08/01/2012 1:18PM

Louisiana Downs: Prelude gets 'Super' series going

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Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Master Rick had tough times in Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont and the Grade 3 Matt Winn at Churchill Downs.

BOSSIER CITY, La. – The first of three “Super Saturdays” is slated for this weekend at Louisiana Downs, with the $100,000 Prelude Stakes anchoring a four-stakes, 10-race program. Louisiana Cup Day on Aug. 18 and Sept. 8, the date of this year’s Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby, carry the same Super Saturday designation.

This year’s edition of the Prelude is the deepest in years. Stakes winners Master Rick and Top Cat Boogie head up the cast shooting for the $60,000 first prize and an all-fees paid berth in next month’s Super Derby.

Master Rick enjoyed considerable success in the spring before his form tailed off during the early part of the summer after making the move into graded company. After winning his maiden race at Oaklawn Park in March, Master Rick defeated the highly regarded Drill in the Northern Spur on the Arkansas Derby under card April 14. Drill went on to capture the Grade 3, $100,000 Laz Barrera at Betfair Hollywood Park in his next start.

Master Rick found the company in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont and the Grade 3 Matt Winn at Churchill Downs a bit too tough in subsequent starts, but the task on Saturday should not be too daunting for the Steve Asmussen charge. Gerard Melancon will handle the riding chores.

Top Cat Boogie will be seeking his sixth career win from 11 starts. The Alan Klanfer trainee comes off a pair of stakes victories at Evangeline Downs, having won the seven-furlong Rajun Cajun in early June before stretching out to two turns to win the Louisiana Legends Mile four weeks later. Randall Toups, aboard for both of those victories, returns to the saddle.

Trainer Al Stall Jr. will be going for his third straight Prelude win with recent allowance winner Tensas Cold Front. Stall sent out eventual Super Derby winner Apart win the 2010 Prelude and last year won with Trubs. Chris Rosier, aboard for Tensas Cold Front’s maiden win and recent 15 1/2-length allowance score, once again will be in the saddle.

Tom Amoss once again will ship in a runner for the Prelude. Amoss finished second with Populist Politics a year ago, and that Louisiana-bred went on to finish a good third in the Super Derby. This year Amoss will send out Key Donation for owner Maggi Moss. A Lawyer Ron colt, he has won of 2 of 4 starts. Leading rider Richard Eramia will be on board.

Others in this year’s Prelude include King Coral, fourth to Master Rick in the Northern Spur and most recently a local winner in allowance company; Mr Bluegrass, who won his last start at Prairie Meadows; Noble Alex, an allowance winner on the turf here; Aftermeyourefirst, twice a winner this year; Steady Roar, who returns to his preferred surface after an unplaced effort over the Lone Star turf; and Sommer’s Choice, who also returns to the main track after trying the turf at Lone Star.

In the afternoon’s other stakes action, Go Tiger Jack is back to defend his title in the $50,000 Barksdale for older runners on the turf. He will once again take on Aces N Kings, who finished only a neck behind Go Tiger Jack when they met last month.

A pair of $50,000, 7 1/2-furlong turf tests for 2-year-olds are also on tap for Saturday. Brown Almighty, a winner at first asking over the Arlington Park turf for trainer Tim Ice, heads up the Sunny’s Halo, while Platinum Song goes for her second stakes win in the Donnie Wilhite.