06/28/2007 11:00PM

Atlanta Highway targets Azalea BC


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Atlanta Highway is hitting the road. Trainer Andrew Leggio Jr. said the filly, who has won her last three starts, is being pointed for the Grade 3, $300,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup during the Summit of Speed program at Calder Race Course next Saturday.

Atlanta Highway is scheduled to fly to Florida from her Louisiana Downs base. She will head into the Azalea off a 6 1/2-length win in the $100,000 Stonerside at Lone Star Park on May 28.

"I think a whole lot of her," Leggio said. "She's done nothing wrong since I've had her, and she's just a flat runner."

Atlanta Highway will be Leggio's second Summit starter. He brought Happy Ticket to Calder in 2005 and she finished a troubled second to Madcap Escapade in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney.

Leggio has been red-hot this meet at Louisiana Downs. He had won with 12 of 23 starters through the fifth race Friday, for a better than 50 percent win rate. Leggio ranks fifth in the standings in wins and second in stable earnings, with $218,665.

Leggio says he has changed his approach to the condition book. He has been capitalizing on the Accredited Louisiana-bred Slot Supplement program which offers additional purse money to statebreds who run first through fifth in open company. The supplement is divided like a purse, with 60 percent of the listed incentive going to any statebred that wins in open company at Louisiana Downs.

"All these races I've been winning are mainly Louisiana-breds running in open company," Leggio said. "And the fact that I'm doing that is because the purses are bigger. They've been having that ALBSS money to supplement, and most of the races that I won have had at least a $15,000 supplement.

"In the past, if I had a Louisiana-bred, I would very seldom look past the Louisiana-bred races. But this year, the money is bigger in those ALBSS races. What's good is it makes you look at all 11 races [in the condition book] instead of just the three Louisiana-breds.

"You might get the better spot. You might get the distance that you want, the claiming price that you want. There's more money."

Leggio has 25 horses based at Louisiana Downs.

Cajun Conquest eyes Prelude

Cajun Conquest, a $25,000 claim who earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 83 for his head win in the $50,000 Seeking the Gold Stakes here June 23, is a candidate for the $100,000 Prelude on Aug. 18, said his trainer, Patrick Mouton.

The Prelude is for 3-year-olds at 1o1/16 miles, and the winner earns a berth into the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby. In the Seeking the Gold, Cajun Conquest rallied from eight lengths back to win over soft turf. He was a maiden winner at 1o1/16 miles on dirt at Fair Grounds in March.

"I think he'll run on either surface," Mouton said. "I don't think it will matter to him."

Mouton claimed Cajun Conquest on behalf of owners Pat and Steve Roe in February. He said he was drawn to the colt's pedigree. Cajun Conquest is by multiple Grade 1 winner Came Home and is out of the Tabasco Cat mare Probable Storm. Mouton also liked Cajun Conquest's looks, he said, as well as his conformation.

"He's just a little bit small, but he makes up for it," he said. "He's got a big old heart, and he's got ability."

Cajun Conquest won the Seeking the Gold by a head over stakes winner Slew By Slew.

* There are three allowance or optional claiming races on the card Sunday.