09/17/2006 11:00PM

Super Derby lineup falling into place


Point Determined is now firm for Saturday's Grade 2 Super Derby, and Robby Albarado has picked up the mount on Strong Contender in the $500,000 signature race of the Louisiana Downs meet.

A field of seven is probable, led by Lawyer Ron. Entries for the 1 1/8-mile race will be drawn Wednesday. Smokeyjonessutton, who finished a close second to Lawyer Ron last month in the $250,000 St. Louis Derby, is "50-50" to join the lineup, his trainer, Dallas Stewart, said Monday.

Albarado gets the call on Strong Contender because the colt's regular rider, Edgar Prado, has commitments at Belmont Park, where three graded stakes will be run on Saturday. Albarado rode at Louisiana Downs during the abbreviated Fair Grounds meet from November to January, and won with 20 percent of his starters.

"He's been very effective in the racing program over there in the past year, so I think he's a perfect match," said John Ward, who trains Strong Contender.

Point Determined worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds at Santa Anita on Monday, and is scheduled to fly in on Thursday. He will be ridden by Victor Espinoza, said Tony Patterson, racing secretary at Louisiana Downs. Bob Baffert trains Point Determined, who won the Grade 3 Affirmed and finished second in the Grade 2 Swaps at Hollywood Park this summer.

Lawyer Ron drilled five furlongs in a bullet 59.60 seconds at Churchill Downs on Saturday in his final prep for the Super Derby. He went back to the track on Monday.

"He came out of his work good, and galloped good this morning," said Bob Holthus, who trains Lawyer Ron. "We're leaving here about noon on Wednesday."

Lawyer Ron will travel to Shreveport, La., aboard a flight that will originate in New York to pick up Strong Contender. Smokeyjonessutton, based at Churchill, could also be on the Wednesday flight.

Majestic Stream is vanning 600 miles from Hobbs, N.M., and was to arrive on Tuesday night, said his trainer, Clyde Veltmann. As of Monday, a rider was still being determined for Majestic Stream, a stakes winner against older horses at Ruidoso.

Carlos Gonzalez, the leading jockey at Louisiana Downs, has the mount on His Eyes, said trainer Bret Calhoun. The third-place finisher in the local prep for the Super Derby, the $100,000 Prelude, he could be cross-entered in the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite, a turf stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday's undercard.

"We would prefer to run in the Donnie Wilhite if it comes off the grass," said Calhoun.

Costa Rising, winner of his last six starts, is leaning toward the Wilhite, although a start in the Super Derby has not been totally ruled out, his trainer, Joseph Boxie, said Monday.

Lonnie Meche has the mount on Prelude winner Louisborg. Gerard Melancon will ride Prelude runner-up Almost Certain if he runs in the Super Derby.

"We're going to let him work a little bit on Wednesday, just to kind of stretch his legs," said Bart Evans, who trains Almost Certain. "If I'm happy with that, then I'll probably enter him and we'll go."

Cindago, winner of the El Cajon at Del Mar, is not likely to start in the Super Derby, as of Monday. Sea of Trees is being pointed for the Grade 3, $250,000 Hawthorne Derby on Oct. 14 instead, said trainer Tom Bohannan.