09/16/2004 12:00AM

Happy Ticket tries two turns and turf


No filly at Louisiana Downs has been able to get close to Happy Ticket sprinting this meet, and that would make handicapping the $50,000 Seneca on Saturday easy - if only the race were held on dirt around one turn.

Happy Ticket will be stretching out around two turns for the first time in the Seneca, and will also be making her turf debut. It is a nice spot for her to attempt to stretch her speed, as she will be facing straight 3-year-old fillies, all bred in Louisiana.

Keeping the undefeated Happy Ticket with her own age group was one of the chief reasons that her trainer, Andrew Leggio Jr., pointed her for the Seneca. He has always been hopeful she would handle two turns and turf, and she shows some nice works in preparation for the task on Saturday.

In her most recent work, she breezed five furlongs around the dogs in 1:02.80 on Sept. 12. The turf course wa#s listed as firm.

Happy Ticket has won all three of her starts in commanding fashion. She won her first two starts, both at six furlongs, by a combined 22 lengths. A month later, Happy Ticket won the $50,000 Elge Raspberry for statebreds by 2 1/2 lengths, earning a 91 Beyer Speed Figure.

That is the highest last-race number among all starters in the Seneca. Happy Ticket wired the field in the Elge Raspberry, and she looks like the controlling speed in the Seneca. Lonnie Meche has the mount on Happy Ticket, a daughter of Anet, for her owner and breeder, Stewart Madison.

Catlaan is a threat to Happy Ticket. She is proven around two turns and on turf, defeating open company last out in an optional claimer for fillies and mares on Sept. 3. That race came after a second-place finish to Happy Ticket in the Elge Raspberry.

Kirk LeBlanc will ride Catlaan, a two-time winner on turf, for Foxwood Plantations and trainer James Hodges.

Shes Dixies Eskimo is the lone filly to defeat top Louisiana-bred Placid Star. She accomplished that in the $50,000 Fantasia at Louisiana Downs in May, and in her most recent start was third to Happy Ticket in the Elge Raspberry.

Shes Dixies Eskimo has made just one start on turf, finishing sixth in a conditioned allowance in her first start against winners. Samuel Breaux trains Shes Dixies Eskimo for John Luck.