07/10/2007 11:00PM

Horse of the day for 7/12


Louisiana Downs - Race 5
About 1 Mile (Turf)
Maiden Claiming ($20,000-$15,000)
3-year-olds and upward
Purse $18,000.

ROYAL PEBBLES drops in for a tag after chasing a pair of next-out winners (Wild Rally came back to win at Arlington for trainer Tom Amoss with an 79 Beyer while Castle Berry Road returned to win maiden by 12 lengths on dirt with an 81). Of the seven horses that have run back from that May 26 maiden special weight, five have hit the board. Royal Pebbles raced three wide in midpack on the backstretch, and advanced four wide on the turn before fading in the stretch. The son of stakes-placed turfer Skipping Stone (18-1-3-6, $102,818) draws a tough outside post, and has been plagued by layoffs in his career, but seems like a nice fit at this level, and should be running hard late.
DAKOTA PRINCE was scratched by the Stewards on June 23, but the full brother to turf winner Dawasmi (20-4-3-1, $76,945 on grass, won at this meet for trainer Lloyd Romero) has some grass pedigree, and catches a weak bunch for his debut. At 30-1 on the morning line, he's worth an exotics chance although the far outside post position is no bargain. GOING STAG will make his first start for a tag on Thursday, and he showed improved speed switching back to the lawn last time. He may sit a nice trip just off projected pacesetter BLACK WIN R LOUSHE, and should appreciate the class relief. BUCKETS 'N' PANS is a half-brother to multiple dirt stakes-winner Thick As Thieves (56-15-11-7, $241,715, 0-1 on turf). He also drops in class, and should improve off his dull career debut.
LAYINMYBURDENSDOWN makes the important third start of the form cycle with solid Beyers on display, but he has no early speed, and may be compromised by the lack of a strong pace. The unraced sire is a half-brother to Grade 2 turf winner Mr. Bluebird, and the dam is a half-sibling to stakes-winner Right Code (92-21-12-15, $271,514. 5-22 on turf). APPEALING PROSPECT also has zero early zip, but a repeat of his most recent Beyer (on dirt) would put him in the picture. He has a smidgen of turf pedigree, and looms a stretch threat.

1. Royal Pebbles
2. Dakota Prince
3. Going Stag

The play: Royal Pebbles to win at 2-1 or more.