06/07/2004 11:00PM

Mr. Jester's vacation almost up


Mr. Jester, who won his career debut last year at Louisiana Downs before going on to capture several stakes, is due to return to training at the Bossier City, La., track within the next two weeks, said his trainer, Steve Wren.

Mr. Jester's main objective at the meet will be the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby on Sept. 25.

Mr. Jester is being freshened after finishing ninth to Smarty Jones in the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 10. The initial plan was to give him 45 days off at a farm in Arkansas, but his vacation has been extended to 60 days.

"He's enjoying his time off so much, we gave him a little extra time," said Wren.

Wren said he would like Mr. Jester to make one start before the Super Derby. Most of the local candidates for the race start in the Prelude Stakes on Aug. 28. This year the purse of the Prelude has been increased from $50,000 to $60,000.

Mr. Jester's ties to Louisiana Downs are strong. After winning his maiden at the track by 9 1/4 lengths, he came back to win the $50,000 Pioneer Stakes. From there, Mr. Jester was placed first in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway Park, then won the $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs over eventual stakes winner Fire Slam.

Mr. Jester began his 3-year-old season with a troubled second-place finish in the Grade 3 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and also finished sixth in the $200,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Overall, Mr. Jester has won 4 of 9 starts and $764,800 for owner Kaaren Biggs.

Doctor Mike back for more at 7

Doctor Mike, who won the $50,000 Kings Court Stakes by a nose last year at Louisiana Downs, has resumed training after a freshening, said trainer Troy Young. Now 7, Doctor Mike has won seven stakes during his career and earned $494,649.

"We gave him 90 days off," said Young. "I think mentally he needed it. We'll take it easy and let him get ready, and then we'll go from there."

Lac Laronge, like Doctor Mike a Louisiana Downs stakes winner owned by Valene Farms, has also resumed training after a 100-day layoff, said Young.

Outright Buck challenges elders

Outright Buck, who was a troubled fourth last out in the $50,000 Chapel Belle Stakes on May 22, returns to the allowance ranks Thursday in the featured 10th race, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race for fillies and mares. The optional claiming price is $30,000.

A 3-year-old, Outright Buck is the youngest member of the six-horse field, but what she lacks in age she makes up for in talent. Since adding blinkers, she has turned in some powerful races, including a wire-to-wire win in the $70,000 Fair Grounds Sales Stakes and a front-running allowance win at Lone Star Park.

In her most recent start, Outright Buck caught traffic on both turns of the Chapel Belle. Trainer Troy Young has given the mount to Gerard Melancon.

Chitchat Chitchat, trained by Donnie Von Hemel, appears to be the chief threat. In her last start, she was third in a conditioned turf allowance at Lone Star. She earned an 81 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest last race number among all starters in the feature Thursday. Luis Quinonez has the mount.