09/12/2007 11:00PM

Looking like nine or 10 for Super Derby

EmailThe field for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby next week at Louisiana Downs was just starting to take shape on Friday morning, with the highest-profile starter expected to be Grasshopper, runner-up to Street Sense in the Grade 1 Travers. Entries for the Super Derby, the richest race of five stakes to be run here Sept. 22, will be taken on Wednesday.

"I'm hoping for a field of 9 or 10," said Doug Bredar, racing secretary at Louisiana Downs.

Bredar said that in addition to Grasshopper, some of the other early possibilities for the race as of Friday morning were Beta Capo, Cajun Conquest, Forty Acres, Going Ballistic, Leonnatus Anteas, Past the Point, Point Gold, Strong City, and Tortuga Straits.

"There are others that are still looking," added Bredar.

Grasshopper finished a half-length behind Street Sense in the Travers and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 107, the highest last-race number among the early possibles for the Super Derby. He is trained by Neil Howard and was ridden in the Travers by Robby Albarado, who won the Super Derby last year aboard Strong Contender.

Past the Point will get his fair share of support if he goes. A maiden winner at Churchill Downs, he made his stakes debut last out in the $82,000 Lemon Drop Kid, a restricted 1 1/8-mile race at Saratoga on Aug. 5, and finished second to Loose Leaf. Since the race, Past the Point has worked six furlongs in a sharp 1:11 on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga on Tuesday. Eoin Harty trains the horse for Darley Stable.

Forty Acres, Beta Capo, Strong City, Cajun Conquest, and Point Gold all exit the $100,000 Prelude, the local Super Derby prep, which Forty Acres won to earn a fees-paid berth into the race.

The Super Derby will share a card with four turf stakes, each worth $200,000. A flight from California bringing horses for the stakes will arrive in Shreveport on Tuesday, according to an official with Tex Sutton Forwarding Co. A second flight, from New York via Louisville, Ky., is due Wednesday.

* Punchmeoutabuck, an eight-time winner, has an experience edge over her chief rivals Saturday in the featured ninth race, a $20,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares bred in Louisiana.