06/17/2004 11:00PM

Pie N Burger carries winning profile


Pie N Burger will be a short price on Sunday when he attempts to give trainer Cole Norman his third consecutive win in the $50,000 Ark-La-Tex Handicap at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.

The 1 1/16-mile race has been brought back this year after a one-year absence, and will go as the first race on the card. Norman won the Ark-La-Tex in 2001 with Unrullah Bull and 2002 with Prince Iroquois.

Both of those horses raced in the claiming ranks prior to their wins in the Ark-La-Tex, and Pie N Burger fits that profile. He was taken for $100,000 last year in Southern California and was sent to Norman to race in this region. Pie N Burger won a string of stakes over the summer and fall, including the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, the $75,000 Bob Johnson Memorial at Lone Star and the $75,000 Evangeline Downs Mile at Evangeline Downs.

This year, Pie N Burger skipped the Lone Star Park Handicap and instead has prepped for the Ark-La-Tex with an allowance win at Louisiana Downs. He will face five others on Sunday, including Seainsky and the Norman-trained Cajole. John Jacinto will ride Pie N Burger for owners Kagele Brothers and James A. Bailey.

Southern Surprise needs fast start

Southern Surprise could be tough to run down Sunday if she gets the jump on Sea Bloom at the start of the featured ninth race at Louisiana Downs. However, if the two get trapped in a duel, the race would set up well for Tincan Too.

That's the call handicappers will have to make when sorting out the feature, a 7 1/2-furlong turf allowance for fillies and mares worth $28,000.

Southern Surprise and Sea Bloom have the best early speed in the race. Southern Surprise used front-running tactics to win a seven-furlong allowance on May 23 and will break just inside of Sea Bloom from post No. 6.

Sea Bloom should be prominent herself considering that she stretches back out around two turns after pushing a hot pace in the $40,000 Tellike Handicap at Evangeline Downs.

The break could be key for either horse, and if both get off to a good start, they could set the table for Tincan Too. She rallied for third last out in the $50,000 Honeymoon Stakes at Louisiana Downs. The turf stakes was won by her entrymate, Due to Win Again, who was to run back Saturday in the $50,000 Old South Handicap.

Luis Quinonez has the mount on Tincan Too, who races for her breeders, Howard and Penny Scarberry.

Southern Surprise also placed in a stakes in her last start. She was second by three-quarters of a length in the $50,000 Fleur De Lis on dirt at Louisiana Downs on May 30. Prior to that race, Southern Surprise won an optional claimer in wire-to-wire fashion at Louisiana Downs, and she also set much of the pace in the $75,000 Irving Distaff at Lone Star Park.

She finished sixth in that race, which Janeian won in near course-record time. Morris Nicks trains Southern Surprise, and overall this meet is winning with 33 percent of his starters. He had sent out six winners from 18 starters through Thursday.

Lonnie Meche has the mount Sunday.

Sea Bloom will return to two turns and turf after sprinting on dirt last out. She is a stakes winner under such conditions, taking the $100,000 La Senorita at Retama Park at 2. E.J. Perrodin has the mount for trainer Sam David, Jr.

Another threat is Dyna Del, who in her last start won a two-other-than allowance at a mile on turf at Louisiana Downs. Roman Chapa has the mount for Larry Robideaux Jr.