05/28/2008 11:00PM

Allowance feature wide open


The first-level allowance feature here is just the type of race you would expect in the early part of a meeting - a wide-open affair without a clear-cut favorite. The 7 1/2-furlong grass race will have the maximum number of nine runners with the rail out 20 feet.

Possible favorites include Justlike Skip and Lac Valentine, two lightly raced 3-year-olds making their turf debuts.

Trained by Keith Bourgeois, Justlike Skip makes the journey up from Evangeline Downs where he posted a hard-fought maiden score in his most recent start. Bourgeois added blinkers to the son of Skip Away last time and the move paid off. Francisco Torres will ride.

Lac Valentine has enjoyed a steady campaign for trainer Tom Howard. A son of Marked Tree, Lac Valentine graduated against maiden company at Oaklawn in late February and most recently finished third in a Texas-bred allowance at Lone Star. Kirk LeBlanc, aboard for the maiden victory at Hot Springs, will return to the saddle.

With established turf form a bit hard to find in Saturday's headliner, many players will find comfort in Wicked Widowmaker. The Louisiana-bred bred son of Leestown has recorded a first- and second-place finish from four starts on the grass.