09/02/2005 11:00PM

Premier Dance towers over foes


Premier Dance, already a winner of the Middleground Stakes at Lone Star Park and most recently the Minstrel Stakes at Louisiana Downs, will attempt to make it three in a row in Monday night's Lafayette Stakes at Evangeline Downs.

He squares off against five rivals, including an entry, in the track's $100,000 traditional Labor Day feature for 2-year-olds going six furlongs.

Trained by Cody Autrey, Premier Dance is not the horse many thought would be the center of attention in the Lafayette. Voodoo Gold, victorious in the Shine Young Futurity and the John Franks Memorial Sales Stakes a little more than two weeks ago, was not entered to attempt a sweep of the Evangeline three-race series for 2-year-olds.

With a pair of Beyer Speed Figures in the low 80's earned in those two stakes wins, Premier Dance appears a formidable force indeed in the Lafayette, as the next highest Beyer in the small field is the 63 earned by recent maiden winner Costa Rising. Luis Quinonez, aboard for Premier Dance's victory in the Minstrel, will make the journey down from Louisiana Downs to retain the mount.

Joseph Boxie, trainer of Costa Rising, will also send out another recent maiden winner in Swampbiscuit. Costa Rising appears to be the stronger half of the entry, having defeated his stablemate by four lengths on July 25. M. J. Reyes will ride Costa Rising, while Ricky Faul has the call on Swampbiscuit.

I D Picture responded favorably to the addition of blinkers by trainer Larry Robideaux in his last start, defeating seven maiden foes by 5 1/2 lengths at Louisiana Downs on July 22. I D Picture drew the advantageous inside post Monday, and will be ridden by Brian Hernandez.

Completing the field are Keep the Rail, second in a qualifying trial for the Young Futurity and sixth in the final to Voodoo Gold, and recent maiden winner Zarb's Pleasure. The race goes as the ninth race on a 10-race program that gets under way at 6:45 p.m. Central.