06/25/2011 6:35PM

Louisiana Downs: Worthington cruises in Minstrel

Lou Hodges Jr.
Worthington, with Justin Sheperd riding, wins the Minstrel.

Worthington backed up the sizeable Beyer Figure he earned winning his maiden earlier this month with a dominant stakes score Saturday in the $50,000 Minstrel for 2-year-olds at Louisiana Downs.

The race shared a card with the $50,000 Princess, which was won in a three-way photo by Little Ms Protocol ($63.40).

Worthington ($9.80) popped a Beyer of 83 – the nation’s fifth best for a 2-year-old so far in 2011 – in a maiden race at Lone Star on June 9. He made both his stakes and turf debut in the Minstrel, and after moving to the lead shortly after the start won by 2 1/4 lengths.

Worthington led the field through an opening quarter in 22.05 seconds, drifted off the rail some on the turn, and went on to cover the about five furlongs on firm turf in 57.48 seconds. Justin Shepherd was aboard for trainer Bret Calhoun.

Worthington races for his breeder, Michael Stinson. He is from the first crop of Western Gambler.

Swass Like Me finished second in the Minstrel, two lengths clear of third-place finisher Primistalla. Private Prayer, who was the favorite, finished fourth.

In the Princess, Little Ms Protocol stalked the pace in third and closed fast for a neck win. Storm’s Promise finished second, but was disqualified after a stewards’ inquiry into the stretch run determined that she had drifted and carried out both Little Ms Protocol and Cajun Diva, who finished a head back in third. Cajun Diva was moved up to second, and Storm’s Promise was placed third. Little Ms Protocol covered the about five furlongs on firm turf in 57.18.

Diego Saenz rode Little Ms Protocol for trainer Patrick Devereux Jr. Little Miss Protocol, who won her maiden in the Princess, is a daughter of El Corredor who races for her breeder, Coteau Grove Farms.