08/11/2008 11:00PM

Golden Yank takes detour to Prelude


Golden Yank was on the verge of shipping to Arlington Park for last weekend's Grade 1 Secretariat, but trainer Gary Thomas changed plans and instead intends to send the horse to Louisiana Downs for the $100,000 Prelude Breeders' Cup on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile race offers its winner a fees-paid berth into the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby.

The Prelude, for 3-year-olds, is the richest of four stakes worth a cumulative $325,000 on Saturday. The races are all preps for Super Derby Day stakes Sept. 20. The field for the Prelude was beginning to take shape on Tuesday, with horses from Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas all likely to start.

Thomas said Golden Yank is scheduled to van in from his Remington Park base on Friday. The horse last raced on June 14, when he closed furiously to finish second to wire-to-wire winner Tizdejavu in the Grade 2 Jefferson Cup on turf at Churchill Downs.

"That was a hard race on him," Thomas said. "It took more of a toll on him than I really thought. He needed the extra week instead of going to the Secretariat. I think the extra days have helped him."

Golden Yank, a two-time stakes winner on dirt, will be ridden by Quincy Hamilton.

Trainer Tom Amoss worked his three Prelude nominees, multiple stakes winners Boss Lafitte, Liberty Bull, and Real Appeal, on Tuesday at Churchill. He said he plans to start one of the three in the race, and late Tuesday morning was still determining which horse would be the best fit for the Prelude.

Boss Lafitte was fourth in the Grade 2 American Derby on July 12. Liberty Bull, the winner of the $600,000 WinStar Derby in March, was unplaced in the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby in his last start April 12. Real Appeal closed well for third in the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer on Aug. 2.

Star Production, who put on a show when he won the $100,000 Louisiana Breeders' Derby by eight lengths at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 2, will probably run in the Prelude, his trainer, James Hodges, said Tuesday. The horse had been pointing to the $50,000 A.L. "Red" Erwin for statebreds Aug. 30, but after earning a Beyer Figure of 102 for his big win in the Louisiana Breeders' Derby, his connections wanted to give him an opportunity in the Prelude. He is to be ridden by Carlos Gonzalez.

Numismatist, who defeated older rivals in a first-level allowance at Lone Star Park in July, is being pointed to the Prelude, said his trainer, Donnie Von Hemel. Cliff Berry has the mount on the horse, who will be returning to dirt. The last time Numismatist ran on the main track he was a close third to Real Appeal in the $75,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup at Lone Star on June 28.

Turnleftatthelight, the runner-up in the Alysheba, is also a go for the Prelude, said his trainer, Shannon Hastings. The horse was en route to Louisiana Downs from his Retama Park base on Tuesday. Eguard Tejera will ride Turnleftatthelight, who in his last start won a turf allowance at Lone Star.

In other stakes, Von Hemel said Marquee Event, a sharp debut winner, is probable for the $75,000 Sunny's Halo for 2-year-olds at a mile on turf. The race's counterpart for fillies, the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite, could draw impressive turf route maiden winner Morethanafantasy for trainer Joe Petalino. Perfect Motion, who is multiple stakes-placed, will ship in for the $75,000 Honeymoon, said Amoss. The one-mile turf race for fillies and mares will be led by stakes winner Candy Ball.

Feature ripe with stakes winners

The featured ninth race on Thursday, a $30,000 optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles on turf, drew stakes winners Middleweight, Cajun Conquest, and Man Named Sue. The field also includes Ball Hall, who has won his last two starts, and Sligo Joe, a rapidly improving 3-year-old for trainer Jerry Cart.

Cajun Conquest was second at this level on July 20, when he came rolling in the stretch at a mile. He could get a decent pace to run down with the presence of the front-running Ball Hall, and the rail-drawn Lumberjack Cat, who is stretching out from six furlongs. E.J. Perrodin has the mount for trainer Pat Mouton.

Yearling filly brings $75,000

A yearling filly by Lemon Drop Kid sold for $75,000 on Sunday to top the Louisiana Breeders Sales Company's mixed summer auction in Lafayette, La. Rufus Patin purchased the filly from consignor Judice Farms. The sales-topper is out of the winning Boundary mare Princess Edwina, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Laydown.

The second highest-priced lot was also a yearling filly, who brought $17,000 from Jerry Hardin. A daughter of Leestown, she is out of the stakes-winning Pembroke mare Lady Showtime. Red River Farm consigned the filly as agent for Jay Adcock and Neal McFadden.