04/28/2005 11:00PM

Maid in China back at favorite track


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Maid in China, having made one start each at Fair Grounds, Delta Downs, and Evangeline Downs, continues her statewide tour Sunday when she takes on six rivals in the $50,000 Fantasia Stakes. The Fantasia is restricted to Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies and will be contested at six furlongs.

Although winless this year, continues to give a good account of herself. She most recently finished second in the Hallowed Dreams Stakes against open company at Evangeline Downs on April 15. Trainer Troy Young is likely eager to get back to Louisiana Downs, however, as Maid in China was a perfect 3 for 3 here last year as a juvenile, including a victory in the Southern Belle Stakes in her final start of the year. Young is adding blinkers today and has once again given regular rider Gerard Melancon the call.

, victorious over Maid in China in their last two meetings, looks to continue her mastery over the likely favorite. The Sam Breaux charge will be making her first local start on Sunday but is another who has represented herself quite well at the other racing centers in the state. She has won half of her 10 starts, including the Azalea Stakes at Delta and most recently the Hallowed Dreams. Guy Smith, aboard for all five of her victories, once again will be in the saddle.

Also coming off a stakes score is Sweet Macaroni. Stretching out to two turns for the first time, she won February's Louisiana Premier Starlet Stakes at Delta impressively. Also trained by Young, she has won sprinting and finished a close second behind Maid in China in the Southern Belle Stakes here last season. A daughter of Malagra, Sweet Macaroni continues to train forwardly for her return to the races and will have veteran C.J. Woodley in the saddle for the first time.

, who has been either hot or cold for trainer Jerry Cart, looks to get back on track after beating a steady retreat in a recent allowance race at Oaklawn Park. She should find the return to friendlier statebred company comforting, with three wins against her own kind already this year.

Completing the field are recent maiden winners Noopsy and Courtneys Doll, along with Raspberry Wine, who will be turning back to her winning maiden distance of six furlongs.