08/22/2001 11:00PM

Louisiana Downs: A River Cities prep


Nanie's Dinner returns to the Louisiana Downs turf course, over which she is 3 for 4, in Saturday's $50,000 Sangue Handicap. The 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares has also drawn stakes winners Euryanthe and Taffy, and serves as the local prep for the $150,000 River Cities Breeders' Cup on Sept. 15.

Nanie's Dinner has won three stakes in four starts on the local grass, her most recent turf win a six-length romp in the $40,000 Honeymoon on July 14. She comes into the Sangue on the heels of a second-place finish to Taffy in the $40,000 Delicada, run over dirt Aug. 5.

"We're happy to get her back on the grass," said trainer Larry Robideaux. "She pushes a lot when she runs, and gets firmer footing on the turf than the dirt, which makes her stride smoother. The turf is easier on her."

High weighted at 119 pounds, Nanie's Dinner will be ridden by leading jockey Kirk LeBlanc.

David Guillory has the mount on Taffy, who has won three of her last five starts and is trained by leading trainer Cole Norman. In her most recent start she closed to win the Delicada by three lengths, and before that she finished second in the Honeymoon.

Curt Bourque rides Euryanthe, who used her sweeping kick to win back-to-back stakes this spring for trainer Steve Asmussen. Hampered by yielding courses in her last two starts, she could return to her best form Sunday if the turf is firm.