09/06/2005 11:00PM

Happy Ticket has earned a vacation

Email
Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Happy Ticket's Ballerina win at Saratoga on Aug. 28 improved her career record to 10 for 11.

Happy Ticket is getting a breather. Her goal all season was to snag a Grade 1, and she accomplished that task in her first attempt Aug. 28, when she won the $250,000 at Saratoga.

The win improved Happy Ticket's career record to 10 for 11, and has provided some solace for trainer Andrew Leggio, who has watched his hometown of New Orleans suffer at the hands of Hurricane Katrina.

Leggio, who currently lives in Bossier City, La., because racing is being conducted at Louisiana Downs, has a cell phone with the 504 area code of New Orleans, and on Tuesday, for the first time since the storm hit on Aug. 29, was able to be reached on his mobile.

"This is about the third phone call I've had in a week," he said. "These 504 numbers are just now working. My family is all up here with me. I've got my kids up here and my grandkids. My immediate family is all safe and sound. They're all here with me in the apartment. We're a little crowded, but other than that, we're all right."

Leggio has three children, 10 grandchildren, and a very special trainee in Happy Ticket. Leggio, along with owner Stewart Madison, is giving her a generous amount of time to regroup from her trip to New York. Earlier this summer, she traveled to Arlington and won the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup, as well as to Calder, where she finished second in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney.

Happy Ticket raced over a muddy track in the Ballerina.

"She was really laboring in it, as were the other horses," said Leggio. "It was really muddy. It wasn't sloppy. It was really, really thick mud. She was pretty tired after the race, but she's fine. She came back good."

Leggio has not outlined next-race plans for Happy Ticket, and said the filly will probably continue walking the shed row for the next 10 to 14 days at Louisiana Downs.

'Fast' goes for five straight

Fastsweettowngirl can become the winningest horse of the Louisiana Downs meet on Friday with a victory in the sixth race. She has had a perfect meet so far, winning all four of her starts by a combined 15 1/2 lengths.

will be facing a competitive group in the $25,000 claiming sprint, but her confidence is obviously soaring.

The featured ninth race is an entry-level allowance turf sprint for fillies and mares, and should be among the favorites because of her close finishes at the distance. E.J. Perrodin has the mount for trainer Larry Crabtree.

* In what is sure to become a trend if it is not already, owners Catherine and Patrick Rozmus of Florida donated the second-place earnings of Wild T in the seventh race last Saturday to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts in New Orleans. Kriston Von Wise trains Wild T, and along with the Rozmuses survived the deadly Hurricane Andrew in 1992 in Florida. Wild T earned $1,560 under Luis Quinonez.