06/09/2010 11:00PM

Blinkers off for Canon Man in Acclaim


OPELOUSAS, La. − Canon Man and Heavenville will vie for the role of favorite in Saturday night's $50,000 Acclaim Stakes at Evangeline Downs. Five other 3-year-old Louisiana-breds will join them in the seven-furlong headliner.

A winner of his first two races at Fair Grounds in the winter, Canon Man finished second as the odds-on favorite in an optional claiming event at Louisiana Downs in early May. That prompted trainer Michelle Lovell to make an equipment change for the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Derby at Louisiana Downs on May 22, when Canon Man set the pace before finishing fourth, beaten 9 1/2 lengths.

"I made the mistake of adding blinkers," Lovell said following the race. "As a result, he just went crazy fast in the Derby in his last start."

Canon Man was two lengths clear after blistering a half-mile in 44.25 seconds that day. Lovell will be taking the blinkers off for Saturday night's race. Jockey Kerwin Clark will ride from the outside in post seven.

Heavenville will be visiting his fifth racetrack in his last six starts in the Acclaim. He finished fifth in the Louisiana Cup Derby after an unplaced effort in the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in April. A son of Offlee Wild, he won the Gentilly Stakes on the Fair Grounds turf early in the spring, and last year at Evangeline, he captured the rich D. S. "Shine" Young Futurity. Gerard Melancon has the call on Saturday.