07/02/2005 12:00AM

Miss Smart Strike back where she likes to win


Miss Smart Strike, a well-traveled New York-bred, returns to the state in which she has scored 3 of her 4 career wins for Monday's Tellike Handicap at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La.

The six-furlong Tellike was rescheduled from May 20 after racing operations were suspended from May 12 to June 29 in order to overhaul the racing surface. The Tellike drew a field of 10 and carries a $50,000 purse.

In her most recent start, Miss Smart Strike finished third in the Valid Expectations Stakes at Lone Star Park on May 30. Before that race, the 5-year-old Smart Strike mare won an optional-claiming race, also at Lone Star. That victory came in her first start following an unplaced effort in the Broadway Handicap for New York-breds at Aqueduct in March.

Trained by Chad Hassenpflug, Miss Smart Strike will be the starting highweight in the Tellike at 121 pounds. C.J. Woodley will ride.

Keep This Cat, second-highest in the weights at 119 pounds, comes off a pair of runner-up finishes in allowance company at Louisiana Downs. She will seek to better her two fifth-place finishes behind Smart Strike, one recently at Lone Star and the other at Delta Downs last fall. Gerard Melancon will make the journey down I-49 from Louisiana Downs with trainer Wes Hawley to ride.