07/10/2007 11:00PM

Juveniles have a go on grass


BOSSIER CITY, La. - The first major engagements of the season for 2-year-olds on the grass at Louisiana Downs are scheduled for Saturday, with the Princess Stakes for fillies and the Minstrel Stakes for colts and geldings.

Those two $50,000 five-furlong races for juveniles join the inaugural runnings of the $125,000 Hallowed Dreams Breeders' Cup for filly and mare sprinters and the $125,000 Tiznow Breeders' Cup Handicap at 1o1/16 miles over the main track on a stakes-rich program.

"Scheduled" is the operative word these days in relation to turf racing, as the rain that has plagued the area in recent weeks - causing the cancellation of last Friday's entire program - has made racing on the turf course the exception rather than the rule.

The weather has moderated this week, and the forecast for the weekend called for only a 30 percent chance of showers.

The Princess brings together seven fillies, only one of whom has won on the grass. Gone Dixie, trained by Morris Nicks, won at first asking here on May 25 going Saturday's five-furlong distance on the local turf. She will be joined by Arlington Park invader American Prize, who is trained by Steve Asmussen, as well as Top Story, impressive winner in her debut over a sloppy strip in early June.

In the Minstrel, Asmussen will send out Galiano. A son of Vindication, he won his only start by an expanding four lengths at Lone Star.

Others in the Minstrel include the Ronny Werner-trained Preachin Man. Werner will be putting the blinkers on Preachin Man for the first time following a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week.

The one to catch in the Hallowed Dreams will be True Tails. Hailing from the barn of leading trainer Jorge Lara, the 5-year-old True Tails won the Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn Park earlier this year. She most recently finished a tiring fourth in the $100,000 Valid Expectations at Lone Star in late May over a sloppy strip she did not appear to care for.

Those taking up the chase in the Hallowed Dreams include the Valid Expectations winner Cintarosa as well as the runner-up Moroccan Rose.

The starting highweight in the Tiznow will be Silent Pleasure, a solid second-place finisher in the Grade 2 Cornhusker Stakes at Prairie Meadows on June 30. Trained by Howard Scarberry, Silent Pleasure is a four-time stakes winner this year at three different tracks, including at Lone Star in the Grade 3 Texas Mile in late April.