07/05/2007 11:00PM

'Moroccan' speed impresses


Few horses have ever beaten either True Tails or Seekingthereinbow to the lead. But the promising Moroccan Rose did in her last start, when she faced them both and finished second in what was her stakes debut. She is now being pointed for the $125,000 Hallowed Dreams Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs, trainer Frank Betancourt said.

The six-furlong race for fillies and mares will be part of a four-stakes program here Saturday, July 14. The purses for the races total $350,000.

Moroccan Rose, a 4-year-old filly who won the first three races of her career by 19 1/2 lengths, took on stakes competition in her fourth start, the $100,000 Valid Expectations at Lone Star Park on May 28. She set a pressured pace and finished second to closer Cintarosa in the six-furlong race run in the slop. Moroccan Rose was racing on a wet track for the first time in the Valid Expectations.

"I think she ran a monster race last time," Betancourt said, pointing out it was her second race in 17 days. "She had so many things that she had to deal with. For her to overcome everything that she had to deal with and still almost win, I thought said a lot about her.

"She kind of missed the break, and got off a little slow. And she's got to run against True Tails and Seekingthereinbow. Then all the way down the lane, she kept trying and couldn't get a hold of the track. She still almost did it. I thought it was pretty awesome."

Filemon Rodriguez has the mount in the Hallowed Dreams, Betancourt said. In time, the trainer said, the filly could try two turns.

"We're actually kind of looking down the road, maybe in a month or six weeks, to try to stretch her out," Betancourt said. "If everything happens right, there's a stakes at Ellis, the Gardenia, that's going a mile. But everything's got to come up right."

The Grade 3, $150,000 Gardenia is for fillies and mares on Aug. 18.

Betancourt, 45, is a former jockey who rode in Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Arizona. For the Hallowed Dreams, Moroccan Rose is again expected to face True Tails, whose recent works at Louisiana Downs include five furlongs in a bullet 58.60 seconds on June 23.

Film Fortune in local debut

Trainer Jack Van Berg has said one of the best horses in his Louisiana Downs division is Film Fortune, who will make his first start at the track in the fifth race on Sunday, a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs. Film Fortune is a half-brother to House of Fortune, a Grade 2 winner of $989,185.

Film Fortune was unplaced in a first-level turf allowance in his last start, which came at Santa Anita on Dec. 30. Before that race, he was second in a first-level allowance on the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park on Dec. 8. Film Fortune's best credential came last June, when he was third by two lengths in the Grade 3 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood.

His chief rivals Sunday appear to be Capote's Diamond and Hunt Tex. Capote's Diamond is moving back to dirt, where he won his maiden for trainer Larry Robideaux Jr. Hunt Tex owns the field's best last-race Beyer Speed Figure, a 74, for a maiden special weight win here May 27. He is trained by Joe Duhon. Film Fortune is a closer, and would benefit if front-runners Capote's Diamond and Hunt Tex make for an honest pace Sunday.

Kirk LeBlanc has the mount on Film Fortune. One race later, in the sixth, he will ride leading contender Dancing Dudete. She is adding blinkers for the seven-furlong race, a second-level allowance.