09/29/2005 11:00PM

Shaky Town's turf form unknown

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - Trainer Cole Norman expected to have a better gauge on how Shaky Town might handle turf before running the horse on the surface for the first time Sunday in the $125,000 Harrah's Louisiana Downs Breeders' Cup Handicap at Louisiana Downs.

But his plans ran into a force of nature named Hurricane Rita.

"We didn't get to work on the turf last week because of the rain," said Norman.

So instead, Shaky Town, who this summer has emerged as one of the region's best older dirt horses, has gone about his usual preparations for a stakes. He will be chasing his fourth straight win Sunday, and third consecutive stakes. And while Shaky Town will be taking on most of the region's best turf horses, including Waupaca, Sea Dub, Dontbotherknocking, and Middleweight, he brings much class to the table.

"I think he's that type of horse," said Norman. "He's shown that. He's won a big allowance at Lone Star, and won a $75,000 stakes there, the Bob Johnson Memorial, and won the Evangeline Mile. And the way he won that, he let the whole field pass him and rebroke and went by them. He was impressive."

Shaky Town is the 121-pound highweight for the Louisiana Downs, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that will share a card with the $40,000 Majorette, which drew Nicole's Dream.

Norman is anxious to see Shaky Town run Sunday.

"Can he handle turf? That's what we need to see," he said. "His pedigree shows he can. It

doesn't just jump off the page at you, but he's got some turf pedigree there.

"I've had them with hardly any turf number love it, and I've had them with all kinds of turf numbers not even handle it. He'll run well if he handles the turf. That's what it's going to come down to."

Shaky Town should get a stalking trip under John Jacinto.

Waupaca shortens up some in distance after running a strong second to Dontbotherknocking in the $125,000 DeBartolo at 1 1/8 miles at Remington. He is a five-time winner over the local course, and figures to be close to the pace. Britt's Jules, who will add blinkers, is expected to be prominent Sunday.

An honest pace would benefit Crowned King, a two-time stakes winner at the meet who last out rallied for second to Middleweight in the $50,000 Sport City at 1 1/4 miles.