Updated on 09/15/2011 12:56PM

Remington Rock returns in Barksdale

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With assigned highweight Nat's Big Party opting for another spot, and top regional turf horse Candid Glen still on vacation, the $50,000 Barksdale Handicap at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., on Saturday has become a wide-open race. Ten were entered in the one-mile turf race, which should produce starters for the $100,000 Louisiana Downs Handicap on

Sept. 22.

That's the game plan for Remington Rock, who makes his first start back from a three-month layoff in the Barksdale. "We want to get ready for the Louisiana Downs Handicap," said trainer Richard Jackson.

Remington Rock, who won the Grade 3 Fifth Season Breeders' Cup in April, will carry high weight of 115 pounds in the Barksdale, as will Two Punch Sunny, winner of the $75,000 Evangeline Downs Mile on Aug. 18, and Aviesallstar, who has won four of his last seven starts for leading trainer Cole Norman.

The three starting highweights have all won on turf, but are more accomplished on the main track, so if the thunderstorms forecast for Saturday materialize, they should adapt well. "The one thing with with 'Avie' is that he can run on anything: Turf, dirt, slop, whatever," said Norman.

Other contenders are Caro's Royalty, an earner of $526,855; Golden Isle, winner of last year's Barksdale; Big Red Sauce, second by a nose in his last start after his rider lost his whip; and L.A. Spider Legs, second in the $75,000 Ark-La-Tex Handicap on Aug. 4.

Great Lakes Downs

MUSKEGON, Mich. - Leading trainer Gerald Bennett sends out the likely favorites in a pair of new stakes, the Great Lakes and Beau Genius handicaps. Both races are at seven furlongs and are worth $25,000.

The Bennett-trained Flyinghannah, Michigan's leading 3-year-old filly last year, faces seven in the Great Lakes, for fillies and mares. She has won four races this year, all at this track, including the recent Moonbeam Handicap. Freddie Mata will ride Flyinghannah from post 3.

Flyinghannah is the co-topweight at 122 pounds with Sefas Rose, who defeated Flyinghannah in her only loss this meet.

Sefas Rose, a homebred from Sefa's Farm, has won twice this meet. She won the Larkspur Handicap here June 23 in her last race, defeating Flyinghannah. Trained by Brenda Hill, Sefas Rose is 6 for 10 at Great Lakes Downs.

Terry Houghton rides Sefas Rose, who drew the outside post.

Bennett has entered Touch of Power in the Beau Genius, a race named for the Bennett-trained winner of more than $1 million. Touch of Power won the Speedboat Stakes at this meeting and rallied five wide for an allowance victory on Aug. 13. He will carry top weight of 120 pounds in the Beau Genius, including jockey Houghton.

- C.A. Shoemaker

Thistledown

NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Ashwood C C, coming off a victory in the Queen City Oaks at River Downs, will be tough to handle in the $40,000 Ohio Debutante Stakes at Thistledown. The six-furlong Ohio Debutante has drawn a field of nine Ohio-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Ashwood C C carries high weight of 122 pounds and will be spotting her rivals from four to 11 pounds. A Cryptoclearance filly, Ashwood C C has tactical speed. She is trained by Rodrigo Madrigal Sr. and will be ridden by her regular rider, Scott Saito.

Eye Slew the City is very quick and will likely be the pacesetter. She was second behind Ashwood C C in the nine-furlong Queen City Oaks, and the drop back to six furlongs should enhance her chances. Mike Rowland rides Eye Slew the City at 118 pounds for trainer Gary King.

Left Lane Lorrain, who has won two stakes this year, stopped badly in the Queen City Oaks. She posted a bullet five-furlong work here Aug. 18, an indication she may be back at the top of her game. Left Lane Lorrain is part of a three-filly entry trained by Michael Nance. She carries 117 pounds and will be ridden by Julio Felix.

Runaway Rose has won three of her four starts and was third in the Queen City Oaks. Winner of the six-furlong Royal North stakes at Beulah Park, Runaway Rose is another who may benefit from the distance of the Ohio Debutante. Runaway Rose carries 117 pounds and Mike Heath rides for trainer Donn Rowe.

- Chuck Scaravilli