08/06/2009 11:00PM

Superior Storm to be freshened at trainer's farm


Superior Storm, the reigning Louisiana-bred horse of the year, will be freshened after her blood work was off following her head win in last weekend's $100,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.

Superior Storm tied up a week before the Louisiana Downs race and missed a scheduled work. But when her enzyme count came back to normal a few days prior to the Distaff, she was a go for the race. This past week, however, more blood work was done and Superior Storm's enzyme count came back quite high, said her trainer, Rick Jackson. An elevated count can cause an animal's muscles to tie up.

"The first thing is to get her right," Jackson said. "We're going to take her to the farm and swim her for a while and freshen her up and go from there. We did have a race spotted at Keeneland . . . but before we do anything we're going to make sure her blood work is good.

"Right now, we don't know what this is. I think the heat might have something to do with it. This filly has been fighting the heat."

Superior Storm won an optional claiming race over champion Proud Spell at Oaklawn Park in March, then one race later was second in the track's Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap. Plans were penciled in for her to make a return to graded company in the Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster this fall at Keeneland, but they are on hold at the moment, said Jackson.

Superior Storm is now 10 for 10 in Louisiana-bred stakes company.

Superior Storm was the first ride in a month for jockey Luis Quinonez, who had been sidelined with three broken ribs. The win came the same week Quinonez's longtime agent, Gerry DiLaura, was battling serious health issues in a hospital near Dallas.

DiLaura fell about a week ago, which led to severe internal bleeding that was initially misdiagnosed. He was on a respirator when Quinonez visited him last week following the Distaff.

"I told him, 'We got the money,' " Quinonez said. "You could see he wanted to smile, but he couldn't do anything."

DiLaura was able to come off the respirator on Wednesday.

Quinonez was impressed with the latest effort from Superior Storm.

"She gives everything she's got," he said. "The other day, they had a chance to beat her and they didn't. That's a good little mare. Especially around Louisiana . . . she's almost unbeatable."

Quinonez is working horses at Remington Park, where he will ride when the meet opens Aug. 21.

Stakes-bound runners for Leggio

Trainer Andrew Leggio has had two impressive allowance winners over the past couple of weeks at Louisiana Downs. The latest was Mayhaw, who won off by 10 1/2 lengths Thursday.

"She's steadily improving," Leggio said of the filly, who is a 3-year-old by Lion Heart. "We knew she was a decent filly way back at the Fair Grounds and we knew that she was going to go a route and we're just getting a chance to do it. She's won at 5 1/2 and seven furlongs and now a mile and 70. I'm looking for better things out of her."

Leggio said a stakes that Mayhaw would be considered for is the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks at 1 1/16 miles Oct. 11.

Martin's Bay, who won an off-the-turf allowance by 8 1/4 lengths July 26, is being pointed for the $75,000 River Cities for fillies and mares at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 19. For her effort in the allowance, she earned a career-best Beyer Figure of 92.

More than 400 yearlings cataloged

The Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana has cataloged 441 yearlings to its annual auction that will be held Sept. 28-29 at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe, La.

Among the sires represented are Afternoon Deelites, Cozzene, Dayjur, Exchange Rate, Giacomo, Leestown, Powerscourt, Running Stag, and Thunderello. Consignors include Clear Creek Stud, Elite Thoroughbreds, Elysian Bloodstock, and Legacy Bloodstock.