07/29/2010 3:15PM

Brian's Choice gets class relief in Stardust


Brian’s Choice is a member of a growing club: Horses who have been beaten by Aces N Kings. But he has fared better than most against the undefeated multiple stakes winner, and after running second to him last out should go favored in Saturday’s $50,000 Stardust at Louisiana Downs.

The six-furlong race is one of two stakes on the card, both restricted to 2-year-olds bred in Louisiana. The other is the $50,000 Laurel Lane, led by stakes winners Do Dat Blues and Full Rigged.

Brian’s Choice met Aces N Kings in the $50,000 Minstrel at Louisiana Downs and finished 2 1/2 lengths back in second in the five-furlong turf race run July 3.

“I thought he ran a good race,” said James Hodges, who trains Brian’s Choice. “He just couldn’t outrun that colt.”

Brian’s Choice won’t meet Aces N Kings on Saturday, when he moves back into the Louisiana-bred ranks. Brian’s Choice also is returning to dirt, and the last time he ran against statebreds on the main track, he was a seven-length winner of a maiden special weight on June 17.

Anna Roberts has the mount on Brian’s Choice, who could get a nice tracking trip from post 6.

“When they turn for home, I hope he’ll just go on,” Hodges said.

The chief threat could be Fort Hood, who was second to the well-regarded Toro Bravo in the $115,000 colts and geldings division of the D.S. “Shine” Young Memorial Futurity for statebreds at Evangeline in his last start July 3. Fort Hood was a pace force in that race, but he also might be effective from a tracking or stalking position Saturday, depending on how the Stardust sets up, trainer Brett Brinkman said.

“I don’t think he’s a horse that has to have the front end,” Brinkman said. “He doesn’t work that way in the morning. He’s taken dirt in the morning, and he’s responding when we’ve asked him to respond.

“We’ll go up there with an open mind, let him run his race.”

Gerard Melancon has the mount on Fort Hood, who won his debut in May with a Beyer Speed Figure of 67, the best career number in the Stardust.

◗ Do Dat Blues will move back to dirt for the Laurel Lane after winning the $50,000 Princess at five furlongs on turf at Louisiana Downs on July 3. Her chief rival may be Full Rigged, winner of the fillies division on the Young Futurity at Evangeline.