08/13/2005 12:00AM

Premier Dance wins Mistrel


Bossier City, La. - Even money favorite Premier Dance made it two stakes in a row on Saturday as he drew away from 6-5 second choice Smart 'n Salty to win the Minstrel Stakes at Harrah's Louisiana Downs. Noble Texas was along for the show spot followed by Exacto.

Luis Quinonez positioned Premier Dance with the early pace while between foes and they helped set a reasonable opening quarter of :22.45. The top two finishers dueled through the turn through a half-mile in :45.54 before the winner steadily drew clear through the stretch. The final time for the six furlongs was a quick 1:10.71 and the winning margin was six lengths.

Trained by Cody Autrey for Charles Fletcher, Premier Dance ($4.00) won for the third time in five starts after also accounting for the Middleground Breeders' Cup Stakes at Lone Star Park in his start prior to Saturday's effort in the Minstrel. The 2-year-old son of Premiership has now won just over $91,000.

"I rode him with a lot of confidence" said Quinonez after the race. "He put me in the race early and when I called on him for some run, he just took off."