turns for the $75,000 Abadie Memorial at Evangeline Downs on June 30. Ahead of Her Time won by 12 3/4 lengths to earn a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

"She had a lot of firsts that day," said Jerry Hardin, who co-owns and trains Ahead of Her Time. "She had never been hauled and raced. She had never raced under the lights. And she had never been a mile."

None of those variables bothered Ahead of Her Time, who picked up her third stakes win. The challenges for her Saturday include a new rival in Churchill Downs shipper Tensas Yucatan. Ahead of Her Time will break from post 8, under John Jacinto.

"She can lay up close or come from back," said Hardin. "She's pretty versatile."

The Oaks is the first of the stakes for Thoroughbreds and will go as the fourth race.

Derby: St. Zarb vs. Pinecrest Boy again

St. Zarb comes into the $100,000 Louisiana Breeders' Derby at 1 1/16 miles off a rare defeat. A winner of 5 of 9 starts, he was second last out to Pinecrest Boy in the $75,000 B.B. Rayburn at Evangeline on June 30. St. Zarb was the 1-2 favorite under regular rider Carlos Gonzalez.

"The lights got him," said Cyril Hicks, who owns and trains St. Zarb. "That's what [Gonzalez] said. He came out of the turn and he saw the lights on the tote board and the lights on top off the building, and he put the brakes on. A lot of horses it bothers, a lot it doesn't. The first time, you don't ever know."

St. Zarb has turned in two powerful efforts this meet at Louisiana Downs, including a seven-furlong allowance victory that earned him a Beyer of 98. The third-place finisher from the race, Cajun Conquest, returned in his next start to win the $50,000 Seeking the Gold.

St. Zarb drew post 2 for Saturday.

"If everything goes the way it should, he'll be sitting right off the pace," said Hicks. "He really runs his best race like that."

Pinecrest Boy will break from post 6.

Matchmaker: Streaking fillies battle

Madison's Music and Tortuga Flats will each bring a streak into the $100,000 Matchmaker when they meet for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares. Madison's Music has won her last four starts, while Tortuga Flats has not been beaten in three grass starts.

Madison's Music took her career to a new level last time, when she won the $100,000 Sebastien Memorial by 11 1/4 lengths at Evangeline on June 30. She earned a career-best Beyer Figure of 103.

"She's got a natural early foot and she can carry it on," said Keith Bourgeois, who trains Madison's Music.

Bourgeois said Madison's Music will run in the Matchmaker only if the race is contested on the main track. Tortuga Flats could go favored if Madison's Music scratches. She has won back-to-back races over the local turf, her latest a neck win in the prep for the Matchmaker. Tortuga Flats is also a multiple stakes winner on dirt.

Also in the race is Raspberry Wine, who won four straight stakes from January to May.

Juveniles: Asmussen has top players

Trainer Steve Asmussen will send out the top contenders in the six-furlong races for 2-year-olds, the $100,000 Stardust and the $100,000 Laurel Lane. He has Jumpin for Jason and Must Acquit for the Stardust and Hisse and Iknowuthinkimsexy for the Laurel Lane.

The four horses finished a respective second and third in the two divisions of the D.S. "Shine" Young Memorial Futurity last out at Evangeline.

"The horse on the lead on the fence won both of them," Asmussen said of the divisions. "I never got to them."

* Zarb's Dahar could get a nice tracking trip off the comebacking All Wired Up in the $100,000 Cajun. Jacinto has the mount for trainer Jim Hodges.

* Leesa Lee, who has won 3 of her last 4 starts, will need an honest pace to fuel her late run in the $100,000 Victoria. Jacinto will ride for trainer Pat Mouton.