07/19/2011 3:45PM

Louisiana Downs: Calhoun has newcomers spotted

Alexander Barkoff
Snug, with Gerard Melancon up, wins the 2010 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic.

Snug and Local are among the top Louisiana-breds in training, and both went through a dispersal auction last week. Carl Moore purchased the horses from the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable consignment at Fasig-Tipton, and has sent them to his longtime trainer, Bret Calhoun. The pair will be pointed to next month’s Louisiana Cup program at Louisiana Downs

“Both are in my barn in Kentucky, and they’ll stay here until this next Louisiana Champions Day,” Calhoun said of the statebred stakes program Aug. 20. “There are races for both of them that day.”

Snug, a five-time stakes winner who has earned $627,520, brought a bid of $70,000 from the North Texas-based Moore, who races Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champ Chamberlain Bridge. Snug is being pointed for the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic, a race he won in 2010. In more recent times, the gelding, who is 6, was second to reigning Louisiana-bred of the year Star Guitar in the $200,000 Premiere Night Championship at Delta Downs in February.

“He’s an old warrior,” Calhoun said of Snug. “We love that kind. Carl loves that kind. I do, too. He’s just tough every time. Hopefully, he has a couple of more years in him.”

Snug, who has won 9 of 35 starts while placing in 16 stakes, had been trained up to this point by Jim Hudson, who has long been affiliated with Heiligbrodt Racing Stable. Hudson had also been training Local, an up-and-coming 4-year-old filly who brought $72,000 at the auction. Her siblings include Willist, a three-time stakes winner of $427,598; War’s Prospect, a five-time stakes winner of $335,568; and Bullet Breeze, a Group 3 winner. Local is being pointed for the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.

“She’s won the last two Louisiana-bred stakes going long on turf at Louisiana Downs and on dirt at Evangeline,” Calhoun said. “She’s versatile and she looks like she fits in that group very well. Come this late summer and into the fall and winter, there are opportunities for her at Louisiana Downs and Fair Grounds and Delta. Hopefully, she’ll keep running like she’s running and win a few of those races.”

Moore’s other notable Louisiana-breds include Speedacious, winner of the $100,000 Satin N Lace for fillies and mares at 5 1/2 furlongs at Presque Isle in her last start June 21. She likely will not ship in for Louisiana Cup Day, according to Calhoun.

“She’ll stay in Kentucky right now,” he said. “We’ll keep her out of the heat as long as we can and save her for Fair Grounds. I’m not saying we won’t run down there. But we’ll probably keep her out of the heat.”

Calhoun has a division of horses at Louisiana Downs, and has been even more active in the entries this past week with the recent conclusion of the Lone Star meet. He won the training title with a 41 percent strike rate, and currently still has some horses at the Grand Prairie, Texas, track that has remained open for training since its meet ended July 10.

“We are shipping quite a few back and forth every week right now to run,” said Calhoun.

Broberg juvenile a player in allowance

Karl Broberg, who finished second to Calhoun in the Lone Star trainer standings, has top contender Willowy Danseur in the first race Thursday at Louisiana Downs. The allowance sprint for 2-year-olds is one of three high-end offerings on the program. Aide, who is multiple stakes-placed, will make her turf debut in the featured eighth race, a $25,000 optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares, while North of Alaska leads a first-level allowance turf sprint that goes as the sixth Thursday.

Willowy Danseur was a maiden winner at Lone Star in his last start May 28. He was also one of 36 winners that Broberg, a resident of North Texas, had at Lone Star. The strong meet helped Broberg maintain his standing as North America’s fourth-leading trainer in wins this year, with 142 through Tuesday.

“We’ve got a great team,” said Broberg, an owner turned trainer who saddled his first winner in November 2009. “We’ve got a lot of owners that like to win races, and we just try to enter them where we fit. [Lone Star] is in our backyard, and we tried to come with the best that we could.”

Broberg, who has a 15-horse division at Louisiana Downs, is splitting up his recent Lone Star runners between the Bossier City track, his operation at Evangeline Downs, and the upcoming meet at Remington Park. His top horses this summer have included Joy’s Paradise, a stakes winner earlier this month who is being pointed for the $50,000 Matron at Evangeline on Saturday.