09/29/2006 12:00AM

Back with Autrey, Red Soldier steps up

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - Trainer Cody Autrey has had nothing short of a break-out year in 2006, saddling winners at a 24 percent clip and winning 72 times. Before expanding operations this year and last, Autrey was known more for "project" horses, usually taking those with some class potential in the mid- to upper claiming levels and turning them into allowance and stakes performers. He has one such representative in Sunday's allowance feature in the form of Red Soldier.

Autrey claimed Red Soldier for the Grumpster Stable for $16,000 in an optional claiming race on Sept. 7. The seven-time winner will move back to the grass in Sunday's headliner, a second-level allowance, and will take on 10 rivals including Willtosucceed, who is entered for the main track only.

This is Red Soldier's second stint in the Autrey barn. A 6-year-old Louisiana-bred son of Like a Soldier, Red Soldier spent much of 2005 and early 2006 under Autrey's shed row before changing barns via a claim for $15,000 following a win at Lone Star Park in April. He has shown a real fondness for the local turf, finishing first or second in five of his eight tries over it. Jamie Theriot will handle the riding chores.

Tommy's Turn, stakes-placed on both dirt and turf this summer, returned to the optional claiming ranks in his last start, on Sept. 23, and delivered as the 7-5 favorite. Trainer James Hodges wheels back Tommy's Turn in just over a week as he attempts to strike while the iron is hot. Tommy's Turn has been a model of consistency for Hodges throughout his eight-race career, as he has never failed to light the board. Lonnie Meche will once again be in the saddle on Tommy's Turn, a 3-year-old Conquistador Cielo gelding.

The one to catch on Sunday will likely be Dawasmi. Trained by Harold Romero, the speedy 4-year-old drew the rail, and with the turf rail out 20 feet this week, speed continues to fare very well. Dawasmi comes off an improving runner-up performance in his second start following a freshening and might be sitting on a peak effort. Rico Flores has the call.

Sale on Monday and Tuesday

The Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana's annual yearling and mixed sale will be held Monday and Tuesday at the sales pavilion adjacent to the track. A total of 247 yearlings have been cataloged, along with more than 100 horses of mixed ages. Both sessions will get under way at 10 a.m.