04/19/2007 12:00AM

Little separates John Henry contenders


It seems only fitting that Saturday night's lineup for the $50,000 John Henry Stakes at Evangeline Downs comprises 10 blue-collar runners. John Henry was a working-class hero himself, selling for only $1,100 as a yearling before earning a place in the Hall of Fame by winning 39 of 83 starts and more than $6.5 million. He scored his first stakes win in the 1977 Lafayette Futurity at the old Evangeline Downs.

The field for the one-mile John Henry is deep, and identifying a clear-cut favorite is difficult. Recognition invades from Turfway Park, where he comes off a hard-fought victory in the Dust Commander Stakes in mid-February. Trainer Jim Corrigan has given the call to leading rider Curt Bourque.

Fass Feat, unbeaten in four starts, including his first stakes tally in the $73,000 Bayou State Stakes at Delta Downs last out, heads up a strong quartet of statebreds in the field. That group also includes Liquid Silver, a game second in the $100,000 Lagniappe at Fair Grounds last month.

More Than Regal will represent the Steve Asmussen stable. He is coming off a third-place finish in the $197,000 Gulf Coast Classic at Delta on March 31. The 4-year-old More Than Regal finished third in the Grade 3 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn in early February. Asmussen has given the call to Donnie Meche.

Trainer Eddie Johnston will send out Pressed, the third-place finisher in this race a year ago. A mile specialist, he will be ridden by Marlon St. Julien.