Updated on 09/15/2011 12:44PM

Norman claim bears top burden


Unrullah Bull, who since being claimed for $25,000 four starts ago has won two allowance races and placed in a stakes, will start as the 117-pound highweight Saturday in the $75,000 Ark-La-Tex Handicap at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.

The field for the 1 1/8-mile race also includes by Rebridled, who won last year's Ark-La-Tex but was disqualified for interference and placed second; Big Numbers; L.A. Spider Legs; Devil Me Care and Gold Cure.

Trainer Cole Norman claimed Unrullah Bull on behalf of owners Jim and Treasa Donnan on May 3 at Lone Star Park, near Dallas. The gelding won that afternoon, setting a track record for seven furlongs, then returned to run another big race for his new barn, defeating a field of stakes winners in a Lone Star allowance June 3.

Less than a month later, Unrullah Bull took down another allowance purse at Lone Star before finishing a troubled third as the favorite in the track's $75,000 Bob Johnson Memorial. For much of the race he found himself trapped in traffic, and when he did get out he closed with a rush to finish third, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Captain Countdown and T.B. Track Star.

"If we can lead him up here and have a clean trip, I think we can get the money," said Norman, who has given the mount to Anthony Lovato.

Unrullah Bull faces a host of capable foes. Rebridled won an optional claiming race in his last start for trainer John Fister; Big Numbers comes into the Ark-La-Tex on the heels of a seven-length romp in a conditioned allowance for trainer Steve Asmussen; and the developing L.A. Spider Legs beat a field of stakes winners in a May 13 allowance at Lone Star. "He's just starting to run to his potential," said John Saffel, who trains L.A. Spider Legs. "He's more into the game now than he had been."

Others to watch include Devil Me Care, one of the winningest horses at Louisiana Downs last year, and Gold Cure, who returns to his preferred surface Saturday.

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