03/22/2006 12:00AM

Perfect Harmony trainer's ticket back to Louisiana


CHICAGO - In Perfect Harmony, trainer Alvin Sider has come up with what seems to be a stakes-class Louisiana-bred 3-year-old. Problem is, Sider and Perfect Harm-ony are stabled at Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago, where Perfect Harmony won an entry-level route allowance last Friday by almost 10 lengths. But Sider is taking steps to correct that geographical issue.

"I'm going to Louisiana," Sider said Tuesday afternoon. "I'm staying here another week, and then I'm going down there."

The move isn't an unnatural one. Sider is from Louisiana, and until this year, when the Fair Grounds meet was moved to Louisiana Downs, he wintered in New Orleans. But Sider likes Chicago, especially Arlington, and said that in many ways he rued his forthcoming departure.

"But all my owners are from Louisiana," explained Sider, who operates a small stable, but claimed a very nice turf horse named Storybook Kid a few seasons ago at Fair Grounds. "I sent a couple horses down last summer, they started running for those big pots, and they never came back. I need to make that move for me to survive."

Sider said he has procured 12 stalls at Evangeline Downs, but he has not yet selected a race for Perfect Harmony, a strapping son of Dance Brightly who won his maiden here last Nov. 18 before going through a rough spell at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs. Out of Sider's hands there during December and part of January, Perfect Harmony finished eighth and ninth in a pair of allowance races; when he returned to Chicago, Sider had Perfect Harmony gelded.

"I castrated him when I brought him back to Illinois, and it really turned him around," Sider said. "He had another little problem with his foot, but we got him fixed up. He's one of the main reasons I'm going down there. There's nothing lined up for him right now that I see, but we'll get down there and see what happens."

Lampoon earns stakes shot

A week of racing at the National Jockey Club meet would not, it seems, be complete without an impressive winner from the barn of trainer Brian Williamson. Monday, it was Lampoon, who began her 3-year-old season with a flourish, winning an entry-level Illinois-bred allowance race by more than seven lengths.

Lampoon won her debut last summer at Arlington, but despite her obvious ability, lost her last four races of 2005. She was favored Dec. 10 in the Pat Whitworth Futurity, her first start around two turns, but ran evenly in the stretch and finished third. But while Monday's win came at six furlongs, Williamson said he still believes that Lampoon can go long; she is, after all, out of the mare Wade for Me, who won at distances up to 1 3/16 miles on turf campaigning for Williamson's father-in-law, Harvey Vanier.

For now, however, there are more sprint races than two-turn spots available, and Williamson said he's pointing Lampoon to an Illinois-bred sprint stakes later in April. There would be time for another start in between, so Lampoon, Williamson said, will be nominated to the six-furlong Meafara Breeders' Cup on Illinois Derby Day, April 8.

Through Tuesday's races, Williamson was tied atop the trainer standings with Tom Tomillo, but while the Tomillo barn's 10 wins have come with 67 starters, Williamson has needed only 26. Williamson tops the standings in terms of purses won, and with 36 horses in his barn, he said he believes he has a chance to at least stay close to the top of the trainers' race through the rest of this meet.

"I've got a pretty good stable right now. And if I kept going at a 45-percent clip, I think I'd have a chance," he said jokingly.

Ashland a possibility for Coolwind

The Williamson-trained Tally Up, who flopped in an open allowance prep for the Illinois Derby, was one of the better-known names on the Wednesday work tab. He breezed a snappy three furlongs, while Coolwind turned in her second straight fast six-furlong drill, going in 1:12.

Unraced since finishing third in the Pocahontas Stakes last fall at Churchill, Coolwind hasn't yet been assigned a 2006 comeback spot. She remains eligible for an entry-level allowance, but trainer Greg Geier said stakes races, even the Grade 1 Ashland, are being considered.

* Friday's nominal feature, race 8, is only an entry-level Illinois-bred sprint allowance, but the good news is the race attracted a full field of 12.