05/17/2005 12:00AM

Streaking Happy Ticket elicits Hallowed Dreams comparison


Happy Ticket is starting to draw comparisons to Hallowed Dreams.

The undefeated Louisiana-bred filly won her eighth straight start Saturday at Louisiana Downs, putting her at the halfway point of the 16 consecutive victories strung together by the Louisiana-bred Hallowed Dreams between 1999 and 2000 in her home state. Hallowed Dreams tied the record for consecutive wins in North America.

Happy Ticket began to spark comparisons to Hallowed Dreams last year, when she won the first seven races of her career, all in Louisiana. The buzz grew Saturday, when Happy Ticket turned in a crushing, 6 1/4-length win in the $50,000 Suthern Accent in her first start since December.

"I hear all kind of talk like that," said Andrew Leggio Jr., who trains Happy Ticket for Stewart Madison. "Records are nice. I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see. We'll just take it one race at a time. If we could possibly break that record, we'd like to, but if we don't, it's no big deal. We're really not trying to break a record, but if it happens, we'd love it."

Leggio said Happy Ticket could make her next start in one of two races: the $100,000 Valid Expectations over six furlongs at Lone Star Park near Dallas on May 30, or the Grade 3, $175,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap over seven furlongs at Arlington Park on June 18. (She is also eligible for the $50,000 Hallowed Dreams, a six-furlong race for statebred fillies and mares at Louisiana Downs on July 17.)

"We don't know which way we're heading at the present time," said Leggio. "We're kind of interested in [getting] some graded type on her. I don't know if we're going to do it this next month, but in the future, that's what we'd like to do."

Happy Ticket, a 4-year-old daughter of Anet, raced six furlongs on Saturday, but she is a winner around two turns and on turf, which makes for plenty of options for her.

"As the races present themselves, we'll take the opportunity, whatever it may be," said Leggio.

Happy Ticket earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 99 on Saturday, tying her career-best mark. She showed a strong desire to win as she chased down and passed the pacesetter, Southern Surprise.

"I thought the race was pretty awesome, myself," said Leggio. "When she took off after that horse and decided to start running, she just exploded coming down the lane."

Happy Ticket won six Louisiana-bred stakes before the Suthern Accent, which was for open company. Hallowed Dreams retired with a record of 25 wins from 30 starts and earnings of $740,144.

More options for Silver Haze

Silver Haze expanded his horizons Sunday with his win in the $50,000 Excalibur, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds. The victory was his second straight turf win in two grass starts at the meet. He also is a two-time winner on dirt.

"He likes the Louisiana Downs grass," said Steve Wren, who trains Silver Haze for Kaaren Biggs. "I don't think he's strictly a turf horse, but as long as I can get a race at Louisiana Downs on the turf, I don't want to change anything."

Wren said one next-race option for Silver Haze is the $50,000 Bossier City Handicap for 3-year-olds June 11. The 1 1/16-mile turf race is at Louisiana Downs.

Silver Haze is a son of Silver Deputy, the same sire as Mr. Jester, a multiple stakes winner Wren trains for Biggs. Mr. Jester has been working toward a comeback. "He's getting ready," said Wren.

Grand Bank tries turf in Thursday sprint

Grand Bank, who earned a Beyer of 97 last out in a dominating allowance win at Oaklawn, will move to turf for the 10th race on Thursday. The about five-furlong race also drew Western Acres, a promising colt for the Wren barn who won his debut last year at Louisiana Downs.

Grand Bank has been given time to regroup from his last start, and if he takes to the surface, he will be tough to handle. Trainer Cole Norman has given the mount to Guy Smith.

Western Acres, who is being pointed for the $50,000 Airline on July 16, will be ridden by E.J. Perrodin.