07/28/2010 4:04PM

Lone Star arrivals boost Louisiana Downs feature


BOSSIER city, La. – A competitive third-level allowance/optional claimer for fillies and mares tops the menu on Friday afternoon at Louisiana Downs with a variety of betting options available to the public. The mile and 70-yard affair on the main track drew a field of seven and goes as the third race of the afternoon.

Jill Marie and Diva d’Oro, both winners at the recently concluded Lone Star Park meeting near Dallas, both promise to inject some interesting new blood into the often-anemic upper realm of the local allowance ranks. Without them, it is unlikely that such a high-level conditioned affair would have attracted a sufficient number of entries to have allowed the race to be carded. Lone Star immigrants have helped bolster numbers at the entry box the last week and promise to continue to do so until another track in the region, Remington Park in Oklahoma City, opens Aug. 19.

Diva d’Oro could be controlling speed in Friday’s headliner following a gate-to-wire win for a $25,000 claiming price at Lone Star July 2. That start was the first for Diva d’Oro, a 4-year-old daughter of the popular sire Medaglia d’Oro, since a tiring fifth-place performance after setting the pace in the Houston Distaff at Sam Houston Race Park in late March. That defeat snapped a four-race win string by Diva d’Oro dating back to her maiden win at Retama last October. Trainer Danny Pish will make a rare appearance at Louisiana Downs and will give rider Chris Landeros a leg up.

Jill Marie comes into Friday’s headliner off a third-place finish in a $30,000 open allowance at Lone Star on June 26. Before that start, the Karl Broberg trainee won a third-level allowance at that Dallas oval with a furious rally from off the pace. Two-time defending riding champ Don Simington will replace Landeros in the saddle. Landeros had ridden Jill Marie in each of her last three starts.

The locals in Friday’s feature are as equally diverse as their Lone Star counterparts, with different running styles and varying degrees of class exposure.

Stormin Suzy comes in off a second-place performance for the same conditions as Friday’s race, although the distance was decidedly different at five furlongs. Epiphanyfortiffany narrowly missed at a mile and 70 yards in her last start, but that effort came for a “one other than” condition. The Rumor’s True will be making her first start outside the stakes ranks since winning her maiden race here almost exactly a year ago on July 31, 2009. Included in her 10 starts since are victories against open company in the Happy Ticket Stakes here last September and a win in the Louisiana Futurity against fellow Louisiana-breds.