06/28/2006 11:00PM

Happy Ticket to Del Mar or Saratoga


Happy Ticket is headed to either Del Mar in Southern California or Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York for her next start, her trainer, Andrew Leggio Jr., said Thursday. A Louisiana Downs-based mare, Happy Ticket went over $1 million in earnings when she won the Grade 2, $300,000 Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs on June 17.

The options Leggio and owner Stewart Madison have discussed are the Grade 1, $250,000 Go for Wand at 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga on July 30 and the Grade 2, $300,000 Clement Hirsch Handicap at 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar on Aug. 8.

"Wherever we can get good travel accommodations for the filly on a plane, that's the route were going to take," said Leggio.

Happy Ticket's year-end goal is the Breeders' Cup Distaff, which will be held at Churchill Downs. She returned to the track Tuesday at Louisiana Downs, following her head win over Oonagh Maccool in the Fleur de Lis.

"She's just galloping right now," said Leggio. "We'll take it easy for a while."

Happy Ticket is the first Louisiana-bred filly or mare to surpass $1 million in earnings, said Tom Early, executive director of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. She has now won 12 of 17 starts and $1,176,838.

Happy Ticket, a 5-year-old by Anet, is the second-richest Louisiana-bred of all-time, behind Scott's Scoundrel, a winner of $1,270,052 who is no longer racing. Happy Ticket's biggest win came at Saratoga, in the Grade 1 Ballerina.

Kissin Kendall returns to dirt

Saturday's feature at Louisiana Downs will go as the first race, with fillies and mares meeting in a mile and 70-yard optional claimer. Kissin Kendall is moving back to dirt for the race. Her last two wins have come on dirt, including one at a mile and 70 yards.

Kissin Kendall was third last out in an optional claimer on turf. She will be ridden by Jose Verenzuela, who has the mount for trainer Sam David Jr. Kissin Kendall could get a nice stalking trip behind Maria Pia, who was a sharp winner over 5 1/2 furlongs last out. Maria Pia drew the rail and will be making her two-turn debut Saturday.

Others in the six-horse field include Countess Gigi, who is making her first start since January.