09/06/2011 12:10PM

Evangeline Downs: Culotte goes for two in a row in Opelousas Stakes

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Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Tom Amoss is sending Culotte to Evangeline Downs for Thursday's $50,000 Opelousas Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

It is not every day that one sees the favorite in a graded stakes at Churchill Downs show up at Evangeline Downs, but that will be the case Thursday evening when trainer Tom Amoss sends out Culotte in the $50,000 Opelousas Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. The six-furlong Opelousas is part of a 10-race program that was rescheduled from last Saturday due to Tropical Storm Lee.

Although she failed to live up to her billing in the Grade 3 Debutante at Churchill in June when she faded to sixth after setting the early pace, Culotte made amends by capturing the $85,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Filly Stakes after shipping to West Virginia for her next start. Amoss said the public might have been a bit premature in assessing his young charge.

“It’s hard to judge a horse just off one race,” Amoss said, referring to Culotte’s impressive maiden win at first asking at Churchill prior to her stakes debut in the Debutante. “She may not have been ready for that level yet, but she is still developing and hopefully getting better.”

When asked why he chose Evangeline Downs for Culotte’s next start, Amoss was his usual diplomatic self.

“Being a multiple stakes winner is always good, whether you are talking about the racehorse or for broodmare potential.” he said. “We picked a spot where we thought she would be competitive and continue to improve.”

Amoss has given the call on Culotte to veteran rider Gerard Melancon.

Coteau Kitten is a three-time winner from four starts, including the rich D.S. “Shine” Futurity here in July. The Louisiana-bred daughter of Tale of the Cat most recently suffered her first defeat when she reported home second in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile Filly Stakes for statebreds at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 20. Regular rider Diego Saenz will once again be in the saddle.

Mais Oui will return to dirt after a sixth place finish in the Princess Stakes over the Louisiana Downs turf in late June. The Grindstone filly will race on Lasix for the first time in the Opelousas and has been training forwardly between starts. Trainer Eric Gary has named Rex Stokes to ride.