05/17/2010 11:00PM

Snakebite Kit a go for Louisiana Cup card


Snakebite Kit will be a flashy newcomer to the Louisiana Cup Day program on Saturday. He is set to make his first start against Louisiana-bred stakes rivals in the $100,000 Turf Classic, and could start as the favorite off his record of 4 wins from 5 career starts. The 1 1/16-mile race is one of six statebred stakes on the first major card of the meet at Louisiana Downs.

Snakebit Kit completed a perfect meet this past winter at Fair Grounds, where he won the first four races of his career. All of his wins came against Louisiana-breds, a streak that started in a maiden special weight turf route Jan. 3. Snakebite Kit, who is trained by Edward Johnston, proceeded to win a first-level allowance on dirt. He then returned to turf and won twice more, earning a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 95 for a $35,000 optional claiming score in his Fair Grounds finale March 27.

Snakebite Kit last raced at Evangeline Downs, finishing third in the $50,000 John Henry Stakes on April 17. Snakebite Kit was facing open company rivals for the first time, and was beaten a length going about 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Johnston said Snakebite Kit had a wide trip in that race.

"I've trained some nice Louisiana-breds, and I think he's the real thing as far as Louisiana-breds," said Johnston, who trained Zarb's Luck, a six-time stakes winner of close to $650,000. "He's done everything we've asked him to. This is a nice grass horse. He's the real thing."

Johnston said Snakebite Kit shipped into Louisiana Downs on Monday. Snakebite Kit is a 4-year-old son of Sky Classic. He races for his breeder, Steve Hartman, and is to be ridden by John Jacinto.

In addition to the stakes on Saturday, there will be two starter allowances for statebreds, making the entire Louisiana Cup program worth more than $600,000. Superior Storm, a 12-time stakes winner, is expected for the main race for fillies and mares, the $100,000 Distaff. Entries for the card were to be taken on Wednesday.

Hearing complete on All American

A three-day appeals hearing concerning Stolis Winner, who finished first in the 2008 All American Futurity for Quarter Horses but was disqualified for a caffeine positive, concluded last Thursday at the New Mexico Racing Commission's offices in Albuquerque. It was held before a panel of hearing officers, with their recommendation on the case expected to be made within 30 days. That report will then be presented to the commission for consideration at a yet to be scheduled meeting. The Grade 1 All American is held each Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs.

* The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award two $1,000 college scholarships during the Louisiana Cup Day program Saturday at Louisiana Downs. Drawings will be held after the fifth race. Students can enter the drawing between 12:25 and 1:25 p.m. at a designated booth at the track Saturday.