08/18/2008 11:00PM

Locals punch tickets for Super Derby


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Louisiana produced a handful of potential starters for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby last week, and not all of them are coming out of the $100,000 Prelude Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs that was won in a three-way photo by Star Production.

Ide Like a Double set a track record Saturday night at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., when he won the $200,000 Evangeline Mile over older horses in a time of 1:36.28. For the effort, he earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102.

"We're looking at the Super Derby," said Murray Valene, Ide Like a Double's owner.

Ide Like a Double, trained by B.J. Gilbert, was the second horse to come out of the $100,000 Louisiana Breeders' Derby at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 2 and win a stakes Saturday. The other was Star Production, who won the race with a Beyer of 102, then fought for a nose win in the Prelude and was assigned a Beyer of 90. With the win, Star Production earned a fees-paid berth into the Super Derby. The 1 1/8-mile race will be run at his home track of Louisiana Downs on Sept. 20.

"Right now, that's our plans," said James Hodges, who trains Star Production for Bill Boorhem and will monitor how the field takes shape. "He hasn't run these kind of races up until now. This horse has never really run but two bad races, but he hadn't run these big races, either.

"I told Mr. Bill when I put him in the Prelude, him and me are both old. I'm 71 and he's 86, and this is the best 3-year-old that we've ever had together. So, we don't have time, probably, to get another one."

Star Production would be the first Super Derby starter for Hodges.

Numismatist was second in the Prelude and he could attempt to give Kindred Thoroughbreds and trainer Donnie Von Hemel their second straight win in the Super Derby. They took the race last year with Going Ballistic and will see how this year's race comes together before making a decision on Numismatist.

"We'll take a look at the Super Derby and see what becomes of that race," Von Hemel said. "We also have the Prairie Meadows Derby about the same time, so we'll just have to see what happens."

The $75,000 Prairie Meadows Derby, at 1 1/16 miles, is Sept. 20.

Golden Yank was third in the Prelude, beaten two noses after closing from next to last into a slow pace. Trainer Gary Thomas said next-race plans have not been made for the horse, but did not rule out a start in the Super Derby.

"It's still in the thoughts," he said Tuesday.

Another potential Super Derby starter is Hi Ho Cheerio. He remained undefeated in two starts last week, with a good-looking win in a first-level allowance at Louisiana Downs. Hi Ho Cheerio had won his career debut at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf July 4, then came back and beat older horses at a mile on turf last week, to earn a Beyer of 84.

Hi Ho Cheerio, by Alphabet Soup and a half-brother to Chit Chat Pam, a multiple stakes winner on dirt, ended up launching his career on turf because it was a chance to get him two turns, trainer Bob Young said.

"Distance is not a problem," he said. "I was hoping that it would rain the other day. I was hoping that they'd take it off the turf, so I could get a look at him on dirt to help make the decision later.

"He trains exceptionally well on the dirt, but you don't know. You don't know how they'll react if they get dirt in their face; so many things can happen. He's nominated to the Super Derby. We're here, the race is here. I just have to wait and see how he comes along and see if he belongs in there."

Young said the other option would be to keep Hi Ho Cheerio on turf for the $100,000 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame at Retama on Oct. 4.

Real Appeal eyes Super Derby

Real Appeal, who in July won the $75,000 Alysheba at Lone Star Park over Numismatist, is a possible for the Super Derby, trainer Tom Amoss said. In his most recent start, the horse closed strongly for third in the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 2.

"We'll see how it shapes up and make a decision when the time comes," Amoss said of a Super Derby start with Real Appeal.

Auditioning for the Elge Raspberry

Mz. Myrtle could get a shot at stakes company based on how she performs in the eighth race Thursday. The optional claimer for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares at a mile on turf is one of four high-end races on the card. Mz. Myrtle comes into the race off a third-place finish in a first-level allowance at seven furlongs Aug. 7.

"She's never been on the grass, but we're going to give her a chance," trainer Pat Mouton said. "She should like it. Most Alphabet Soups handle it pretty good. So, we'll give her a try."

The race could serve as Mz. Myrtle's springboard to the $150,000 Elge Raspberry, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana.

* Louisiana Downs handled a meet-best $3,057,214 on its card Saturday.