08/09/2005 11:00PM

Norman starts hot in new setting


It did not take long for nationally ranked trainer Cole Norman to make an impact at Evangeline Downs.

Norman arrived two weeks ago, following the conclusion of Lone Star Park's season, and will race here on a daily basis for the first time. He made his presence felt with 7 wins from his first 11 starters, including two wins on Monday.

Norman, who is third in the nation with 175 wins this year, sent out Voodoo Gold to victory in the $100,000 D. S. "Shine" Young Futurity on July 30. The Shine was part of the Louisiana Legends program, which featured eight stakes events and honored those who have contributed to the rich history of Louisiana racing. Fittingly enough, Norman's late father, Gene, was one of the honorees.

On Saturday night, Norman will try to take down the other six-figure stakes at the meeting when he sends out Absent Friend and Shaky Town in the $100,000 Evangeline Mile Handicap. Norman won the last two editions of the Mile with Pie N Burger. The leading rider at Louisiana Downs, John Jacinto, will come in to ride Absent Friend, while Jamie Theriot has the call on Shaky Town.

* The Louisiana Breeders' summer mixed sale was held this past Sunday at the Blackham Coliseum in nearby Lafayette. A total of 168 lots passed through the ring, with a yearling filly named Halo's Bandit the high seller at $16,000. A With Approval filly out of Anna's Halo. Halo's Bandit was purchased by Lee Young from Equine Legends.