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Updated on 09/18/2011 12:01AM
Indigo Girl back home for Tellike
Indigo Girl, back at her home track after an experiment on turf at Lone Star Park, should be heavily favored to return to her winning ways in Saturday night's $75,000 Tellike Stakes at Evangeline Downs.
The six-furlong sprint on dirt drew a field of seven and will be the ninth of 10 races.
As if trying a new surface for the first time was not enough to overcome, suffered insurmountable traffic trouble at Lone Star in the $75,000 Irving Distaff on April 15. A 4-year-old filly trained by Sam Breaux, Indigo Girl should be far more comfortable with a return to the oval where she is 4-1-1 from 6 starts, including wins in the Goddess Stakes this year and the Hallowed Dreams and the Louisiana HBPA stakes in 2005.
, the upset winner of the $50,000 Richland Stakes over the Lone Star main track in her last start, will ship in for her local debut. She finished second in the Rainbow Miss Stakes against fellow Arkansas-breds on April 2 before just missing in allowance company at Will Rogers Downs three weeks later. Rachelsarompin drew well in post 1 to utilize her good early speed.
, the winner of 3 of 5 starts this year after being claimed by trainer Pat Mouton for $10,000 in late December, will be making her stakes debut. In her most recent start, she won an optional claimer by two lengths on May 12.
Prairie Meadows: 'Wild West' back to defend
Defending champion Wild Wild West heads a field of six Iowa-bred geldings in the $65,000 John Wayne Stakes at Prairie Meadows.
Wild Wild West went winless in four starts following last year's John Wayne victory before snapping back to form by scoring a 1 3/4-length victory after an extended pace duel on April 22 in a six-furlong allowance against statebreds. Kelly Von Hemel trains the 5-year-old Wild Wild West, who has a record of 7-5-0 from 14 starts at six furlongs.
Terry Thompson has a return call on Wild Wild West, who figures to be on the pace.
The undefeated B B Wolf looks dangerous for his co-owner, breeder, and trainer Terrell Hemmer. B B Wolf didn't begin his career until Sept. 5 of last year as a 4-year-old, when he scored an easy 4 1/2-length, gate-to-wire victory over statebreds. He has since scored two more open-length, gate-to-wire wins at Prairie Meadows, including his most recent start, when he defeated second-level allowance rivals on April 28 by 4 1/4 lengths. B B Wolf has never trailed a horse at any call in his three starts. Glenn Corbett, the meet's leading rider who has ridden B B Wolf in all of his starts, has a return call.
If Wild Wild West and B B Wolf get involved in a speed duel, stretch-running Take Me Up could be the main beneficiary. Take Me Up won this race in both 2003 and 2004 and has career earnings of more than $512,000. Take Me Up hasn't won a race in 10 starts in 2005-06. He makes his first start in trainer Paul Pearson's care in more than 18 months on Saturday.
- Dave Basler
River Downs: Which surface for Tomboy?
As is often the case when the Tomboy Stakes is run each spring at River Downs, the weather will play a role in who runs well and who doesn't.
The $50,000 Tomboy is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the turf, but has often been moved to the main track due to wet conditions. None of the 12 Ohio-bred 3-year-old fillies entered in the Tomboy has tried the turf, so it remains to be seen whether established dirt form or perceived turf ability will be the most useful handicapping tool.
The probable favorite regardless of surface is Money Card, a dominant winner of 2 of her last 3 starts, including an 8 1/2-length triumph in the Royal North Stakes at Beulah Park last month. Money Card, who last out won an Ohio-bred allowance at Thistledown by 5 1/2 lengths, is out of a mare by Red Ransom, which suggests she may take to the turf if necessary.
Fight Girl, a stakes-placed filly who has won both her starts at River Downs this meet, figures to be a stronger player should the Tomboy be switched to dirt. The same also goes for Tommeyesgold and Sybles Angel, one-two finishers in the Glacial Princess Stakes at Beulah last fall.
Should the Tomboy remain on the turf, the longshot Sarah Jane merits a look. She has by far the best turf pedigree in the field, being a daughter of Eclipse turf champion Northern Spur out of a mare by the European star Lear Fan.
- Vance Hanson
Louisiana Downs: Four turf races
Turf is the theme at Louisiana Downs, where four allowance or optional claiming races on the grass highlight a 10-race card. The scheduled feature, the $50,000 Acadia, did not attract enough entries and has been rescheduled for Sunday.
In its place are the turf races, beginning with the third race, an optional claimer at about 1 1/16 miles. Tromp should get considerable support as he returns to the Louisiana Downs grass course, where he has registered 2 of his 3 career wins.
