08/24/2010 3:27PM

Down With Dixie headed to Louisiana Downs for Prelude


The $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs on Saturday is the traditional local prep for next month’s Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby, but it will have some Kentucky flair this year as Down With Dixie is shipping in from Churchill Downs. He was to arrive Wednesday for the mile and a sixteenth race that leads a card of six stakes worth a cumulative $350,000.

The races are designed as stepping-stones to the Super Derby program of eight stakes Sept. 25.

Down With Dixie will challenge regional stakes winners Coyote Legend and Productive Envoy for favoritism in the Prelude. He comes into the race off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows on June 26, an effort for which he earned a career-high Beyer Figure of 90. Down With Dixie has since been training forwardly at Churchill in preparation for the Prelude.

“We were shopping for a spot for straight 3-year-olds going long,” said Paul McGee, who trains Down With Dixie for Jay Em Ess Stable. “This was on our radar, and the timing was good. It just makes a lot of sense, as far as the conditions and the timing.”

McGee said Jamie Theriot will ride Down With Dixie. The horse, who won a first-level allowance at a mile at Churchill Downs one start before the Iowa Derby, is by Purge. Others expected for the Prelude include Ricky Tick, who was beaten a neck by Productive Envoy in an allowance prep for the Prelude on Aug. 1. The Prelude winner will receive a fees-paid berth into the Super Derby.

Down With Dixie will be McGee’s first starter at Louisiana Downs, but not his first time in Bossier City, La.

“I’ve been there as a groom,” McGee said. “I haven’t been there as a trainer. I have win pictures from there with Jerry Calvin, who I rubbed horses for.”

McGee, who was at Louisiana Downs in the late 1970s, is now based in Kentucky.

The other Saturday stakes at Louisiana Downs include a pair of $50,000 turf routes for 2-year-olds, and the $50,000 Shiskabob for 3-year-olds and up at a mile on turf. There are also two $50,000 turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up bred in Louisiana.

Lara has options for Wando Redd

Wando Redd, the Louisiana Downs-based 3-year-old who finished second to 5-year-old Breeders’ Cup Sprint hopeful Atta Boy Roy in last weekend’s $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup, is scheduled to run back in October in one of two stakes, said his trainer, Jorge Lara. The options are the Grade 3, $175,000 Phoenix for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs at Keeneland on Oct. 8, or the $250,000 Gallant Bob for 3-year-olds at six furlongs at Philadelphia Park on Oct. 9.

“That’s the two races we’ve got in mind,” said Lara, who trains Wando Redd for Sandra Jarrett. “At this point, I don’t know which one we’ll go for. If he runs good and is impressive, we might try the Breeders’ Cup.”

Lara said Wando Redd will be freshened for the next few weeks, with a decision on his next start to be made after he breezes back in the middle of September. The horse had a demanding trip in the Remington Cup, in which he finished five lengths behind front-running winner Atta Boy Roy.

“He broke good and got hooked by two horses,” Lara said. “He couldn’t stand the pressure, took himself back and came back. I think if we could have sat a couple of lengths off of it, we would have given them a run for the money.”

Lara said Wando Redd is a quick colt who likes the front. Lara took his blinkers off two races back, and the result was a 5 1/2-length win in a first-level allowance at Louisiana Downs on July 23. Wando Redd, who is maturing, is a son of Canadian horse of the year Wando.

“We always believed the horse could run,” Lara said of Wando Redd. “He ran good the other day, came back sound, and that keeps hope alive.”

◗ The Tap, who was fourth in the allowance prep for the Prelude, returns in Thursday’s ninth race, a competitive $17,500 optional claimer with first-level allowance conditions. It will be run at a mile on turf, and also drew Stand, a full brother to Grade 2 winner Wend, and Shekinah.