08/06/2003 11:00PM

Storybook Kid has pace edge in Barksdale

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Storybook Kid might be the answer to two turf races Saturday. He is one of the top contenders in the $50,000 Barksdale Handicap at Louisiana Downs, while one of the horses he defeated in a recent allowance, Krishavingfunnow, will run later the same night in San Antonio in the $50,000 Retama Park Turf Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Storybook Kid has risen in the ranks from $7,500 claimer to $75,000 stakes winner over the past few years. His biggest victory came in his last start, when he won the $75,000 Independence Handicap at Louisiana Downs.

That race was Storybook Kid's fourth win in his last five starts, with the lone loss coming when he ran third in the $250,000 Dallas Turf Cup against New York shipper Patrol.

There is no Patrol for Storybook Kid to contend with Saturday, but he does find himself in against a solid group of older horses in the Barksdale, which will be run at about 1 1/16 miles on turf. Others in the race include defending champ Rebridled, Classic Stag, Big Hubie, Dash for Daylight, and One Eyed Joker.

Since there appears to be a handful of front-runners in the race, the pace should benefit Storybook Kid. A closer, he thrives when there are hot fractions to chase - although he did not let a lack of pace stop him in the Independence.

In that race, Storybook Kid closed into a modest pace set by Dash for Daylight, who could be joined on the front end Saturday by any number of horses, among them Best of K C and Big Hubie.

A battle would assist Storybook Kid, who will be ridden by Don Simington. Pat Mouton trains the horse for Stanley Seelig.

A threat to the top choice could be Classic Stag, who made his comeback from a near four-month layoff last out and finished a troubled fourth in an allowance prep for the Barksdale. Prior to that race, he won three consecutive turf routes at Fair Grounds. Luis Quinonez has the mount for trainer Larry Robideaux, Jr.