08/21/2008 11:00PM

Similar wins, similar plans


Valid Message and Enjoy the Score came rolling from off the pace for clear victories in 2-year-old stakes earlier this month at Louisiana Downs, and each could return to action Sept. 20. Both are eyeing starts on the Super Derby undercard at Louisiana Downs, with Valid Message likely to start in the $150,000 Sunday Silence and Enjoy the Score possible for the $150,000 Happy Ticket.

Both races are for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Valid Message is an old pro when it comes to grass racing. He won his maiden at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf this summer at Lone Star Park, then closed from next-to-last to take the $75,000 Sunny's Halo at a mile on turf at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 16.

"He did so well," said Ellen Williams, who trains Valid Message for H & H Ranch.

Valid Message is based at a Texas training center that Williams owns with her husband, Joe. It is about an hour and 15 minute drive to Louisiana Downs. Williams said that later this year Valid Message could run in the $100,000 El Joven at Retama Park on Nov. 1.

"We've got them both in our minds," she said of the Sunday Silence and El Joven.

Valid Message earned a Beyer Figure of 70 for the win in the Sunny's Halo. Marquee Event, who finished second, will be considered for the Sunday Silence, said his trainer, Donnie Von Hemel.

Enjoy the Score put in a strong bid to take the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial in what was her two-turn and turf debut Aug. 16.

"I was proud of her," said Jerry Hardin, who trains Enjoy the Score. "I imagine if everything goes as plans, we'll go back in the race on Super Derby Day."

The Happy Ticket is for 2-year-old fillies, and Hardin likes the race's added sixteenth of a mile for Enjoy the Score.

Perrodin scores first win of comeback

Jockey E.J. Perrodin, who was sidelined for nine months with injuries sustained in a riding accident last November, won his first race since then on Thursday at Louisiana Downs. Perrodin guided Mz. Myrtle ($5.20) to victory in the eighth race. It was his third mount since he returned to riding Aug. 10.

"It felt great," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting back in the winner's circle again and again."

Perrodin, 51, was 13 wins from career victory 3,000 heading into the races Friday. He was injured at Fair Grounds on Nov. 23, when a horse he was aboard flipped in the post parade and landed on top of him. Perrodin's pelvis was severely fractured in the accident, and he also sustained six broke ribs, a punctured lung, and a lacerated spleen. But he looked like his old self on Thursday, when he guided Mz. Myrtle to a gutsy win from between horses. Perrodin was aboard for trainer Pat Mouton.

Love to Tell to River Cities

Love to Tell, who picked up her second stakes win of the Louisiana Downs meet in the $75,000 Honeymoon, will try to make it three next month. Mike Burgess, who trains Love to Tell for Lucas Downs Ltd., said the filly will be pointed for the $100,000 River Cities on the Super Derby undercard Sept. 20.

Love to Tell won the $50,000 DeBartolo Oaks at Louisiana Downs on July 19, then beat older females in the Honeymoon on Aug. 16. She will again take on fillies and mares in the River Cities. Following that race, Burgess said Love to Tell could ship to Oklahoma for the $75,000 Remington Park Oaks on Oct. 18.

Love to Tell earned a Beyer of 88 in the Honeymoon.

* The seventh race Sunday drew a pair of horses making their first start since the summer of 2006. Delta Command, 10, will be making his first out since June 2006 and Go Chilean Go, 7, since August 2006. Sunday, they will be starting in a $10,000 claiming race for horses who have never won two races.

* Louisiana Downs will not race on Thursday because it has a special Labor Day program on Monday, Sept. 1.