08/14/2009 12:00AM

Dallas Keen sends in the heavy artillery


Dallas Keen is winning at a 50 percent rate at Louisiana Downs - and he just reloaded.

Thursday, the trainer brought 20 additional horses to the track to more than double the size of his local stable to 35 head. Keen's barn has gone 8 for 16, his most notable scores coming with Hotlantic, the $50,000 Top Corsage winner who is eyeing Grade 1 company at Keeneland, and Icy Kitten, who picked up her third straight win over the local turf course Aug. 8.

Keen said a number of factors have come together for his stable this meet.

"I had some horses that weren't quite ready to run earlier that are ready now," he said. "And then Icy Kitten, she just keeps getting better. I'm looking for a 3-year-old filly stakes for her on the turf. I want to keep her on the turf."

Hotlantic, who is 5, is also on deck for a turf stakes. Keen said she is being pointed for the $50,000 Ricks Memorial at a mile at Remington Park on Sept. 7. From there, he said, the plan is to move her back into graded company for the Grade 1, $400,000 First Lady for fillies and mares at a mile on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 10.

Back in May, Hotlantic was fourth by a length in the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouijia Board Distaff at Lone Star Park. The one-mile race for fillies and mares went in a course-record time of 1:32.80. She has raced once since, winning the Top Corsage on June 13.

"We gave her some time off," said Keen, who trains Hotlantic for Ace Thoroughbreds. "She's back working, doing good."

Other top horses in the Keen barn include King Dan, who was to run Saturday night in the $150,000 Evangeline Mile. King Dan won his maiden over the Louisiana Downs turf course last fall and ran a big second in the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile in May. In his most recent start, King Dan was third in the $50,000 Barksdale on the Louisiana Downs turf course June 13.

"I like him on dirt better," said Keen.

Keen will attempt to keep his local hot streak going in the seventh race Sunday. He will send out Kutter Creek in the maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf. She was fifth at this level last out to Speedy Spice, who was to start as a top contender Saturday at Louisiana Downs in the $50,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial. Ramsey Zimmerman, who has paired often this meet with Keen, has the mount on Kutter Creek. The one to beat is Chanel Number Mine.

Date requests in for 2010

Louisiana Downs has requested an 84-date Thoroughbred meet for 2010, with the season to open May 29 and run through Oct. 17. The Louisiana Racing Commission will consider the request during its meeting Monday. The proposed opening date is about two weeks later than this year's 83-date season started. The current meet will run through Oct. 4.

Louisiana Downs has also asked the commission for a 46-date Quarter Horse meet for next year, from Jan. 9 through March 24.

The commission will also consider date requests from Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., on Monday. The track is seeking an 89-date Thoroughbred meet for 2010, from April 7 to Sept. 6.

Delta Downs's request for a 52-date Quarter Horse meet from April 14 to July 10 will also be considered Monday. The commission awards dates for the state's tracks at two different times during the year, and has already allotted Thoroughbred seasons for Fair Grounds and Delta Downs.

Nice juvenile for Young

Trainer Bob Young unveiled a promising 2-year-old colt earlier this month in Cowpuncher. He won a maiden special weight by 4 3/4 lengths on Aug. 2, and earned a Beyer Figure of 86.

"He's pretty talented," said Young.

Cowpuncher set a quick pace in his debut and kept going, leading through a half-mile in 44.80 seconds before finishing the 5 1/2 furlongs on a track rated good in 1:04.

Young said the horse is now being considered for a start in the $75,000 Lafayette at six furlongs at Evangeline on Sept. 7. Cowpuncher, a son of Valid Expectations, races for Fletcher Properties.

* Zarb's Dahar, a multiple stakes winner at Louisiana Downs who is now 9, is part of the field in the featured fifth race on Sunday, a $10,000 optional claimer at five furlongs on turf. The race is restricted to horses bred in Louisiana. The horse to beat is Leestown Cajun.