08/28/2013 12:46PM

Louisiana Downs: Recent form makes Amozan Ruler dangerous in turf feature


BOSSIER CITY, La. – For something as modest sounding as an entry-level optional $12,500 claimer, Friday’s featured seventh race at Louisiana Downs came up awfully interesting . . . and bettable. A field of nine fillies and mares will dash five furlongs over the turf.

Amozan Ruler could rule a slight favorite off the strength of a recent record that produced a pair of wins and a runner-up finish from her last three starts. The 7-year-old Texas-bred Amozan Ruler has reinvented herself since moving back to the turf in late May. Trainer Joey Foster had to enter her for the $12,500 claiming price, since Amozan Ruler cleared her first allowance condition way back in March 2009. Don Simington has the mount.

Dixie Lover, on the other hand, remains eligible for a first-level allowance. The 3-year-old Dixie Lover posted a smart maiden score over the main track in her most recent start, drawing steadily clear by 4 1/4 lengths. Her 74 Beyer Speed Figure is the best last-race number in Friday’s field. Leading rider Richard Eramia has the return call.

Fitting in right between Amozan Ruler and Dixie Lover from an experience standpoint is Dixie Sweetheart. She has three career wins and a high turn of early foot, which could put her in front in the early going. Filemon Rodriguez will once again be in the saddle.

Millions of Cats will try and avoid the kind of adventures she encountered in her last start, which resulted in her being disqualified and placed third after crossing the wire first. After stalking the early pace in a 7 1/2-furlong turf race for $17,500 claimers, Millions of Cats came out and impeded a rival after taking control in deep stretch. The resulting disqualification prevented her from posting her third career victory from just four starts. Trainer Larry Womack will add blinkers to Millions of Cats on Friday and has enlisted the services of apprentice rider Nicasio Gonzales.

Cates filly posts sharp maiden score

Trainer Al Cates has developed quite the reputation for success in the 2-year-old ranks in recent seasons. His latest project was unveiled last Friday when Our Quista won impressively at first asking.

Breaking in good order under Eramia, Our Quista quickly took command. Shaking clear turning for home, she coasted home five lengths in front in a time of 1:12.19 with Eramia merely along for the ride. She was awarded a 66 Beyer.

“Richard told me she was the fastest 2-year-old he’s been on all summer after he worked her the other day,” said Eramia’s agent, Rick Mocklin, following the race. “We were fortunate enough to get the mount.”

“We were obviously pleased,” said Our Quista’s co-owner, Ron Ball. “Al did another great job getting one ready.”

Ball and Eugenia Thompson purchased Our Quista for $5,000 at the Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana yearling sale last September. She is nominated to the $100,000 Louisiana Stallion Stakes here on Sept. 21.

“That is our short term goal,” Ball said. “We’ll see where we are afterward.”

◗ The Louisiana Downs chaplaincy dinner benefitting the Backside Benevolence Fund will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the Horseshoe Casino’s Riverdome. The program includes a cocktail hour, a meet and greet with Louisiana Downs jockeys, as well a raffle, a reverse drawing, and both silent and live auctions. Tickets are $40 for individuals, $320 for a VIP table, or $600 for a Gold table.