08/22/2005 11:00PM

Happy Ticket's plane ticket


Shreveport to Albany. That was the flight Happy Ticket was to be on Wednesday morning to travel from her Louisiana Downs base to Saratoga Race Course to run in the Grade 1, $250,000 Ballerina on Sunday.

"Everything is all scheduled for go," Andrew Leggio, who trains Happy Ticket, said on Tuesday.

Leggio said that Happy Ticket's flight, which was to originate in California, was to stop in Shreveport and pick her up at about 9 a.m. Central. From there, the plane will stop in Kentucky, then head to Albany, N.Y.

The Ballerina has long been the goal for Grade 3 winner Happy Ticket, a Louisiana-bred bolt of lightning who has won 9 of 10 career starts. She last raced on July 10, finishing a troubled second to Madcap Escapade in the Grade 2, $500,000 Princess Rooney at Calder Race Course.

Since then, Happy Ticket shows a series of strong five-furlong works at Louisiana Downs, her latest coming last Thursday, when she breezed the distance in 1:00.60.

"That was her last major work for the trip," said Leggio. "She'll get over there, gallop two days, and run on Sunday."

Happy Ticket has won races from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, and Leggio loves the Ballerina distance.

"I think the seven furlongs will be right up her alley," he said.

John Velazquez has the mount for owner-breeder Stewart Madison. Happy Ticket will be the first Saratoga starter for Leggio, who comes up to the race hot, with three wins from three starters Sunday at Louisiana Downs.

All three of those winners were owned or co-owned by Glen Warren. Leggio also trains the comebacking sprinter Ole Rebel for Warren. The horse has recently resumed training after time off, and is expected to return to action at Fair Grounds, said Warren. Ole Rebel won that track's Thanksgiving Handicap last year, and is a three-time stakes winner at Louisiana Downs.

Beau's Town back with Norman soon

Another comebacking sprinter, Beau's Town, has not raced since finishing third to Ole Rebel in the Thanksgiving last November. He is expected to return to the barn of trainer Cole Norman as early as next week, said the horse's owner, Dave Hulkewicz.

"He's been training on the farm over a month," said Hulkewicz.

Hulkewicz was in Southern California on Tuesday morning, and said that when he returns to his Texas home on Friday he will start making plans for Beau's Town.

Beau's Town, a 7-year-old gelding, has won eight stakes and $611,930. Hulkewicz has said he is looking for a fall or winter comeback for the horse. Until then, Hulkewicz will be occupied rooting for Kat Nan Do, a 2-year-old filly by Formal Gold that his wife, Kathy, owns in partnership with Nancy Basnett.

Kat Nan Do was second in her debut in a maiden race at Louisiana Downs on July 29.

"She was left at the start, was five wide around the turn, and was beat a head," said Hulkewicz. "She's going to be a nice filly."

Hulkewicz said Kat Nan Do, who is trained by Norman, will be considered for the $50,000 Princess at Louisiana Downs on Sunday.

Two turns for One West

One West, who was an impressive debut winner this spring at Oaklawn Park, will make the move to two turns for the first time Thursday in the featured ninth race. The optional claiming allowance at one mile and 70 yards drew a competitive field of eight fillies and mares, including Casting Pearls and Sudith.

One West was fourth last out in a 6 1/2-furlong entry-level allowance in which she encountered traffic trouble. She is bred to like the added ground that she will pick up on Thursday. One West is a daughter of Gone West, and her stakes-winning dam, Catnip, is a half-sister to Editor's Note, winner of the Belmont Stakes and Super Derby.

Lonnie Meche has the mount on One West for Norman. The 4-year-old filly races for Courtlandt Farms.

Casting Pearls also won her debut at Oaklawn this spring, and she, too, was impressive. In a 1 1/16-mile maiden race, she led throughout for a 4 1/4-length win for trainer Steve Asmussen. She returns to dirt Thursday after trying turf in her last start. Carlos Gonzalez has the mount aboard the filly, a 3-year-old daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus who races for Padua Stables.

* There will be no turf racing from Thursday through Sunday because of scheduled maintenance of the course. Turf racing will be back Sept. 1.