Others of interest in the field include Erroneous I D, a class horse making his first start since last June, and Biloxi Breeze.
Magic Streak returns to her favorite course in the fifth, an entry-level allowance for fillies and mares at about a mile.
In the seventh race, Smokey Diplomacy will start as a top choice in an optional claimer for fillies and mares at about a mile on turf. Thornhill, who gets back to turf for the first time in a while, is another contender.
The final turf race on the card is the ninth, an optional claimer over five furlongs on turf. Leading contenders include Britt's Jules, Ranger B., and Maytown.
- Mary Rampellini
Canterbury: Vazandar one to beat
Eight runners were entered in the 10,000 Lakes, a $40,000 race which serves as Canterbury Park's first stakes of the season for statebred males.
The six-furlong race features the return of Vazandar, a 5-year-old who raced at Tampa Bay Downs this past winter. Trained by Jamie Ness, Vazandar faced such horses as Sir Shackleton, Private Horde, and Purim in three starts at Tampa. Vazandar finished fourth against open company in the Shot of Gold Stakes at Canterbury on opening weekend, but should be favored in the 10,000 Lakes, a race he captured last season.
Canterbury Park chairman Curtis Sampson will be represented by his homebred Lt. Sampson, a 5-year-old grey gelding who defeated Vazandar two seasons back in the Victor S. Myers Jr. Stakes. Lt. Sampson was close to the pace before fading to last in the Shot of Gold two weeks ago and figures to improve in his second start of the season.
There isn't a great deal of early speed entered in the 10,000 Lakes, which suggests Careless Navigator could be a threat to lead from gate to wire. A winner of the Timeless Prince Stakes and Northern Lights Futurity two years ago, Careless Navigator did not make an impact in three starts last season, but the bullets dotting his recent work tab suggest trainer Vic Hanson has gotten the horse back to his best form.
Sir Tricky finished just behind Lt. Sampson and Vazandar in the Myers Stakes two years ago and has made only three starts since that appearance - none last season. Claimed from an optional claiming event at Oaklawn in his first start of the year, Sir Tricky avoided trouble when winning an allowance race that was marred by a three- horse spill on opening day.
- David M. Miller
Indiana Downs: Free Bonus seeks repeat
For the second straight week, Free Bonus is set to defend her title in the $40,000 Shelby County Stakes against six other Indiana-bred fillies and mares at Indiana Downs. The six-furlong Shelby County was one of eight races canceled last Saturday after heavy rain created poor track conditions.
Free Bonus went on a seven-race losing streak following her 2 1/2-length victory in this race last season. She returned to Indiana Downs on April 29 and scored a gate-to-wire, three-quarter-length victory over open allowance company at six furlongs.
David Norris trains Free Bonus, who is undefeated in three starts over the Indiana Downs main track and has recorded three solid works over the surface, including two bullet drills, since her last start. Joe Stokes picks up the mount aboard Free Bonus, the 123-pound highweight, who will concede from seven to 15 pounds to her rivals.
Overall, Free Bonus Sports a record of 7-0-1 from 17 career starts, good for $127,720 in earnings. Free Bonus will be coupled in the wagering with Moros Fantastic.
Slim Justice looms the main danger to Free Bonus. Slim Justice rallied to score a three-quarter-length victory over Indiana-bred allowance company on April 29 going 5 1/2 furlongs.
- Dave Basler
Lincoln: Tonight Rainbow in sharp form
Tonight Rainbow will ship in from his base at Will Rogers Downs as he tries to duplicate his 2003 win in the $15,000 Speed Handicap at the Lincoln State Fair.
Since his win three years ago, Tonight Rainbow has been a regular participant in the 4 1/2-furlong Speed Handicap. Last year he came up a neck short of Lukfata Louis in this race, but trainer Boyd Caster now has the 7-year-old Tonight Rainbow in the top form of his career.
Tonight Rainbow captured three stakes at Fonner Park this spring, stretching from a half-mile in the Grasmick, to six furlongs in the Tondi, and out to a route in the Dowd Mile. He came back in the 1 1/16-mile Bosselman/Gus Fonner and contested the pace before tiring to seventh on April 29. Regular rider Larren Delorme will once again be aboard under top weight of 123 pounds.
Trackem 'n' Wackem was third in last year's edition of this race and enters the Speed Handicap off a front-running win for a $15,000 tag at Fonner on April 22.
Crutcher, a steady performer in the mid-level claiming ranks at Lone Star and the Oklahoma tracks, comes off a pair of seconds, his latest in a second-level allowance at Will Rogers on March 31.
- Bill Hodtwalker