06/14/2005 12:00AM

Royal Saint on his way up

Reed Palmer Photography
Zee Oh Six, with James Lopez, makes his first start of 2005 on Thursday.

Leading trainer Cole Norman believes the best is yet to come for Royal Saint, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96 on Sunday when he won a conditioned allowance at Louisiana Downs.

It was the second straight win for the 3-year-old Royal Saint, whose three career starts have all come at six furlongs. Royal Saint, who won his maiden from just off the pace, led throughout on Sunday, defeating older horses by a determined neck in 1:10.

"He ran a powerful race, [and] I think at two turns we'll see a much better horse," said Norman. "I really do think that's going to be his gig. And turf, he's got a lot of pedigree for turf."

Royal Saint is a son of Saint Ballado, a Grade 2 winner on turf. Adding to Royal Saint's stamina strength is the pedigree of his dam, Deputy Royal, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Louis Quatorze, who earned $2 million, and Royal Indy.

Royal Saint races for Gary and Mary West, and Norman said that down the line the colt could become a candidate for the $50,000 Prelude at 1 1/16 miles at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 5. The winner of the race traditionally earns a berth into the Grade 2 Super Derby.

Leslie's Love bred to Tiznow

Leslie's Love, a top Louisiana-bred sprinter who earned $642,484, has been announced in foal to two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow, said her owner, Donald Foret. Her due date is March 2006.

Leslie's Love, 8, was retired in October and is now residing on a farm in Kentucky, said Foret. He bred her to Tiznow on the advice of his son, Brian, a recent University of Kentucky graduate who works for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League.

"We chose Tiznow because, in my mind, he's a perfect physical match for her," said Brian Foret. "She is small, and he's built like a Quarter Horse. He's big and scopey, and he's got a lot of quality to him. We wanted to give her some leg and some scope. He just had everything we wanted for her."

Leslie's Love won 22 races during her 56-race career, with 12 of her wins coming on turf. She won six stakes races overall, and last year was 5 for 10.

Prelude in offing for Silver Haze

Silver Haze, who has won three turf races in three starts at the meet, is a candidate for the Prelude. His trainer, Steve Wren, said he wants to find one more race for Silver Haze before the Prelude, whether on turf or dirt, and preferably at the end of July.

Silver Haze, who has won stakes in his last two starts, has few turf options at his disposal at the present time, but he is a two-time winner on dirt, and earlier this year ran a close fourth in the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds.

Last Saturday, in the $50,000 Bossier City Handicap, the highweighted Silver Haze unleashed a stirring move on the final turn and went on to a three-length win in the 1 1/16-mile turf race. It was a strong follow-up to his neck win in the $50,000 Excalibur at Louisiana Downs on May 15. Silver Haze races for Kaaren Biggs.

Catching a 'Corvette'

To win Thursday's first race, an optional claiming event on turf, the entrants will have to catch Zee Oh Six, who is named for the Corvette model Z06 by his auto-dealer owners, Barbara and John Smicklas. He worked a bullet four furlongs in 46.60 seconds last Sunday in preparation for his first start since a wire-to-wire win in the $50,000 Remington Green in November.

Zee Oh Six drew post 2 for his return, and trainer Terry Brennan has given the mount to Luis Quinonez.

Those who will attempt to reel in Zee Oh Six include Northern Scene, a strong third last out in the $50,000 Alliance at Louisiana Downs on April 30, and Zydeco Affair, who was up for a neck win in a turf allowance May 7, which marked his first start since February 2004.

Northern Scene finished a half-length behind Crowned King in the Alliance. Crowned King came back to win the $50,000 Barksdale by eight lengths. Guy Smith has the mount on Northern Scene for trainer Morris Nicks, while John Jacinto will ride Zydeco Affair for trainer Larry Robideaux.

* Rodeo's Castle, who has won two sprint stakes in his last two starts, got a feel for turf for the first time on Sunday. He breezed four furlongs over the Louisiana Downs grass in 48.40 seconds. The next sprint stakes on the Louisiana Downs calendar is the $50,000 Total Rewards at five furlongs on turf July 2.

* Zarb's Dahar, the co-horse of the meet last year with Happy Ticket, has compiled a series of recent works at Louisiana Downs. He has not raced since December, when he finished fourth in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint. Zarb's Dahar won all six of his starts last meet at Louisiana Downs.