07/08/2004 12:00AM

Silver Haze's pedigree just right for Pioneer


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Last year, a son of Silver Deputy stepped up to win the $50,000 Pioneer Stakes at Louisiana Downs off a local maiden win. Before the year was out, Mr. Jester had earned more than $700,000 and was the nation's third-richest 2-year-old. On Saturday, his trainer, Steve Wren, will send out another son of Silver Deputy in this year's renewal of the Pioneer.

"It would be too interesting if he were to win it," said Wren.

Silver Haze will face eight other 2-year-old colts in the 5 1/2-furlong Pioneer. Among the leading contenders are the Steve Asmussen-trained Ready Ruler; impressive maiden winner J.D.'s Blue Bayou; and promising maiden Crawfish King.

Silver Haze won his maiden in his second career start last out, when he turned back bids while on the lead and drew clear by 3 3/4 lengths at Louisiana Downs on June 18.

"He did it very professionally, and hopefully he'll do the same Saturday," said Wren. "This is a nice colt. I don't know if he's the same caliber as Mr. Jester at the same point in time, but he's a good colt."

Despite the similarities on paper between Mr. Jester and Silver Haze, Wren, who trains both horses for Kaaren Biggs, said the two colts are very different.

"[Silver Haze] has a lot of playfulness to him," he said, "while Mr. Jester was more laid back. Things didn't bother him."

Wren also said Silver Haze has a more compact build, but he does not look for him to be limited to sprinting.

"I do think he'll get a route of ground, and hopefully we can go the same route with him as Mr. Jester," Wren said. "Saturday will tell a lot."

Mr. Jester shipped to Turfway Park after the Pioneer and was placed first when the winner was disqualified in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile. Later in the year, he captured the $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs.

Mr. Jester has resumed training at Louisiana Downs following a vacation and is being pointed for the $60,000 Prelude Stakes here Aug. 28. That race is the local prep for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby.

Silver Haze will be ridden Saturday by Jeff Burningham.

Ready Ruler could go favored in the Pioneer following his two-length win over Crawfish King in a maiden race at Lone Star on June 19. He earned a 71 Beyer Speed Figure, the same last-race number as J.D.'s Blue Bayou.