09/09/2007 11:00PM

Mikimoto's Mojo may ship for Champagne


Mikimoto's Mojo could be headed to New York. The unbeaten 2-year-old, who backed up a sharp debut win at Louisiana Downs last month with a three-length score in the $125,000 Lafayette at Evangeline Downs on Sept. 3, will be nominated to the Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne at Belmont Park, according to his trainer, Patrick Mouton.

"Whether we go depends on two things," he said of the race run on Oct. 6.

Mouton said he wants to see how the one-mile stakes shapes up, and if suitable flight arrangements can be made for Mikimoto's Mojo, who is based in Bossier City, La. The colt launched his career at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 9, and stalked and pounced his way to a 1 1/2-length win in a 5 1/2-half furlong race. For the effort, he earned a Beyer Figure of 77.

Mikimoto's Mojo then shipped to Evangeline, and closed from eighth in the six-furlong Lafayette, earning a Beyer Figure of 79. The win was the 14th stakes victory of the year for Mouton, who trains Mikimoto's Mojo for Stanley Seelig. The colt was purchased for $160,000 in April, at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. auction. Mikimoto's Mojo is a Kentucky-bred son of Hold That Tiger and the Pleasant Colony mare Munch N Grass.

"He's such a professional," said Mouton. "For only having run twice, he does everything right, and he does it so easy. There's nothing that we don't like about him."

Mouton said that later in the year Mikimoto's Mojo would be considered for the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs in December.

Hawthorne an option for Tortuga Flats

Tortuga Flats, who has gone 4 for 5 over the Louisiana Downs turf course this meet, has been nominated to the $100,000 Iron Maid Handicap at Hawthorne, according to her trainer, Ralph Irwin. The 1o1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares is to be run on Sept. 29.

"We might try that," said Irwin, who trains Tortuga Flats for John Balensiefen. "Right at the moment, we're just kind of looking around, seeing what's available."

Tortuga Flats earned a career-best Beyer Figure of 91 for her win in a one-mile turf allowance at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 1. She has won four stakes during her career, and earlier in the meet was second by a neck in the $100,000 Matchmaker, a turf race for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares on July 21.

Return to turf for Cajun Conquest

Cajun Conquest, a 3-year-old stakes winner this meet for Mouton, will return to turf on Wednesday in the featured ninth race. To be run at about 7 1/2 furlongs, the $35,000 optional claimer drew a field of 10, including stakes winner Bamboo Gap.

Cajun Conquest was a stakes winner in June, when he was up for a head win in the $50,000 Seeking the Gold. The victory came in what has been his lone start on the grass. Cajun Conquest, who is also a winner on dirt, comes into the race following a close fourth-place finish in the $100,000 Prelude on Aug. 18. He rallied from 10th after being forced to check midway on the final turn of the 1 1/16-mile race, won wire to wire by Forty Acres.

"He got beat a foot for second," said Mouton.

For the optional claimer, Cajun Conquest will break from post 4 under regular rider E.J. Perrodin. His target in the stretch figures to be Bamboo Gap, who was a wire-to-wire allowance winner on July 28. Last year, Bamboo Gap won the $50,000 Excalibur over the Louisiana Downs turf. Lonnie Meche has the mount for trainer Sam David.

Others in the field include Rock 'n Rail, who was a good third in the $100,000 Shiskabob on turf July 21. Jeff Burningham has the mount for trainer Pamela Simpson.

Vacation for Venomous

Venomous, who is considered one of the best sprinters in the region, is being freshened, said Mouton. The horse last raced on June 23, when he won the $48,000 Temperence Hill at Louisiana Downs.

"We just decided to give him some time off and not run again until the Fair Grounds," said Mouton.

He said a possible comeback race is the opening-day Thanksgiving Handicap in November.