09/11/2008 12:00AM

Stakes winners clash on turf


Jockey E.J. Perrodin has been looking forward to getting back on Cajun Conquest, who could start as a slight favorite over stakes winner Middleweight in the ninth race at Louisiana Downs.

The horses will meet in a $30,000 optional claimer at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf.

Cajun Conquest finished second at this level in his last start Aug. 14, when he came rolling from last in a 10-horse field. Perrodin was aboard that afternoon, and on Saturday will again team with Cajun Conquest.

"That was a hard beat," Perrodin said of the Aug. 14 race. "I never got running room until late, late, late, and when I got running room, I got beat a head. The horse finished with a big, big run."

Cajun Conquest is a stakes winner over the Louisiana Downs turf for Pat and Steve Roe and trainer Pat Mouton. His chief rival appears to be the Al Stall-trained Middleweight, who is also a stakes winner over the local course. In his last start, he finished third, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the same optional claimer as Cajun Conquest. Kirk LeBlanc has the mount for the partnership of Stewart Madison and Peter Gaffney.

* Jockey Jose Verenzuela, who has not ridden since July 4 when he cracked five ribs and dislocated a shoulder in a spill at Louisiana Downs, is named on Daphne's Magic in the fourth race Saturday.

* Jockey Lonnie Meche has been suspended seven calendar days for a riding infraction, running through next Friday.