08/03/2011 3:05PM

Louisiana Downs: Prelude highlights Super Saturday


BOSSIER CITY, La. – The first Super Saturday of the season is on tap this weekend at Louisiana Downs with the $100,000 Prelude Stakes for 3-year-olds anchoring a four-stakes program. The other stakes on the card, all scheduled for the grass, are the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo for 2-year-olds at 7 1/2 furlongs; the $50,000 Donnie Wilhite for 2-year-old fillies, also at 7 1/2 furlongs; and the $50,000 Barksdale at a mile for 3-year-olds and upward.

Heading up 1 1/16-mile Prelude on the main track are Trubs and Eddie’s Band. They will not only be shooting for the winner’s share of the purse but also an all-fees paid berth to next month’s Super Derby the accompanies it.

Trubs is trained by Al Stall Jr. who sent out last year’s Prelude and Super Derby winner, Apart. Stall has had a virtual stranglehold on the meeting’s marquee event in recent years, also winning in 2008 with My Pal Charlie and finishing second with Blame in 2009.

Idle since a third-place finish in the Inaugural Stakes at Evangeline Downs in early April. Trubs won the Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds in February. A First Samurai gelding, he has won 3 of his 9 career starts and almost $107,000. Shane Sellers will ride.

Eddie’s Band will attempt to regroup following an ill-fated start at Churchill Downs in early July. A son of Eddington, he earned a trip to the Kentucky track following an impressive maiden score here on May 27. Making his second career start, he kicked strongly clear and earned a gaudy Beyer Speed Figure of 102 in the process. In his first out against winners, Eddie’s Band was temperamental behind the gate, broke awkwardly, but still made the early advantage before fading down the stretch as the favorite. Leading rider Richard Eramia, aboard for Eddie’s Band’s resounding maiden score, returns to the saddle Saturday for trainer Morris Nicks.

Populist Politics will make a rare start outside the ranks of Louisiana-breds on Saturday. Trained by Tom Amoss, he is a three-time winner, including the Louisiana Showcase Mile facing statebreds at Evangeline in his last start.

Others in the Prelude include Amanecer de Oro, a winner of both of his starts in allowance company here this summer; Soaring Native, victor of the rich Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama as a 2-year-old who will be making his second start of the year; and String King, a son of Crowned King who has won 2 of his last 3 starts.

Little Ms Protocol will attempt to pick up her second stakes tally this summer in the Donnie Wilhite. Trained by Pat Devereux Jr., she won the Princess Stakes in her turf debut in late June in determined fashion. She will take on eight rivals, including Enchanted, who was an impressive winner at first asking last month for trainer Bret Calhoun.

In the Sunny’s Halo, Calhoun will send out Worthington, who will be shooting for his third win in a row. A speedy son of Western Gambler, he wired maiden company in early June before once again leading every step of the way in winning the Minstrel Stakes on the local turf course June 25.

The Barksdale appears to be the most contentious of the quartet of stakes, with a full field of 12 slated to start. Brentwood Bullet, another Nicks charge, could rule a tepid favorite off a game victory in optional allowance company on the turf in his only start here this season. He will be taking on Category Seven, who will try male opponents after narrowly missing against her own gender in the Matron Stakes at Evangeline two weeks ago.