06/30/2005 12:00AM

Pike Place Gold at ideal distance


Pike Place Gold will get the chance to race over a distance that his trainer, Cole Norman, has long wanted to start him over Saturday, when he goes to post as the favorite in the featured 10th race at Louisiana Downs.

goes in an optional-claiming allowance at seven furlongs, and he comes into the race on the heels of an allowance win for which he earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 97.

That race, on June 3, came over 6 1/2 furlongs, and he rallied for a 1 1/4-length win. The additional ground he gets on Saturday should be a benefit.

"I think that it's a perfect distance for him, seven furlongs," said Norman. "I've been wanting that for him."

Norman has worked Pike Place Gold twice since his last start and is hopeful he will run back to that performance. Guy Smith has the mount on Pike Place Gold, who races for Courtlandt Farms.

Pike Place Gold, who is out of Kentucky Oaks winner Pike Place Dancer, can get a nice stalking trip behind the front-running Mama's Joy and Hero's Glow, who will break from the rail after racing close to the pace last out to win a seven-furlong allowance at Louisiana Downs.

John Jacinto has the mount on Hero's Glow for trainer Morris Nicks, while Rico Flores will ride Mama's Joy for trainer Dwaine Loy.

Don't Tell Mommy to Middleground

Don't Tell Mommy, a 2-year-old son of Capote who closed with a rush to capture the $40,000 Pioneer last Sunday by more than five lengths, will make his next start in the $75,000 Middleground Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park on July 16, said his trainer, Steve Asmussen.

Don't Tell Mommy remained undefeated in two starts with his win in the Pioneer.

"He's nice," said Asmussen, who trains the colt for Millennium Farms.

* In the first race on Saturday, Military Major, a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Acceptable, will make his career debut. Military Major races for the Kinsman Farm of George and Joan Steinbrenner, and he is trained by Michael Caraman.

* For the second straight Saturday, the scheduled stakes did not fill. Last week, it was the $40,000 Rebel for 2-year-old fillies, and this week, it is the $40,000 Total Rewards at five furlongs on turf. Top Commander, trained by Norman and one of the best sprinters in the Midwest, was supposed to use the Total Rewards as a springboard to the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar.