08/18/2005 12:00AM

Franks is Voodoo Gold's race to lose


Voodoo Gold, winner of the $100,000 D. S. "Shine" Young Futurity on July 30, should rule a prohibitive favorite in Saturday night's $75,000 John Franks Memorial Sales Stakes at Evangeline. A five-furlong race, the Franks is for horses who were consigned to the 2005 Evangeline Downs 2-year-olds in training sale and is leg two of the Evangeline stakes series for 2-year-olds. The Lafayette Stakes completes the series and is scheduled for Sept. 5.

Trained by Cole Norman, Voodoo Gold overpowered nine foes in the Shine and appears poised to do the same in the Franks. Voodoo Gold also accounted for a qualifying trial for the Shine in front-running fashion, and his high turn of early foot coupled with his class edge is likely to produce a price that will be below even money. Sylvester Carmouche Jr., up for both of Voodoo Gold's previous victories, will be in the saddle.

Z Drive has the best chance to pull an upset off the strength of a sharp maiden score in his last start. Trainer Terry Vance added blinkers to Z Drive's equipment on June 29 and the son of Valid Belfast responded with a gate-to-wire effort. Vance will once again give leading rider C.J. Woodley a leg up.

Norman will also send out Paddle Wheels. Although she remains a maiden after one start, Paddle Wheels raced prominently in her debut in maiden company July 27 before fading late. She adds Lasix for this and worked the fastest half-mile here Aug. 13, breezing from the gate in 49.20 seconds. Ted Gondron has the call.

Toolights Prospect also will be making her stakes debut Saturday and comes off a maiden score. Facing fellow Louisiana-breds here July 18, Toolights Prospect led all the way to score a 2 3/4-length tally. Keith Deaville will ride.