06/02/2012 6:02PM

Louisiana Downs: String King scores in John Franks Memorial


String King sat just off the pace, and  then forged to the lead into the stretch en route to a half-length win over Wildrally in the $50,000 John Franks Memorial at Louisiana Downs on Saturday.

Ladyzarbridge was a clear winner of the co-featured $50,000 Honeymoon. Both races were at a mile on turf, and restricted to horses bred in Louisiana.

String King ($14) was crowded a bit at the start, but by the first turn jockey Filemon Rodriguez had him settled in an ideal tracking position, sitting third off fractions of 23.57 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.86 for the half-mile. String King began his bid on the final turn, drew even with leader Productive Envoy through six furlongs in 1:11.12, and then went on to cover the distance on firm turf in 1:35.87.

The Franks Memorial was the second career stakes win for String King, who earned $30,000 for owner-trainer Charles Craig Smith. String King has now won 5 of 14 starts and $178,452.

In the Honeymoon for fillies and mares, Ladyzarbridge took quick command at the start, leading through fractions of 24.37, 48.57, and 1:12. Ladyzarbridge had more when challenged at the top of the stretch, and darted clear, winning by three-quarters of a  length  over Beverly Belle.

Ladyzarbridge covered the distance in 1:36.67. Mark Guidry rode the winner for trainer Edward Johnstson. Johnston also owns Ladyzarbridge in partnership with Chuck Zacney. She paid $10.40. Ladyzarbridge has now won 5 of 17 starts and $210,184.