07/03/2003 11:00PM

Ardoin nearing his return


Ronald Ardoin, who ranks as the all-time winningest jockey at Louisiana Downs, hopes to be back riding at the Bossier City, La., track later this month. He has been recuperating from an injury to his arm that he suffered in a starting gate incident at Oaklawn Park in March.

Ardoin fractured his arm when it hit the gate before a race, and while the fracture has healed, he said he did not rest the limb enough. As a result, the tendons and nerves in that arm required more time to heal.

"When the arm tells me it's ready, I'll come back," said Ardoin. "I hope it will be within the next two to three weeks."

Ardoin likes to keep busy, which is part of the reason he did not give his arm sufficient rest. He sold his winter home in New Orleans and has been busy setting up shop in a new home he just bought near Louisiana Downs.

He has won an amazing 2,848 races at the track, while Larry Snyder, second on the all-time win list at Louisiana Downs, has won 1,696. Overall in his career, Ardoin has won 5,226 races. He owns six titles at Louisiana Downs.

Turf again for Crowned King

The last time Crowned King raced on turf, he won the $200,000 USA Stakes at Lone Star Park. He will return to the surface July 26 for the $50,000 Bossier City Handicap for 3-year-olds, said his co-owner and trainer, Billy McKeever Jr.

In his last start, Crowned King finished fourth in the Grade 2 Ohio Derby.

Crowned King is considered one of the top 3-year-olds based at Louisiana Downs, and his goal at the meet is the track's Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby on Sept. 20.

A two-time stakes winner on dirt, Crowned King's biggest win on the main track came in the $125,000 Rebel at Oaklawn at 36-1.

Doctor Mike eyes Folklore

The $50,000 Folklore at 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 31 is the next stakes goal for Doctor Mike, who won a three-way photo on opening day in the $50,000 Kings Court Stakes. Last year, Doctor Mike was voted champion sprinter at Louisiana Downs.

Long range plans for Doctor Mike are the $50,000 Cajun for statebreds Oct. 11, and the $40,000 Island Whirl at seven furlongs Nov. 8.

Doctor Mike's win in the Kings Court was over six furlongs; the horse's best distance is seven furlongs, according to his trainer, Troy Young.

"In the Kings Court, we knew there was only one horse that would probably show speed, so we had him closer than he likes to be," said Young. "It was not his particular running style, but it ended up to be wonderful. He got up in time, and as they went a little farther, he was getting away from [runner-up Front Nine]."

Doctor Mike is the chief earner for Louisiana-based sire Autocracy, whom Young claimed in 1990 on behalf of John and Murray Valene, the father-and-son team who operate Valene Farms.

The Valenes stand Autocracy at Clear Creek Stud, and also race Doctor Mike, who will go to stud when his racing career ends. So far, the 6-year-old Doctor Mike has won 11 races and $477,534.

* Princess Jen, who won the Majorette last October at Louisiana Downs and most recently won a Prairie Meadows allowance race May 26, will make her next start in the $50,000 Suthern Accent on July 12 at Louisiana Downs, said her trainer, Ronnie Campisano.

* Tap Tap Tap, who has won her last two starts by a combined 15 lengths, will move to turf in the featured 10th race Sunday at Louisiana Downs. The entry-level allowance is for fillies and mares and is worth $25,000. Others of note in the field include Obligatory and Hallie Cat.