05/20/2009 12:00AM

Smokin Again back with a vengeance


Smokin Again was one of the best 2-year-olds to come out of the Louisiana Downs meet a year ago, and last Saturday she picked up right where she left off with a clear allowance win over fillies and mares in a turf route. The performance has set her up for a return to local stakes competition.

Charles Hukill, who trains Smokin Again, said she is now being pointed for the $50,000 Top Corsage at 7 1/2 furlongs on the grass on June 13. The race is designed as a stepping-stone to the $75,000 River Cities on the Super Derby Day card Sept. 19.

"She won the Princess Stakes on the turf last year, and if we can keep her on the turf it would be nice," Hukill said. "But she'll run dirt or turf, either one."

Smokin Again was one of three winners Hukill had over opening weekend at Louisiana Downs as he heads into the second week of the meet tied atop the trainer standings with Larry Robideaux Jr. Hukill registered two of his winners on Saturday, scoring with Dazzling N Red ($47.80) in addition to Smokin Again ($8.40).

"We had a good meet at Delta, so we were hoping it would carry over," said Hukill.

During the Delta Downs meet, Hukill won 19 races and $462,250 in purses. He has 75 horses in training between Louisiana Downs and his farm in Canton, Texas.

"I've got a lot of young horses, lot of maidens," he said.

The star of the barn right now is Smokin Again, who races for Sharon Pittman. She was a two-time winner last year at Louisiana Downs before going on to run third in the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Princess.

T.C.'s Charmer should be sharper

T.C.'s Charmer, who has a nice late kick, could be a little closer to the pace than last time when she makes her second straight sprint start in the eighth race on Friday, a $30,000 optional claimer for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares at six furlongs.

T.C.'s Charmer was cutting back from two turns for an allowance sprint in her last start, and closed from next-to-last for second in the six-furlong race at Evangeline Downs. Curt Bourque has the mount on T.C.'s Charmer for trainer Bret Calhoun.

* Louisiana Downs handled $1,924,672 on its opening-day card last Friday, while handle on its races from all sources on Saturday was $2,049,140. Handle on the card Sunday was $1,519,586.