09/01/2004 11:00PM

Evangeline: Matron attracts dozen


A full field of a dozen fillies and mares will contest the $50,000 Matron Handicap at Evangeline Downs.

Blue Guru and Southern Surprise are the co-highweights at 121 pounds in the mile race. Both were unplaced in the Sangue Handicap over the Louisiana Downs turf on Aug. 14, but each will be back on her favorite surface Saturday night.

Blue Guru has recorded one win this year, rallying against a stakes-caliber field in a money allowance race at Oaklawn Park. The 6-year-old Blue Guru is stakes-placed twice in 2004 and looks ready to return to top form. Guy Smith will ride for trainer Shane Wilson.

Southern Surprise has won a pair of allowance races this summer at Louisiana Downs, each time going seven furlongs. Sandwiched between those victories was a solid second-place finish in the Fleur de Lis Stakes at a mile and 70 yards. She appears ideally suited for the one-mile distance of the Matron as she goes for her first stakes win. Trainer Morris Nicks has given the mount to Jamie Theriot.