06/08/2006 11:00PM

All but one lack any turf experience


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Sunday's $32,000 first-level allowance feature at Louisiana Downs, a five-furlong turf sprint, is loaded with unknowns. Specifically, eight of the nine Louisiana-bred fillies and mares in the field have yet to show how they will handle the transition from dirt to turf.

represents the sum total of all the grass experience in the group, with two previous starts on the surface and neither producing much in the way of results. The 4-year-old Sassy Gal does have some of the best recent form on the main track, however, as she defeated $30,000 claiming foes in game fashion in her most recent start for her fourth career victory.

That effort came after she took most of the spring off following a good second in allowance company at Evangeline Downs in late March. With most of her rivals sporting only maiden wins, she rates as the one to beat, regardless of surface. Tracy Hebert, aboard for the recent victory, once again will be in the saddle.

The only other multiple winner in the field is American by Choice, who finished second behind Sassy Gal last month. American by Choice has a start since then, finishing a creditable third in an optional claimer last Friday. She has been a model of consistency for trainer Jonas Gibson and, if able to handle the turf, she should keep her string of six consecutive in-the-money finishes intact. Luis Quinonez will take the return call.

, a game maiden winner in her second start after a troubled debut, has license to run well for trainer Ray Spencer. She is a half-sister to Catlaan, the second-place finisher in the Elge Rasberry Stakes for Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies here in 2004. Don Simington will ride.

The speedy , idle since February, seeks to recapture the form that saw her wire a good group of open maiden-special-weight rivals here last fall. Carlos Gonzales will be aboard.

* Sundays in June mark the return of "Dollar Day at the Downs." A dollar will get you a program, tip sheet, draft beer, or hot dog as well as selected other concession items. The minimum on win, place, and show wagers has also been reduced to $1.