09/11/2007 12:00AM

Leonnatus Anteas may go to Super Derby

EmailLeonnatus Anteas, the champion 2-year-old last year in Canada, could make his first start outside of his home country next weekend at Louisiana Downs. He is being seriously considered for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby on Sept. 22, according to his trainer, Kevin Attard.

"We're looking at it," Attard said Tuesday. "We haven't confirmed it yet, but it's looking like a strong possibility. I've got a meeting with the owners tomorrow, and we're going to discuss it."

Attard has been searching out travel options to get Leonnatus Anteas, who races for Knob Hill Stable and the Estate of Steve Stavro, from Woodbine, near Toronto, to Bossier City, La. He said his first choice would be a flight from Canada. His other option is to van to New York and catch a scheduled Tex Sutton flight on Tuesday.

"If I can fly directly out of Toronto, then that's what we would probably do," said Attard.

Leonnatus Anteas won all three of his starts as a 2-year-old, including the $294,000 Coronation Futurity at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Super Derby. He has raced three times this year, with his last two starts coming on turf. Leonnatus Anteas won an $80,000 optional claimer on Aug. 5 that sent him to post as the favorite in the Grade 2 Play the King on Aug.o25. He finished fifth, beaten 3o3/4 lengths.

"Last time he ran, it rained hard, and I think the turf got a little slick and he just couldn't really handle it," said Attard. "So, we're bringing him back onto dirt."

The Super Derby would be only the second stakes appearance at 3 by Leonnatus Anteas.

"We had some setbacks earlier in the year," said Attard. "He was kind of getting geared up for the Queen's Plate, our biggest race here in Canada, and we had to scratch him 48 hours prior to the race because of an infection in his pastern. So that was disappointing, and we kind of had to miss some time and regroup. We're kind of getting a late go to our 3-year-old campaign, but I think the timing seems right now."

Jono Jones, the regular rider on Leonnatus Anteas, would have the mount in the Super Derby.

Others under consideration for the race include Grasshopper, who would go off as the favorite following his runner-up finish to Street Sense in the Grade 1 Travers, and Going Ballistic, who in his last start was third in the Grade 1 Secretariat.

Forty Acres, winner of the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs, is probable for the Super Derby. His regular rider, Carlos Gonzalez, is the subject of a bobblehead giveaway at Louisiana Downs on Friday. The giveaway is one of several happenings heading into the Super Derby. Before the card on Thursday, a proclamation from Bossier City mayor Lorenz Walker will kick off the 28th annual Super Derby Festival, consisting of several charity events leading up to the race.

Smitty's Sunshine eyes Churchill

Smitty's Sunshine, who has won 6 of her last 7 starts, is being freshened and pointed for a fall return at Churchill Downs, said her trainer, Morris Nicks.

"She's getting a little break right now," he said.

Nicks said Smitty's Sunshine would be pointed for the $100,000 Mariah's Storm, a race she won last year when it was called the Pent Up Kiss. The Mariah's Storm is for fillies and mares at five furlongs on turf Nov. 18.

Smitty's Sunshine last raced on Aug. 11, finishing third as the favorite in the $250,000 Distaff Turf Sprint Championship at Calder. Prior to that race, she won six consecutive starts, five of them in stakes. Smitty's Sunshine is a Louisiana-bred daughter of Seeking a Home.

Plans for Tensas Yucatan, another Louisiana-bred turf stakes winner for Nicks, have not been determined. Nicks said she has been nominated to the $200,000 Marie P. DeBartolo Oaks at Louisiana Downs on Sept.o22. Tensas Yucatan made her turf debut last out, winning the $57,000 Elge Rasberry.

Who's Zary Now tops feature

Thursday's featured ninth race is a $20,000 optional claimer for Louisiana-breds at seven furlongs, with Who's Zary Now likely to go favored off a six-length romp over open company at Evangeline Downs on Aug. 2. For his effort, he earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 87, which is also the highest last-race number in the field Thursday.

In an oddity on Thursday's card, Neveless will be shooting for her fourth straight win in a nonwinners-of-three-lifetime turf route that goes as the eighth. She is eligible because one of her wins came in a July 22 race that was declared no contest. Neveless is officially credited with two career wins, and as a result fits the conditions of the $15,000 claimer Thursday.