07/03/2012 2:21PM

Louisiana Downs notes: Amanecer de Oro’s plans call for more sprinting

Lou Hodges Jr.
Amanecer de Oro is being pointed to the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint at Louisiana Downs.

Amanecer de Oro is a stakes winner at one turn and two and on dirt and turf, but after firing one of the best races of his career last Saturday night in the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Sprint at Evangeline Downs, his immediate schedule will comprise main-track sprints in the region, trainer Steven Duke said.

First up for Amanecer de Oro will be the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint at his home base of Louisiana Downs on Aug. 18. From there, long-term goals are the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup in Oklahoma City on Sept. 30 and a defense of the horse’s title in the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint at Fair Grounds, Duke said.

“He seems to want to sprint, so I guess that’s what we’re going to let him do,” said Duke, who trains Amanecer de Oro for Northpointe Thoroughbreds. “He’s maturing a little bit now, not trying to kill himself early. He’s a little more rateable.”

Amanecer de Oro picked up the third stakes win of his career in the Louisiana Legends Sprint, dominating by 4 1/4 lengths. He covered 5 1/2 furlongs in a sharp 1:03.40, to earn one of the best Beyer Speed Figures of his career, a 91.

“I wish I could bottle that up and keep that race,” Duke said.

In addition to Amanecer de Oro, Duke could have two other starters on the Louisiana Cup program. He has a pair of 2-year-olds under consideration for the card, with Dreamglider a candidate for the $50,000 Juvenile Fillies and Illusive Halo eligible for the $50,000 Juvenile.

Little Ms Protocol eyes La. Cup

Little Ms Protocol, who won the fourth stakes race of her career last Saturday night, is now being pointed to the Louisiana Cup program at Louisiana Downs, trainer Patrick Devereux Jr. said. He said she will target the $75,000 Oaks at 1 1/16 miles Aug. 18.

Little Ms Protocol will be coming off arguably the best race of her career, a 1 1/4-length win in the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Mile for 3-year-old fillies at Evangeline Downs. She tracked the pace and rallied to earn her best Beyer, an 87.

“She’s fun,” said Devereux, who trains Little Ms Protocol for Coteau Grove Farms. “She looks like she’s going to line herself up to be good enough to compete with the older mares this fall.”

Following the Oaks, the Louisiana-bred stakes options for Little Ms Protocol will include the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies, a race for fillies and mares at Fair Grounds.

Another stakes winner for Devereux, Harlie’s Dreams, also is pointing to the Louisiana Cup program. Devereux said a decision has not yet been made as to whether she would run in the $100,000 Distaff at 1 1/16 miles on turf or the $60,000 Filly and Mare Sprint.

“I don’t know whether she’ll go long or short,” he said. “She ran a great race [sprinting] at Oaklawn.”

Devereux noted that Harlie’s Dreams was second at Oaklawn to Mega Dream, who came back in her next start and won the $75,000 Great Lady M at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Devereux also could have one or two 2-year-old starters on the Louisiana Cup program, depending on their development.

Ad On First tries turf in sprint

Ad On First, a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Get in Da House, tries turf off a nine-length allowance sprint win in Thursday’s second race at Louisiana Downs. The optional $17,500 claimer at about five furlongs on turf carries second-level allowance conditions.

Ad On First is by Lydgate, who is getting 21 percent debut turf winners from a limited sample and 18 percent winners overall on the grass. Ad On First is a half-brother to two horses who have won four races each on turf, Tommy’s Turn and Louisiana Song. Mark Guidry has the mount for trainer Pat Mouton.