07/02/2002 12:00AM

Pace likely to favor Candid Glen

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - Candid Glen, who as a closer is dependent on pace, should get a better setup than he did in his last start Thursday in the $100,000 Independence Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race drew nine older horses, including Coach Rags, Chauffe Au Rouge, Maysville Slew, and Rahy's Secret.

Candid Glen did well to close for third last month in the $250,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star Park, a 1 1/8-mile race that was won wire to wire by the talented Suances, who is set to run Saturday in the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth Park.

Candid Glen was beaten 3 1/4 lengths in the Dallas Turf Cup after trailing the field.

"There was no pace. There was nothing to run at, really," said Andrew Leggio Jr., who trains Candid Glen for Glen Warren. "They ran a quarter in 24 seconds and a half in [48.40], and when [Suances] turned for home, he just unleashed a weapon.

"Candid Glen ran his race."

Candid Glen is highweighted at 118 pounds for the Independence, and has trained well for the race. Last year he was beaten a neck by Nat's Big Party in the Independence. "He's coming into this race in excellent form," said Leggio.

Kirk LeBlanc, defending Louisiana Downs riding champ, has the mount on Candid Glen.

Ron Ardoin will ride Coach Rags, who is looking for his third straight win Thursday. The gelding captured the $75,000 Dixie Poker Ace Handicap for statebreds at Fair Grounds March 3, then returned in his next start to win an open allowance over Nat's Big Party and Candid Glen at Lone Star on April 14.

Coach Rags has worked well for the Independence, his first start in 10 weeks. He is owned by Vickie Krantz and is trained by Gary Palmisano.

Chauffe Au Rouge, who finished fourth in the Dallas Turf Cup, has more natural speed than he showed in that race, and should contribute to the pace in the Independence. He will be ridden by Ricky Faul, and will be making his third start since December for trainer Cole Norman.

Others who could make for honest fractions are Price of Champagne, who wired the field last out in a optional claimer at Lone Star, and L.A. Spider Legs, who put together back to back optional claiming wins this spring at Oaklawn Park.

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