07/13/2006 11:00PM

Nicks bags four wire-to-wire winners


BOSSIER CITY, La. - The temperature hit triple digits in the Bossier City area on Thursday, but trainer Morris Nicks was even hotter. Nicks sent out four winners on the afternoon, beginning with Dixie Tree in the fourth race of the day.

Breaking alertly under Lonnie Meche, who was aboard three of Nicks's winners, Dixie Tree ($5.80) soon cleared the seven allowance foes to his inside and cruised to a nine-length victory, finishing six furlongs in 1:09.43 over a fast track. The victory was Dixie Tree's third from six starts.

Nicks's other three wins came in consecutive races, with Carolina Sky ($3.60) beginning the remarkable run in race six. Breaking from post 1 under Meche, Carolina Sky took control soon after the start and wired seven rivals in a first-level allowance race on the grass. Carolina Sky won for the third time in four starts, the last two coming on turf.

Meche rode another wire-to-wire winner in the seventh, when Hellenki ($3.40) broke alertly from post one on her way to winning her maiden.

Lonnie's identical twin, Donnie, pulled the same feat in the eighth, when his mount, Mountain Jett ($6.40), took command soon after the break from along the inside and led every step to defeat an evenly matched group of first-level allowance foes.

The all Nicks, all program number 1, all Meche, all favorite, and all speed pick three paid $27.40.

Talamo, 16, rides first career winner

Young apprentice Joseph Talamo picked up his first career win in last Sunday's final race. Talamo, 16, booted home Well Heavens Sake for trainer Connie Tassistro in the six-furlong race for maiden claimers.

Talamo's agent, Tony Martin, said it was especially appropriate that Talamo's initial win came for Tassistro.

"Joe's father works part time for Connie as a groom," said Martin. "[Joe] grew up in Connie's shedrow, whether it was at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans or at the training center in Folsom. That's where he got his start."

Statebreds compete in allowance feature

Sunday's featured allowance headliner goes as the third of the afternoon and drew an evenly matched field of seven Louisiana-breds looking for their second career win.

Poppa Duke, third in a similar spot in his first start for trainer Pat Mouton on June 25, and Evangeline Downs invader Late But Great will vie for favoritism in the seven-furlong sprint on the main track.