09/05/2006 11:00PM

Fast-rising youngsters - or elders?

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - Bettors face a familiar dilemma in Friday's optional claiming feature at Louisiana Downs.

On the one hand, there are a couple of young, developing fillies in the mile-and-70-yard test who are searching for their first victory outside the maiden ranks. On the other, there is a pair of veteran mares who are going very well at the present time and have been entered for the $16,000 claiming price.

Clouet and Specific each fit into the former category. Both joined the ranks of winners earlier in the summer and continue to make progress.

Trained by Al Stall Jr., Clouet graduated in front-running fashion on June 18 and most recently just missed in these same conditions on July 29. She settled off the pace in that last try and made a run to take the lead before finishing second to Glasnevin, whom she will face again on Friday. Stall has given the call to Donnie Meche.

Specific, sixth behind Clouet in that maiden special race in June, won her maiden in her next start and has been facing stakes company ever since. She finished second in the Senorita Stakes on the main track in early August before turning in a sixth-place performance in the Lyrique on the turf in her most recent try. E.J. Perrodin will be in the saddle for her return to the main track on Friday.

In addition to her recent win, Glasnevin has won five other races. Claimed by leading trainer Cole Norman for $15,000 in April, the 5-year-old mare has not been worse than second since. Cody Meche will ride.

Willing Star, claimed by Cole Leatherman in mid July at Lone Star Park, will make her local debut on Friday. She has been involved in the trifecta in all seven of her starts this year. Jamie Theriot will ride.

No turf racing this week

There will be no turf racing this week while the turf course undergoes scheduled maintenance in anticipation of heavy use this fall. Four six-figure stakes will be run on turf on the Super Derby undercard alone on Sept. 23.

Records fell on the turf last week. First, Erroneous I D's victory in Saturday's Sport City produced a course record at 1 1/16 miles. On Monday, Distinguish equaled the track record for five furlongs in the $100,000 Total Rewards Breeders' Cup.