09/08/2011 3:14PM

Louisiana Downs: Category Seven hopes third time's the charm in River Cities

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Lou Hodges Jr.
Category Seven, defeating males in the Shiskabob at Louisiana Downs last year, will make her third attempt to win the River Cities for the first time on Saturday.

BOSSIER CITY, La.– There are few turf stakes at Louisiana Downs that have eluded Category Seven. She has compiled a 5-for-9 record over the local course, and even defeated males in a stakes last season.

But success in the River Cites, a $100,000 turf race for fillies and mares at Louisiana Downs, has been hard to come by for Category Seven. She has finished second in the race the last two years, a trend her trainer, Kenneth Hargrave, hopes to reverse Saturday.

“It might be payback,” he quipped. “It might be our time.”

The River Cities is the final leg of an all-stakes, $100,000 guaranteed pick four that runs from races 9-12 on the Super Derby card at Louisiana Downs. There are six stakes in all Saturday, and their cumulative worth of $1 million makes the program of the richest of the meet that runs to Sept. 25.

Category Seven is back racing with fillies and mares after finishing fourth as the favorite in the $50,000 Barksdale at Louisiana Downs. She made a middle move against her male rivals in the Aug. 6 race, and Hargrave felt the premature run cost her the win.

“If she sits back and does the right move, she’s hard to beat,” he said.

Category Seven, who races for James Perron, will break from post 5 under the meet’s leading rider, Richard Eramia. She will be seeking her first River Cities score and her sixth local turf win Saturday.

“She loves that turf course,” Hargrave said of Louisiana Downs. “And she tends to like to run from her own house, from her own home.”

She’s All In was also favored against males in her last start, when fourth in the $50,000 Red Earth at Remington Park on Aug. 19. The race was her first since May.

“She had a rest this summer, was turned out for a little while,” said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains She’s All In. “I thought she ran well her first race back. It’s something we can build on.”

Ramon Dominguez has the mount in the River Cities.

Calhoun 2-year-olds in Sunday Silence, Happy Ticket

Trainer Bret Calhoun has capable runners in both of the stakes for 2-year-olds Saturday. He will send out Easton Jack in the $150,000 Sunday Silence and the undefeated Exchanted in the $100,000 Happy Ticket. Both races will be run over a mile on turf.

Easton Jack was second by a half-length in the local prep, the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo on Aug. 6. He closed from eighth, and can be closer to the pace Saturday as he was a wire-to-wire winner of a maiden special weight turf route in July.

“He completely missed the break last time, and had traffic problems after that,” said Calhoun. “I really felt like it cost him the race.”

Easton Jack’s chief rivals include Sunny’s Halo winner Tequila Factor, and $100,000 Lafayette Stakes winner Indian Assault.

Exchanted won the Happy Ticket prep, the $50,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial, on Aug. 6, but will have to overcome post 10 on Saturday to improve her record to 3 for 3.

“That was a tough draw,” Calhoun said. “It kind of forces your hand.”

Her top opponents include Little Miss Protocol, winner of the $50,000 Princess earlier in the meet at Louisiana Downs.

Mott shipper in Unbridled

Trainer Bill Mott, who won the $100,000 Unbridled back in 2007 with Go Between has returned with another top contender for Saturday’s running of the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.

Mystic could go favored off his win in the $85,000 West Virginia Delgates Speaker’s Cup at Mountaineer Racetrack on Aug. 6. He closed fast to win the one-mile and 70-yard turf race and the Beyer Figure of 93 that he earned is the best-last race number in the field for the Unbridled.

Mystic is also appealing for his versatility, as his four career wins have come on four different turf courses. Jose Lezcano, who is in town to ride Meistersinger in the Super Derby, has the mount on Mystic for Sequoia Racing. Ramon Dominguez will ride Lonesome Street, who became a stakes winner two starts ago in the $105,000 Shelby County Boys and Girls Club. Mike Maker trains the horse for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. Lonesome Street invades from Kentucky, as does Golden Yank, who is making his second start since April. In his comeback Sept. 2, he was third in a wide open allowance at Hoosier Park.

“He was in trouble the whole way, didn’t get to run much,” said trainer Gary Thomas, who has given the mount to Rafael Bejarano.

◗ Southern Style and Tidal Volume will both be seeking their fourth consecutive wins when they meet in the $50,000 Temperence Hill for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs.