12/23/2007 12:00AM

Boss Lafitte dangerous on turf or dirt

EmailA field of 2-year-old entry-level allowance horses made it as far as the warm-up period last Thursday before being called back to the paddock, and eventually sent home. The last five races of the day, including this nominal prep race for the Jan. 12 Lecomte Stakes, had been scrapped because of torrential rain and poor track conditions.

The ironic thing is the connections of any Lecomte hopefuls who were rained out last week are the same people hoping for rain this week.

While Fair Grounds attempted to bring back that scrapped allowance race, it failed to attract sufficient entries, and the horses that would've been the top three betting choices in the race have wound up entered main-track-only in race 7 on Thursday, another entry-level allowance race, but this one carded for about 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Chief among that group is Mad Flatter, who romped to victory in a Nov. 14 maiden race for trainer Jeff Thornbury, and who was heavily favored in Thursday's canceled race.

Mad Flatter remains a mystery around two turns, but being by the A.P. Indy sire Flatter and out of a mare by Honor Grades, his prospects for stretching out seem at least decent.

Also on the main-track-only list are Sagaponack and Unbridled Vicar, the respective second and third betting choices at the time of Thursday's rainout. Sagaponack won his career debut sprinting on opening day this meet. Unbridled Vicar ran competitively in one-turn Kentucky allowance races through the autumn.

With a chance of rain in the New Orleans forecast beginning Tuesday night, these would-be dirt runners may actually get their shot, and if they do, it will mean still another off-the-turf day at Fair Grounds, of which there were four last racing week.

Should race 7 Thursday remain on turf, and perhaps even if it is moved to the main track, Boss Lafitte becomes a primary player. Boss Lafitte flashed some ability as far back as his career debut Aug. 11 at Arlington, but he didn't put everything together until his most recent start, a blowout turf maiden win around two turns on Dec. 6. By Dynaformer and out of a Lord at War mare, Boss Lafitte has a versatile pedigree, and unlike the main-track-only horses, he already has experience with route racing.

Sr. Henry makes his first start in the barn of trainer Mike Stidham after being privately purchased following a narrow loss in a Calder restricted turf stakes on Nov. 10. Sr. Henry was beaten a nose in the $100,000 Appleton, his first try on grass.