09/02/2009 11:00PM

Sellers invades to ride a pair in turf stakes


Jockey Shane Sellers has already won two stakes just two months into his comeback from a more than four-year layoff. Saturday, he has a chance to double his stats. Sellers is shipping into Louisiana Downs to ride top contenders Lightlightlight and Elusive Commander in the Elge Rasberry and A.L. "Red" Erwin, respectively.

The stakes are for 3-year-olds, both at a mile on turf and restricted to horses bred in Louisiana. The purse of the races will vary, with starters that are graduates of eligible sales running for $150,000 and those that are not for $50,000.

Lightlightlight will get good support in the Elge Rasberry, which is for fillies. She defeated a number of her 11 rivals in her last start, when she closed well for a 1 1/4-length win in the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Oaks at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 1. The race was run at 1 1/16 miles and it was the first time Sellers had ridden Lightlightlight.

"It came up sloppy, and I don't know that she had ever run in the slop," he said. "It was a different situation for her.

"She ran a very good race to get up and win."

Lightlightlight, who is owned by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and trained by Steve Asmussen, will be making a rare turf start Saturday. She gets pedigree support for the task as her sire, Whywhywhy, is getting 13 percent turf winners and her dam, Cigarlighter, has produced a five-time turf winner in Silk Degrees.

Elusive Commander will be making his stakes debut in the Erwin off a half-length win in a first-level allowance for statebreds at a mile on turf July 25. He also won his maiden in a turf route at Evangeline Downs back in May. Sellers will be teaming with the promising Elusive Commander for the first time.

Elusive Commander has made just four starts. He finished first in a second race, but was disqualified for interference. Sam David trains the horse for Kathy Hornsby.

Milwaukee Miracle, who is one of the top Louisiana-breds in training, is first on the also-eligible list for the Erwin.

Sellers is based at Evangeline, but after that meet closes Monday he intends to begin riding on a regular basis at Louisiana Downs.