05/28/2008 12:00AM

Chip Hunter back for more


Chip Hunter won his local debut and the 10th race of his career here in April and has now raced at all four of the state's tracks. On Friday, he will seek a repeat win in the evening's feature, a nonwinners-of-four or $30,000 optional claimer that drew a field of eight, including Gowden Mile and Welcome Back, the second- and third-place finishers behind Chip Hunter last month.

From the barn of leading trainer Keith Bourgeois, Chip Hunter is a 6-year-old Louisiana-bred by Jade Hunter who has amassed more than $300,000 in earnings. He is a six-time winner on the grass but has won over the main track here, at Fair Grounds, and at Louisiana Downs. Gerard Melancon has been given a return call.

Bourgeois also has Marion's Man in Friday's headliner. Bourgeois claimed the 8-year-old out of a $10,000 sprint at Fair Grounds in early March and got a nice race out of him here April 24, when Marion's Man lodged a solid rally to win a $17,500 claimer at Friday's one mile distance. Leading rider Colby Hernandez will once again be in the saddle.

Gowden Mile appears to be the speed of Friday's race once again. The Corale Richards trainee will likely be joined on the front end by Cozy Time, who captured the Lookout Stakes late last year in gate-to-wire fashion.