06/30/2010 11:00PM

Mogumbo Cat ready, rain or shine


No matter what Mother Nature might throw at Mogumbo Cat this weekend, he is ready, trainer Larry Robideaux said. Mogumbo Cat is about as dependable as the mailman, and with the weather unreliable leading up to Saturday's four turf stakes at Louisiana Downs, Mogumbo Cat's consistency should serve him well when he starts as the probable favorite in the $50,000 Barksdale.

"He's a pro," Robideaux said. "It's all systems go. Grass, mud, or a fast track, he's ready."

Louisiana Downs has experienced rain on and off this week, and while thunderstorms remain in the forecast, Robideaux said he is hopeful the Barksdale, a 7 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up, will stay on turf as scheduled Saturday.

"It rained yesterday, but the ground was dry," Robideaux said Thursday. "If it doesn't rain anymore, we should be on the grass Saturday. He'll handle the dirt all right, but he is a much better horse on the grass."

Mogumbo Cat has won five of his last six starts, all on turf rated firm or good. His lone loss in that span came in the $75,000 Unbridled, an off-the-turf stakes on the Super Derby undercard last fall in which he finished second and earned a Beyer Figure of 93.

The Barksdale will be Mogumbo Cat's second start of the year following a 1 1/2-length win in a $50,000 optional claiming allowance at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf at Louisiana Downs on May 30. Jesse Campbell has the mount for owners Marilyn Greene and Jack Everett.

Also in the field is Deputiformer, winner of the $50,000 John Henry at Evangeline Downs on April 17.

Trainer Brent Davidson has been watching the Louisiana weather this week for The Cat Who, one of the top contenders in the $50,000 Top Corsage for fillies and mares at 7 1/2 furlongs.

"She's kind of like a speed type, and for her style of running, I think she'd like a firmer type turf than a yielding turf," Davidson said. "As long as it stays on the turf, I will run her. I don't know if I'd run her on dirt. It depends on what scratches down in the race. She has performed better on the turf."

The Cat Who faced one of the nation's best grass mares last out in Wasted Tears, running a close fourth to her in the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff at Lone Star on May 31. The Cat Who earned a career-high Beyer of 93.

"I thought she ran a real good race," Davidson said. "That was just a real tough bunch. I was proud of her."

Carlos Gonzalez has the mount for owner Tommy Joe Hoyt. Others in the field include stakes winners Category Seven and Love To Tell.

* Brickyard Fast, who put up one of the year's best Beyer Figures for a 2-year-old in his last start, will take on undefeated stakes winner Aces N Kings in the $50,000 Minstrel at five furlongs. Brickyard Fast earned a Beyer of 87 for a 10-length maiden win June 18. Aces N Kings is 3 for 3, among his wins a division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity.

* Dixieland Bull, a 2-year-old filly who defeated males in an allowance at Louisiana Downs on June 11, takes on her own kind in the $50,000 Princess at five furlongs. The chief threat could be the rail-drawn Smokey Ritz.