05/17/2004 11:00PM

First-time turfer might end up favored


Two horses seeking their first win on the turf figure to attract most of the support in Thursday's featured 10th race at Louisiana Downs, a second-level allowance for older horses at about one mile.

Ba Ba Boom, who eked out a narrow victory in a first-level allowance at Oaklawn in his last start, may start as the favorite despite never having run on the grass. A 4-year-old son of Maria's Mon, Ba Ba Boom has finished first or second in three of his last four starts, and appears to be the lone speed. John Jacinto will ride for trainer Cole Norman.

Iceanwater is winless in five starts on the turf, but got within a neck of winning the $200,000 USA Stakes on the grass at Lone Star last summer. Iceanwater recently returned from a seven-month layoff, finishing an even sixth in an allowance at Lone Star on April 18.

Bettors looking for horses with more positive grass form may focus on Beaudiggity and Clouds on the Walk.

Beaudiggity won his first allowance condition over the local turf course last summer, then was beaten three-quarters of a length in his first appearance at the two-other-than level. Beaudiggity has since descended into the claiming ranks, where he has been a nonfactor in three of his last four starts, all at Fair Grounds. A return to better form is possible now that he is returning to one of his favorite courses.

Clouds on the Walk, beaten less than four lengths in each of his two previous races on grass, displayed improving form over the winter at Delta Downs. A descendant of turf influence Chief's Crown, Clouds on the Walk will be rallying late.