06/25/2009 11:00PM

Gecowowa sure to attract support at Louisiana


BOSSIER CITY, La. - A solid field of entry-level allowance types will try and take their game up to the next level in Sunday's $30,500 allowance feature at Louisiana Downs. Eight fillies and mares will go about 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

Gecowowa, a lightly raced Wordly Ways filly, has looked like a different horse since trainer Michelle Lovell moved her to the grass two starts ago. She promptly won her maiden in her first try over turf and narrowly missed in a first-level allowance June 12 in her most recent start. She has also shown improvement in her Beyer Speed Figures, and after being overlooked by the betting public in all four of her previous starts, should figure prominently in the wagering on Sunday. Lovell has given Richard Eramia the return call.

Southpine, who finished a half-length behind Gecowowa after setting the pace in the allowance here on June 12, will be making her second start off a 10-month layoff. She should benefit from that start. Trainer Ray Spencer's son-in-law, leading rider Don Simington, will be in the saddle.

No turf headliner would be complete, it seems, without a representive from the Morris Nicks barn. My Stormy Angel joined the ranks of winners in her last start, stalking the pace before unleashing a powerful rally down the stretch. Ramsey Zimmerman will be on board My Stormy Angel.

Return of also-eligibles

The also-eligible list has recently been reinstated for main-track races that oversubscribe. Abolished several years ago with the advent of the scratch-off-the-program policy, also-eligibles were resurrected to increase field size.

Should more than 12 runners be entered in a race, the next two entrants in order of starting date preference are assigned numbers 13 and 14. Should there be a scratch in the body of the race, the number 13 gets the first option to run with the number 14 second. The deadline for scratches remains at 10 a.m. the day of the race.

Heat shortens post parades

The extreme heat that has gripped the region has prompted officials to temporarily change the prerace protocols. Horses will be saddled in the paddock and sent directly to the track, forgoing the usual two to three minutes spent in the walking ring. Post parades have also been shortened from the usual 10 minutes to eight.