10/22/2002 12:00AM

French Riviera will be tried on turf


Turf will be the next frontier for French Riviera, the Louisiana Downs-based filly who dominated older rivals Sunday when she won the Grade 3, $125,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland. She is being pointed to the $60,000 Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Fair Grounds on Dec. 7.

"I've worked her on turf, and she worked great," said trainer Larry Robideaux.

After the Leggio, French Riviera could return to dirt for the $75,000 Pan Zareta and the $125,000 Victoria Lass, both at Fair Grounds, where Robideaux will be based this winter after spending last season at Oaklawn.

French Riviera's win was one of two weekend stakes victories for Robideaux, whose 31 percent win rate this meet at Louisiana Downs is tops among the 10 leading trainers. He also sent out Witt Ante on Saturday, and she won the $41,000 Stardust for Louisiana-breds.

Witt Ante, an undefeated 2-year-old who races for David Beard, is being pointed to the $50,000 Louisiana Premier Day Juvenile at Delta Downs on Nov. 16. His longterm goal is the $100,000 Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds.

Zydeco Affair to Hopemont

Zydeco Affair, who also races for Beard, left his Texas base Tuesday for Keeneland, where he will try to remain perfect on turf in Friday's $100,000 Hopemont. Trainer Tony Richey has given the mount to Robby Albarado.

Zydeco Affair has won his last three starts, scoring his maiden victory at Retama Park on Aug. 4, then taking that track's $100,000 El Joven on Aug. 31. In his most recent start, he won the $75,000 Manila at Arlington Park.

"He showed a lot of guts last time," said Richey. "He overcame the outside post, and then when it looked like he was going to be second, he battled back on the rail. And he came back just bouncing after that race."

Bedanken to Mrs. Revere

For the second straight year, the winner of the DeBartolo Oaks at Louisiana Downs has gone on to capture the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland. Last Saturday, Bedanken pulled off the double. Last year, DeBartolo winner Chausson Poire dead-heated for the win in the Valley View.

Bedanken will remain in Kentucky for her next start, the Grade 2, $150,000 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs on Nov. 16, said trainer Donnie Von Hemel.

Bedanken has won 6 of 8 starts for her breeder, Pin Oak Stable.

Lukas to give seminar in Texas

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas will be one of the featured speakers at a free seminar in Sulphur Springs, Texas, on Oct. 29. His presentation will focus on the selection of yearlings during an evening program designed to lure Thoroughbred farms to Hopkins County.

Hopkins County is located in east Texas, about 90 minutes from Lone Star Park, and about 2 1/2 hours from both Louisiana Downs and Oaklawn Park.

"We're trying to build an equine industry," said Bill Elliott, president of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce.

Other speakers include Dave Hooper, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, and representatives from the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' Association.

A few horse farms are already located in and around Hopkins County, including Diamond D Ranch, a training center operated by Ed and Caroline Dodwell, and Rafter L Ranch, owned by Mary Bonham, who recruited Lukas to speak. The program will be held in the civic center.

Full sister to Voladora on block

A full yearling sister to Voladora, a nine-time stakes winner who earned $548,622, is one of the offerings during the first day of the fall mixed sale at Heritage Place in Oklahoma City on Friday. The sale continues through Saturday, with a total of 417 horses cataloged, including Quarter Horses.

* Oklahoma Classics Day, a program of seven stakes for Oklahoma-breds, will be run Sunday at Remington Park. New to the lineup is the $50,000 Oaks, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race for fillies and mares that will replace the Starter. The program is worth $375,000.

* Quarter Horse trainer Jack Brooks swept the Grade 1 Dash for Cash series for Quarter Horses at Lone Star last weekend when he won the $407,520 Futurity on Saturday night with Silvered Eyes ($12.60), and the $149,700 Derby on Friday night with First Regards ($16.80).