08/16/2007 11:00PM

Raspberry Wine awaits fall tests


Raspberry Wine is part of a select club. She is one of a limited number of horses who have won five stakes already this year, her latest the $100,000 Matchmaker at Louisiana Downs on July 21. All her the stakes wins came in races restricted to Louisiana-breds, beginning with the $50,000 Camelia at Delta Downs in January.

"She's fun and we love her," said Al Stall Jr., who trains Raspberry Wine for Sport of Kings Racing.

Raspberry Wine is 5 for 6 this year for earnings of $280,000. And she still has some significant races left in 2007. Stall is in the process of mapping out a fall campaign for Raspberry Wine, who is being freshened at Elite Training Center in Folsom, La.

"We sent her home, just because there's nothing for Louisiana-breds for a while," he said. "The next goal would be Louisiana Champions Day at the Fair Grounds. We've got to figure out how to get her there."

Stall said among the potential races for Raspberry Wine leading up to Champions Day, which is in December, is the $75,000 Magnolia for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares at a mile at Delta Downs on Nov. 17. Stall said the race for Raspberry Wine on Champions Day is the Ladies, on dirt, but he also plans to nominate her to the Turf, which is open to males. There is not a turf stakes for fillies and mares on Champions Day.

Raspberry Wine is 3 for 4 on the grass, with three of her stakes wins this year coming on turf. She made her first start in a grass stakes in the $100,000 Red Camelia at Fair Grounds in March, and won by 2o1/2 lengths with a Beyer Figure Speed of 86.

"The turf opened up a whole new set of races for us," said Stall.

Raspberry Wine won the Matchmaker on the Louisiana Downs turf, and the runner-up, Tortuga Flats, returned in her next start to win an allowance.

Silent Pleasure, who like Raspberry Wine is based in Louisiana, can also claim five stakes wins this year. His latest came in the $125,000 Tiznow Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs. Silent Pleasure has since been sidelined with a sesamoid injury. He could return to racing in 2008.

Arrangements pending for Burch

Funeral arrangements for Lucy Burch, the Louisiana Downs-based rider who was killed in car accident in Shreveport on Wednesday night, are pending. Scott Rushing, who was Burch's agent, said Thursday night that her father, Wayne Burch, was due in from Alabama on Saturday. Arrangement details were expected to be made then, Rushing said. Burch was 28.

Rushing said that following the Louisiana Downs meet Burch was planning to ride at Delta Downs.

"We talked about plans for the winter, and she was going to go for the first time to Delta," he said.

"She had just told me she felt she was at a pretty good place in her career, that things were really looking positive. It's a horrible blow."

Burch was killed when the vehicle she was a passenger in flipped, ejected her, and landed on top of her. She registered her first win as a jockey in 2001.

* Carolina Sky, a multiple stakes winner on turf, is getting the summer off, said her trainer, Morris Nicks. He looks for Carolina Sky to return this winter at Fair Grounds.

* A new agreement permits HRTV to telecast all Louisiana Downs races.