07/01/2003 11:00PM

Ten Times Better looks best in Young


LAFAYETTE, La. - The finals for the $100,000 D.S. "Shine" Young Futurity highlight a special holiday program at Evangeline Downs Friday night as a dozen of the best Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds line up in the meeting's biggest stakes. The race is part of a three-day celebration called the Evangeline Downs All-American Fourth of July Festival, which features free music, carnival rides, and the area's largest fireworks display.

The most impressive qualifier for the Shine was Ten Times Better, owned by Jerry Adkins. In Ten Times Better's debut, in maiden special weight company on May 26, he was a little slow getting into the race early and finished second. Trainer Keith Bourgeois added blinkers for the colt's June 13 trial, and the result was a front-running 12-length victory in the fastest qualifying time of 59.60 seconds for five furlongs. Guy Smith will return to the saddle on Ten Times Better, the 3-1 morning-line favorite.

Streak of Smoke, a Smoke Glacken colt, also looked good winning his qualifying trial. A Carole Castille trainee, Streak of Smoke showed professionalism after being headed in the turn and came back to draw clear late by four lengths. James T. Weatherly will ride.

With a heated pace battle almost a guarantee, One Fiftyfour I Q deserves a long look. The son of Zarbyev won his trial with a furious late charge to edge clear late. Logan Cormier has the call to ride.