05/18/2004 11:00PM

Red Soldier tepid choice in big field

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - There should be value galore available in Friday's turf allowance feature at Louisiana Downs, in a field that could hardly be more diverse. The non-winners of a race other-than drew 11 horses, including one also-eligible.

Red Soldier could be the lukewarm favorite in the "about" 1 1/16-mile race, if for no other reason than he won a race over the course last year, a rare achievement in this group with limited turf experience.

Trained by Jerry Cart, Red Soldier is coming off a solid Oaklawn Park campaign, in which he scored his third career win. It came against conditioned claimers two starts back, and it earned him an 87 Beyer Speed Figure. Cart has been keeping Red Soldier busy at the nearby Benton Training Center with a steady string of works that should have him on edge. Louis Quinonez, who won five races on opening-day last Friday, will ride.

Bc's Music has a bad case of "seconditis." He has four consecutive runner-up finishes, but is the only member of the field other than Red Soldier with a victory over the Louisiana Downs turf course. Bc's Music also has been racing at Oaklawn Park, where he has repeatedly been run down in the late going after setting the early pace. Speed is usually a dangerous commodity here, and Lonnie Meche, the leading rider of this young meet, has the mount and will try to get out front early.

The wildcard in the race could be Harry the Wizard. The least experienced of the entrants, Harry the Wizard is adding blinkers and has room to improve. Kirk LeBlanc will be in the saddle.