08/26/2010 2:13PM

Super Derby berth up for grabs in Prelude at Louisiana Downs


Down With Dixie will try to take out one of the south’s best 3-year-olds on Saturday, when he meets six-time stakes winner Coyote Legend in the Prelude at Louisiana Downs.

The mile and a sixteenth race is worth $100,000 and change, the lagniappe being a fees-paid berth into the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby on Sept. 25 for the winner. The incentive is valued at $8,500.

The Prelude heads a program of six stakes worth $350,000. Down With Dixie enters off a fourth-place finish to Concord Point in the Grade  3 Iowa Derby on June 26. Down With Dixie did not break well from the rail, and closed from farther back than he figures to be on Saturday.

“My horse got away just a step slow to where it took him out of his game plan,” said Paul McGee, who trains Down With Dixie. “The winner of that race came back and won the West Virginia Derby, so I think he’s probably coming out of a pretty key race.”

In addition to Concord Point, the Iowa Derby’s third-place finisher, Winslow Homer, won his next start, in the $75,000 Curlin at Saratoga.

Down With Dixie, who on Wednesday shipped in from Churchill Downs, could get a stalking trip behind Coyote Legend in the nine-horse Prelude. Jamie Theriot has the mount, and with the right kind of performance from Down With Dixie, the horse could see more action this meet at Louisiana Downs.

“If he were to win, I think that the Super Derby would definitely be on our radar,” said McGee.

Coyote Legend has won six of his last seven starts, with his lone loss during that period coming on turf. The Prelude will be his first start since he defeated older Texas-breds in the $75,000 Assault at Lone Star Park on July 10.

“He’s coming into the race great,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains Coyote Legend. “He’s been training extremely well at Remington Park. I couldn’t ask for his training to go any better.”

Coyote Legend, who arrived Thursday, has worked five furlongs in 59.60 seconds and six furlongs in 1:11.60 in preparation for the Prelude. Bobby Walker Jr. was aboard for the drills, and has the mount from post 2.

“Usually, we like him in a stalking position,” Calhoun said of Coyote Legend. “He’s got enough speed to be up close. Hopefully, there will be something to stalk and we can run them down down the lane.”

Others in the field include Ricky Tick, Apart, and Holiday Buzz, allowance runners this spring at Churchill.

Winning streaks on the line

Aces N Kings, an undefeated 2-year-old, and Category Seven, one of the region’s best turf mares, will each be looking for their fifth straight wins when they start in separate stakes.

Aces N Kings will make his two-turn debut in the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo for 2-year-olds. It will be run at a mile on turf, as will all of the undercard stakes Saturday. Aces N Kings is already a winner over the local course, having taken last month’s $50,000 Minstrel. He will be making his first start for trainer H.B. Johnson Jr. after going 4 for 4 for trainer Bob Young.

Category Seven meets males for the first time, including defending champ Mogumbo Cat, in the $50,000 Shiskabob.

* Kissimmee Kyle will take on veteran Louisiana-breds Lee’s Spirit and Snug in the $50,000 John Franks Memorial.

* Jazzy Jessy attempts to turn the tables on allowance prep winner Patty’s Pride in the $50,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial.

* The talented Speedacious will make her two-turn debut against older rivals Skipping Town and Vickies in Town in the $50,000 Honeymoon.