06/25/2008 11:00PM

Stopka seeks one better


Entry-level Louisiana-bred allowance types have center stage Saturday at Louisiana Downs as a field of nine lines up in quest of a second career victory over 1 1/16 miles of turf.

Stopka, whose rally came up just three-quarters of a length short in a similar spot here June 6 at 7 1/2

furlongs, should rule the public's choice. The Jerry Hardin trainee will have an additional 1 1/2 furlongs of real estate to work with under jockey Don Simington.

Sheikh Barker and Kiss My Kriss also come off near misses in their most recent start.

Trained by C.L. Nix, Sheikh Barker set all the pace in Stopka's runner-up performance earlier this month and was nipped at the wire by that foe for the place spot. That effort was Sheikh Barker's first start in almost two months, and he should be tighter with the benefit of a recent out. Jose Verenzuela will once again handle the riding chores.

Kiss My Kriss has yet to finish out of the trifecta in three grass starts for trainer Dwight Viator. The Kissin Kris gelding returned to the turf three weeks ago after a seventh-place finish over the Evangeline Downs main track and finished a solid third. Prior to his Evangeline start, Kiss My Kriss turned in a solid rally to win his maiden against statebred special weight company at Fair Grounds in mid-March. Viator has once again given the call to Kirk LeBlanc.