06/30/2010 12:00AM

Stakes-packed Saturday awaits


BOSSIER CITY, La. - The fireworks will begin a little early this weekend at Louisiana Downs with the meeting's first stakes action for 2-year-olds on Saturday. Set for five furlongs on turf, the $50,000 Minstrel and $50,000 Princess Stakes will join two other turf stakes, the $50,000 Top Courage and the $50,000 Barksdale Stakes, on a program that is being billed as the second of four "Super Saturdays" this meet.

Dixieland Bull will be a short-priced favorite in the Princess off the strength of her perfect 2 for 2 mark. Trained by Bob Schultz, Dixieland Bull's most recent victory was a front-running score in a five-furlong allowance here June 11. That race served as a prep for both the Minstrel and Princess as it drew colts and geldings as well as fillies. Dixieland Bull will square off against six rivals in the Princess and will have Eguard Tejera in the saddle.

The Minstrel drew a full field of 12, headed by Aces N Kings. A Robert Young charge, Aces N Kings has won all three of his races, including the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity in his most recent start. A son of Jet Phone, Aces N Kings will be making his turf debut in the Minstrel and will break from post 4 under Tejera.

Big Bentley will be looking to make amends in the Minstrel after having to settle for a second-place finish behind Dixieland Bull three weeks ago. A Johannesburg colt trained by Bret Calhoun, Big Bentley finished third in his only other start, a maiden special weight over the Churchill main track on May 13. Carlos Gonzalez has the return call Saturday.

In the Top Corsage, an evenly matched field of 10 fillies and mares will go 7 1/2 furlongs. The Cat Who could be a tepid favorite off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Ouija Board Handicap at Lone Star in her most recent start. She is trained by Brent Davidson, who has given Gonzalez the call.

Others in the Top Corsage include Just Plain Wayne, winner of her last three races, and Category Seven, who has won her last two starts. Dancin Perfect comes off a hard-earned victory in optional claiming company after finishing fourth in the Irving Stakes at Lone Star in April.

The Barksdale, also slated for 7 1/2 furlongs, is a wide-open affair as well. Thirteen older performers passed the entry box Wednesday, and a clear-cut favorite is hard to find.