07/24/2008 11:00PM

Louisiana's best nominated for big day


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Anticipation is building for next Saturday's Louisiana Champions Day, the Louisiana Downs annual tribute to horses bred in the Bayou State. Eight stakes totaling $750,000 will be offered, representing all divisions, from 2-year-olds to older grass performers.

"We have 15 more nominations this year over last," said Louisiana Downs racing secretary Doug Bredar. "We are very pleased."

Bredar said that this year's format will be a little different from past years. Noticeably absent will be the traditional four races for Louisiana-bred Quarter Horses.

"It was a management decision after we talked it over with all the parties involved, especially the Quarter Horse folks," Bredar said. "It was generally decided that the potential purse money for those stakes, whether it be $100,000 or whatever, would be better utilized by directing it toward the Quarter Horse meeting here next spring."

All the usual suspects made the nomination lists, including all eight of the major stakes winners from Evangeline Downs' comparable event, Louisiana Legends Night, which was held on July 4.

Morning Ridge goes Sunday

Morning Ridge, unbeaten in three career starts, puts her perfect record on the line in Sunday's $25,000 optional allowance feature. She will run against six rivals at six furlongs.

Morning Ridge graduated impressively at first asking last February at Sam Houston Racecourse.

In her last start, a first-level optional allowance here June 26, Morning Ridge contested the early pace before drawing away with authority to finish four lengths the best. She prepped for Sunday's race with a 35.40-second blowout work July 16, which was the fastest three-furlong move that day.

* A funeral for Pat Boorhem, wife of Foxwood Plantation owner Bill Boorhem, was held Thursday in Dallas. Boorhem died unexpectedly at the couple's home in Belcher, La., last Sunday. She was 73. A local memorial service is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Louisiana Downs track chapel.