05/10/2012 4:12PM

Louisiana Downs: Former Australian Silver Spur ships in for turf allowance


Silver Spur, who launched his career in Australia and last raced at Santa Anita, should start as a strong favorite Saturday in the fourth race at Louisiana Downs. The first-level allowance at a mile on turf is one of two high-end offerings on the card. The eighth race is an allowance turf route for Louisiana-breds that is designed to produce starters for the $50,000 John Franks Memorial on June 2.

Silver Spur, who has made the bulk of his starts in his native Australia, last raced at Santa Anita on March 10 and finished a close fourth in a first-level allowance. He rallied from eighth in the 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint, and the Beyer Speed Figure of 78 that he earned is the best last-race number in the field Saturday. Jamie Theriot has the mount on Silver Spur, who will be making his first start for owner Robert O. Johnson and trainer George Northrop Jr.

Silver Spur made five Southern California starts dating back to last October, and had been trained by Neil Drysdale during that period. He has had a chance to work at Louisiana Downs since arriving in Bossier City, going five-eighths from the gate in 1:02, the fourth-fastest of 21 works at the distance April 27. Silver Spur won his maiden in a 6 3/4-furlong race at Doomben in Australia.

String King, the winner of the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds in December, is among the leading contenders in the eighth, which will be run at a mile. Other stakes winners in the field are Wildrally, Heavenville, Lee’s Spirit, and Productive Envoy.