05/19/2005 12:00AM

Lincoln: Lukfata Louis formidable


Lukfata Louis, Fonner Park's champion sprinter and horse of the year, will carry high weight of 123 pounds when he heads a strong cast in the $12,500 Speed Handicap at Nebraska State Fair Park in Lincoln.

Lukfata Louis, trained by Temple Rushton, won the Grasmick and Budweiser-Tondi handicaps at Fonner this spring as well as a sprint allowance, and should be well-backed in his comeback off a dismal showing in the 1 1/16-mile Bosselman-Gus Fonner Stakes. Lukfata Louis will have his regular rider, Don Frazier.

At least two other solid contenders will face Lukfata Louis. As De Oro is a half-mile specialist who should find the 4 1/2 furlongs of the Speed Handicap right up his alley, while Tonight Rainbow was the winner of this race in 2003 when he held off local legend Leaping Plum.

As De Oro, trained by Robert Roughton, made just two starts last year, but both were winning efforts at Blue Ribbon Downs in Oklahoma. He won the four-furlong Ozark Hill Handicap for the second straight year and then topped allowance company going 4 1/2 furlongs. Among his 13 career wins is the 2003 edition of the Tulsa Dash, a race that usually attracts top regional sprinters.

R.D. Williams will ride at 120 pounds.

Tonight Rainbow has not run back to his form of last year in three starts this year but bears watching. His 4-1-0 mark from 7 starts at the distance also places him squarely in the mix. Curtis Kimes will have the ride at 117 pounds.