03/22/2006 1:00AM

Precocious Kat top invader in Goddess


With national stars Round Pond and Happy Ticket dominant in the filly and mare division at Oaklawn Park, other fillies and mares in the region are being forced to shop around in the quest for black type. The result is a strong contingent shipping from Hot Springs, Ark., to Evangeline Downs to run in Friday night's $75,000 Goddess Stakes.

The one-mile race drew a field of seven horses, four of whom made their last start at Oaklawn.

The strongest of the Arkansas imports appears to be . Trained by Jerry Calvin, she is riding a four-race win streak, including two high-level optional claiming victories in which she earned Beyer Speed Figures in the mid-80's. Her stalk-and-pounce style should serve her well in what promises to be a tactical race. Calvin has given the call on Precocious Kat to Guy Smith.

, a well-traveled 5-year-old trained by Josie Carroll, comes into the Goddess off a second-place finish in the Pippin Stakes at Oaklawn on Feb. 23. She ran third in the Houston Distaff Handicap at Sam Houston in January and won the Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine in November. Stewart Elliott, the regular rider of Round Pond, will be aboard.

Should the pace be quick, might be poised to unleash one of her typical late rallies. Unplaced in the Pippin but the winner of the Houston Distaff for trainer Michael Stidham, Culinary has shown a preference for the one-mile distance of the Goddess. Veteran C.J. Woodley will ride.

The speedy appears to be the best of the locals. A two-time stakes winner at Evangeline, including the $75,000 Louisiana HPBA going 5 1/2 furlongs in December, Indigo Girl will be making a rare appearance around two turns. Trained by Sam Breaux, Indigo Girl may well get an uncontested early lead under Kerwin Clark.

Also on Friday's program are two $50,000 starter allowance stakes. The Ragin Cajuns Starter for Louisiana-bred males will be run at five furlongs and the Bon Temps Starter, also at five furlongs, is restricted to Louisiana-bred fillies and mares.