07/23/2009 12:00AM

Pleasantly Blessed back in a stakes


Pleasantly Blessed, who finished second in allowance company at Lone Star Park in her first start of the year last month, will once again join the stakes ranks as she heads up the $50,000 Matron Stakes at Evangeline Downs. The one-mile test on the turf drew a field of 10 fillies and mares and will be the evening's eighth race.

Now trained by Steve Asmussen, Pleasantly Blessed was a stakes regular last year for trainer Morris Nicks, finishing second in the Honeymoon, Top Corsage, and River Cities at Louisiana Downs as well as the Jersey Lily at Sam Houston. A 5-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap, she has won 4 of her 13 starts and has missed being involved in the exacta only twice in her career. Asmussen has given the call to Shane Sellers, whose win total at the meeting stands at six since he launched a career comeback earlier this month.

Category Seven has been anything but idle in 2009. Trained by Kenneth Hargrave, she has not finished worse than second in any of her eight starts this year and has won five times. In her only stakes try of 2009, Category Seven narrowly missed in the Top Corsage at Louisiana Downs. Regular rider Richard Eramia will once again be in the saddle.

Also in the Matron is Ruling Class. A Mazel Trick mare, she won the Lookout Stakes at Delta Downs in March and after some time off, she finished third, a head behind seconds-place Category Seven, in the Top Corsage last month. She continues to train well for Terry Romero, who has enlisted the services of jockey Steve Bourque.