10/04/2002 12:00AM

Crowned King home for a tilt at Minstrel


Crowned King, who lost his rider when he stumbled at the start of the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile in his last race, returns home Sunday for the $30,000 Minstrel at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.

The 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-olds drew a field of eight, including Zydeco Affair, who returns to dirt after winning the $100,000 El Joven on turf at Retama Park.

Crowned King was one of the more impressive debut winners this meet at Louisiana Downs, taking a seven-furlong race by 3 3/4 lengths July 26. One start later, he tried local stakes rivals and closed for second behind Comic Truth in the $40,000 Pioneer over six furlongs Aug. 11.

His strong showing earned him a trip to the Kentucky Cup. Since the race, he has worked sharply for the cutback to one turn. Billy McKeever, who owns and trains the colt, has given the mount to Chandra Rennie.

E.J. Perrodin will ride Zydeco Affair, whose recent success has come on turf. He won his maiden on the surface two back, then took the El Joven on turf by three-quarters of a length over Leo's Last Hurrahy.

Both Zydeco Affair and Crowned King figure to be rallying late after Broke Again, who adds blinkers after finishing second against conditioned allowance foes in his last start. Leading rider Gerard Melancon has the mount on Broke Again.