06/19/2012 4:04PM

Louisiana Downs notes: Warrior Maid going back to a sprint

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Alexander Barkoff
Warrior Maid, with Curt Bourque riding, wins the Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in 2010.

Warrior Maid is a stakes winner at two turns and capable on the grass, but she will be getting back to what she arguably does best Thursday when she returns to sprinting on the main track in the second race at Louisiana Downs.

The six-furlong allowance is for fillies and mares bred in Louisiana. The race is one of two high-end offerings on the card, which also includes an optional $25,000 claiming sprint for Louisiana-breds that drew stakes winners Tortuga Straits and Dreamsrunwild.

Warrior Maid enters Thursday's race off a two-turn turf allowance at Louisiana Downs on May 11. She finished fourth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths, with the runner-up from that race, Ladyzarbridge, returning in her next start to take the $50,000 Honeymoon at Louisiana Downs. As for Warrior Maid, she shows a nice set of works for the cutback in distance Thursday.

"She won the [Louisiana Cup] race here two years ago going three-quarters on the dirt, and she ran really well going five-eighths at Delta," said trainer Eric Heitzmann. "We'll see if she handles sprinting again. If she does well on Thursday, we'll probably run back on the following Saturday in a sprint stakes at Evangeline Downs."

The $100,000 Ladies Sprint at Evangeline is part of the Louisiana Legends program of statebred stakes June 30.

Warrior Maid has won three Louisiana-bred stakes for her breeder and owner, Russell Welch, her latest the $150,000 Premiere Night Distaff at a mile at Delta in February. Heitzmann said this could be the final year of racing for Warrior Maid, a 6-year-old by Holy Bull who overall has won 7 of 23 starts and $392,809.

"She's a warrior, her name suits her well," said Heitzmann.

Warrior Maid will break from the rail Thursday
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"I think she'll be close to [the pace] if not on it," said Heitzmann. "She shouldn't be too far off it. We've got a dynamite gate rider in Tracy Hebert."

In the fourth, the $25,000 optional claimer at six furlongs, Osidy Again will be seeking his fourth consecutive win. His streak began in March at Fair Grounds for Tommy Scott and trainer Sam Ishaq. His chief rivals include Tortuga Straits, making his second start since February, and Dreamsrunwild, who is getting back to the main track, site of his last win, following a pair of turf routes at Louisiana Downs.

Pair of $50K preps on Saturday

Louisiana Downs will have a stakes double for 2-year-olds Saturday with the running of the $50,000 Minstrel and the $50,000 Princess. Both races will be run at five furlongs on turf and are stepping-stones to the respective $150,000 Sunday Silence and $100,000 Happy Ticket on the Super Derby undercard Sept. 8.

Goldikova sibling wins at Lone Star

Ocean Seven, a 5-year-old half-brother to the now-retired superstar Goldikova, won a $15,000 starter allowance at a 1 5/16 miles on the dirt last Friday night at Lone Star Park. The race was scheduled for turf but moved to the main track. It was just the second dirt start for Ocean Seven, who won his career debut in a 1 1/8-mile turf race in France in 2009. He was owned then by Wertheimer and Frere and trained by Freddie Head, the same connections as Goldikova, a three-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Ocean Seven, who now races for Southfield Management and is trained by Karla Smith, was eligible for the starter allowance by virtue of a race against $10,000 claiming rivals at Aqueduct in December 2011. Ocean Seven favors his famous sister in build, and used her powerful closing style to win his third career race Friday.

◗ The Louisiana Racing Commission has suspended jockey Timothy Fontenot five years for a third-offense positive drug test in action taken Monday. Fontenot is eligible to reapply for a license in a year with a negative test. He has been riding at Evangeline Downs. The commission also suspended owner-trainer Dennis M. Langford a year and fined him $2,000 because one of the horses in his care tested positive for the Category 2 drug tramadol, a pain reliever.

◗ Fair Grounds on Monday received commission approval to open a new offtrack betting site, Westwego Fair Grounds OTB Casino, at 800 Westbank Expressway in Westwego, La.

◗ Services for Ed Dodwell, the prominent Texas horseman who died Sunday at 72, will be 11 a.m. Thursday at Coker-Mathews Funeral Home in Greenville, Texas.