07/03/2008 12:00AM

Beta Capo has class in return to grass


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Beta Capo, third in the Grade 3 Texas Mile and fifth in the Grade 3 Lone Star Handicap on dirt in his last two starts, will look to put his recent class advantage to good use on Saturday as he moves to the turf for the $50,000 Independence Stakes at Louisiana Downs. A field of nine will go a mile on the turf course.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the 4-year-old Beta Capo is no stranger to grass, having won the $60,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge at Lone Star in April of 2007. A son of Langfuhr, Beta Capo finished third in his next start, the $100,000 U. S. A. Stakes, which was also at Lone Star.

Asmussen then shipped Beta Capo up to Arlington Park, where he finished unplaced in the Grade 3 Arlington Classic. That flurry of activity marks the extent of Beta Capo's exposure to the turf.

Louisiana Downs will be the fourth track Beta Capo has raced at. His win in the Delta Downs Mile in February is his only victory in six starts this year, but lately he has been facing better company than what he catches Saturday. Donnie Meche will handle the riding chores.

T. C. Champ, winner of both of his races since being moved to the grass, will make his first stakes appearance in the Independence.

Claimed by trainer Jerry Cart out of a nonwinners-of-three $15,000 claiming event at Oaklawn in mid- March, T. C. Champ has flourished with the move to the infield. The 4-year-old gelding accounted for a first-level allowance and most recently, a second-level optional claimer on June 22.

Also by Langfuhr, T. C. Champ is a front-running sort who may have more company than he has become accustomed to in his recent successes. Don Simington will once again be in the saddle.

Candy Ball, a mare, will be facing male opponents after finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Ouija Board Handicap at Lone Star in her most recent start. Trainer by Andy Leggio, she has won six times on turf and sports a solid 2-2-0 mark from 4 starts over the local course. She, too, could try for the early lead, especially with her inside post. Francisco Torres will be on board.

Forty Acres will be shooting for his second stakes score of the meeting after taking the Barksdale Stakes in front-running style on May 24. Lonnie Meche will ride for trainer Jorge Lara.