12/06/2005 1:00AM

Happy Ticket back from surgery


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Happy Ticket is back. The most famous Louisiana-bred in training returned to the track on Monday at her Louisiana Downs base for the first time since undergoing throat surgery in early November. She also trained on Tuesday.

"She's been hand-walked for the past 30 days," said Andrew Leggio Jr., who trains Happy Ticket. "Hopefully we're going to see her before this meet closes."

Happy Ticket will miss defending her title the $100,000 Ladies on Louisiana Champions Day on Saturday. Leggio said the goal is to make a start with her late in the current Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs, which runs through Jan. 22.

Happy Ticket won the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga in August, and after a big second-place finish to Ashado in the Grade 1 Beldame, she headed to the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Happy Ticket was the co-second choice in the race but finished an uncharacteristic 11th, and afterward was diagnosed with an entrapped epiglottis and a displaced soft palate. She had surgery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

Happy Ticket is being pointed for many of the same races she ran in this year, with the hope that she will return to the Breeders' Cup. In addition to racing at the current meet, she could start on Louisiana Premier Night at Delta Downs in Vinton, Leggio said. Happy Ticket races for her breeder, Stewart Madison.

Hyte Regency points for Risen Star

One of the most striking 2-year-olds on the backstretch is Hyte Regency. A gorgeous son of Diligence, he was a stakes winner on turf during the Louisiana Downs meet, then shipped to Kentucky and ran third to Private Vow in the Grade 2, $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in his last start, on Nov. 26.

He is now being pointed for the Grade 3, $250,000 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs on Jan. 14, trainer Jeff Trosclair said. The 1 1/16-mile race is one of four stakes on "Road to the Derby" Kickoff Day.

Hyte Regency won the $125,000 Harrah's Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles in October.

* One Tuff Fox is seeking his third straight win on Thursday in a tough optional claiming allowance at a mile on turf. The race also drew Spritely Walker, making his second start since May; Purely Classic, who gets the services of Robby Albarado; and Sampson's Son, a winner on turf last out at Churchill Downs.