12/29/2005 12:00AM

Hard to beat these two


Tortuga Flats left no doubt who was best in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Fillies. Nob Hill Deelite didn't wrap up the Champions Day Juvenile until the final yards. Both horses are back Saturday as the ones to beat in their respective divisions of the Louisiana Futurity.

, however, races a newcomer who may prove his equal, a Cole Norman-trained maiden winner named Cut Off Time. "I know he's a Louisiana-bred, but he seems like a pretty nice horse," Norman said last week when asked about his more promising 2-year-olds of 2005.

, a $97,000 yearling purchase by Gilded Time, won his debut Dec. 8 at Louisiana Downs, and won it with authority. Fifth at the first call, Cut Off Time seized the lead on the far turn and drew away in the stretch, winning by almost seven lengths. He cedes experience to his six rivals in the colts and geldings division of the futurity, but has drawn the outside post, a good spot in a sprint for a horse who lacks experience.

Nob Hill Deelite won the Champions Day Juvenile by a neck, but trainer Pat Mouton said he believes his horse was clearly best on the day. "He got in a pinch at the quarter pole, and I think he should have won that race more handily," Mouton said. "In the stretch, I didn't know if he was going to get there."

Nob Hill Deelite wheels back on three weeks' rest, but Mouton said his horse had come out of his stakes win in good shape. "He wouldn't be in there if he wasn't doing good," he said.

, on Champions Day, and the other, Hottamolly, while a fine maiden winner in her career debut, would need to move far forward to beat the favorite.