04/08/2009 12:00AM

Stakes get started with Inaugural

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A highly competitive field of nine 3-year-olds will gather Friday night at Evangeline Downs in the $50,000 Inaugural Stakes, the first stakes of the season, which began Wednesday. Citizen, winner of the Mountain Valley Stakes at Oaklawn Park earlier this year, and Point Attended, second in the San Pedro at Santa Anita in mid-January, should vie for favoritism in the six-furlong stakes.

Citizen upset the Mountain Valley after competing against the likes of multiple stakes winner Turfiste and Kentucky Derby contender Friesan Fire over the winter at Fair Grounds. Trainer Bernie Flint, making a rare appearance in Cajun country, has named Francisco Torres to ride.

Point Attended comes into the Inaugural following an unplaced effort in the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita Feb. 16. Trainer Eric Guillot will be taking the blinkers off this Tale of the Cat colt, who has been training well since arriving from Southern California. He turned in the fastest five furlongs on the morning of April 4, covering the distance in 59.80 seconds. Jason Eads has been given the riding assignment.

Others in the field include recent allowance winners This Storms Moving and Down the Road. Also in Friday night's lineup is the undefeated Zigaree. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Zigaree won both of his starts at Louisiana Downs last summer, including the Minstrel Stakes.

The Inaugural will go as the ninth race on the 10-race program that begins at 6:20 p.m. Central.