08/17/2005 11:00PM

Phone Affair strong off last


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Fresh off her upset win in the Frank "Buddy" Abadie Memorial Stakes at Evangeline Downs on July 30, Phone Affair heads the field in Saturday's $75,000 Elge Raspberry Stakes. Nine 3-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana will race a mile over the turf course.

In addition to her recent stakes win, Phone Affair finished third in the Chapel Belle Stakes in May. That race was on the local turf course and the experience should help on Saturday.

Zarba the Great, second in the Abadie in her last start and a runner-up on the main track in the Lorelei Stakes here last month, will be making her turf debut in the Raspberry. Zarba the Great, a four-time winner, has support on the bottom side of her pedigree for the switch to grass, although her biggest asset might be E.J. Perrodin in the saddle. John Barger trains .

Miriam L., third in the Abadie and the winner of the Sarah Lane's Oates Handicap over the Fair Grounds turf earlier this year, also rates high in the Raspberry. James Hodges trains the consistent Miriam L., who has missed the board in only one of her seven starts this year. Carlos Gonzalez will ride.

Zarb's Starlet is the only other winner on the grass, although she lacks the seasoning of many of her opponents on Saturday. A winner in statebred maiden company here on June 30, Zarb's Starlet most recently ran fourth in older company in an allowance race. She appears to be developing for trainer Ray Spencer, who has given the hard-finishing rider Luis Quinonez the call.

Equestrian Girls finished fifth behind Miriam L. in the Sarah Lane's Oates in March in her only turf try, and has only one start since. Although Equestrian Girls was a non-threatening sixth in her return on Aug. 11, she certainly has license to improve. She is a three-time winner for trainer Kelly Broussard, including a win in the $100,000 Louisiana Lassie Stakes. Jose Riquelme handles the riding assignment.

Angel of Choice is light in experience but heavy in potential, especially considering her connections. A two-time winner despite having only four starts, Angel of Choice will be ridden by John Jacinto, who has been on a tear of late. Andy Leggio trains her.