12/09/2010 4:22PM

Calhoun looks loaded for a big Louisiana Champions Day

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Dustin Orona Photography
Su Casa G Casa will return to sprinting in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Stakes.

Trainer Bret Calhoun entered three horses in Louisiana Champions Day races Saturday at Fair Grounds, and a perfect afternoon is within his grasp.

Su Casa G Casa looks like the favorite in the $100,000 Juvenile, Take Me Home Too could well be favored in the $100,000 Lassie, and Speedacious should be no worse than second choice in the $100,000 Ladies Sprint.

Speedacious turned in the best race of her career on Champions Day 2009, winning the Dec. 12 Lassie by 12 lengths while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 102, exceptional for a 2-year-old filly, but Speedacious had trouble making it back to the races. She didn’t start again until July, when she beat Ladies Sprint contender Good Human Bean by a neck, and comes into Saturday’s start on a three-race losing streak. But those losses all came in two-turn races, and Speedacious is back in her comfort zone, sprinting at Fair Grounds.

“Maybe the two turns might not be her best,” Calhoun said. “She’s coming into it the right way. I’m pretty optimistic.”

Calhoun might even feel more strongly about Su Casa G Casa and Take Me Home Too. Su Casa G Casa finished second in his career debut, then won a maiden race at Louisiana Downs by more than 12 lengths and a $50,000 open race at Remington Park by more than four, leading all the way both times. Su Casa G Casa finished second at odds of 4-5 in the Louisiana Legacy on Nov. 20 at Delta Downs, but that was a two-turn seven-furlong race, and Calhoun was upset that Su Casa G Casa was dogged on the early lead by a horse that ended up bolting. As with Speedacious, the return to a sprint distance should suit Calhoun’s horse, and though there is plenty of other early speed in the six-furlong Juvenile, Calhoun thinks his horse might get clear.

“I think he’s faster than they are,” Calhoun said.

The Juvenile looks pretty deep this year. Shine Young Futurity winner Toro Bravo is part of the field as is Tonto Too, a debut maiden winner over open rivals at Keeneland. Fort Hood could pick up the pieces of a taxing pace war.

Take Me Home Too hasn’t started since July 31, when she easily won the Laurel Lane Stakes at Louisiana Downs, but Calhoun said her break was by design.

“She’s trained absolutely super going into this race,” he said. “I couldn’t ask her to be coming up to it any better.”

Tensas Punch, Do Dat Blues, and Lawyer Tiffany could provide Take Me Home Too’s stiffest opposition.

Ladies: Superior Storm gets test

Superior Storm has long been a superior Louisiana-bred dirt-route horse, but her grasp on the division may be slipping just as 4-year-old Little Polka Dot is coming into her own.

Superior Storm has won three Champions Day races and surely will be favored to capture her third straight $100,000 Ladies. But in July, she finished fourth as the 1-2 favorite at Evangeline Downs in a statebred-restricted stakes, and though Superior Storm got back on track with a win last month at Delta, she held on by only a neck.

Little Polka Dot, meanwhile, won a Delta allowance race by almost nine lengths Nov. 10 in her first start for Tom Amoss, and she showed an affinity for the Fair Grounds main track last season.

Turf: Snakebite Kit figures out front

It’s old school versus new school with two-time Champions Day Turf winner Desert Wheat taking on 4-year-old Snakebite Kit in the $100,000 Turf.

Snakebite Kit has won 4 of his 6 career turf starts, and went 3 for 3 on the Fair Grounds course last season. What’s unusual about his success in New Orleans is Snakebite Kit’s running style: The gelding likes going to the front, tactics that are typically shunned on the closer-favoring Fair Grounds course. Snakebite Kit finished a distant sixth in his most recent start, but that came on Delta Downs dirt, a mere prep for Saturday’s race.

Desert Wheat was rained off grass in his Champions Day prep but turned in a useful performance finishing third Nov. 26 at Fair Grounds. Desert Wheat is a five-time winner over the Fair Grounds grass course, and it would be surprising if the 2010 Turf winner doesn’t come from this pair.

◗ The only thing standing between Flashy Wise Cat and a second straight win in the $100,000 Sprint is My Star Runner, but that rival could pose a formidable obstacle. My Star Runner has won 4 of his 5 career starts and showed a new tactical dimension when coming from off the pace to win his stakes debut last month at Delta. Still, Flashy Wise Cat’s best lick is a six-furlong race on the Fair Grounds main track, something he’s not gotten to do since cruising to victory on Champions Day 2009.