05/21/2008 11:00PM

Three sharp fillies stand out in one of four turf stakes


Pleasantly Blessed, Sarahlane'sdestiny, and Nine M.M. are all versatile fillies looking to add the title of stakes winner to their resumes Saturday in the $50,000 Top Corsage at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La. They could start as the top three choices in the 7 1/2-furlong race, which is one of four turf stakes on the card. Purses for the races total $200,000.

Pleasantly Blessed has won 3 of her last 4 starts, with her wins coming on both dirt and turf. She has been effective from both on and off the pace and could be a slight favorite in the Top Corsage after finishing second by a neck to Barbette in the $50,000 Jersey Lily at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Sam Houston Race Park in her last start, April 5.

"That other filly ran us down the last jump," said Morris Nicks, who trains Pleasantly Blessed. "She hung in tough. She ran a super race."

Pleasantly Blessed had won a maiden special weight and two allowances at Fair Grounds heading into the Jersey Lily, which was her stakes debut. She will break from post 4 under Francisco Torres.

"I think if the pace is her pace, she'll be up front, and if it isn't she'll stalk," said Nicks.

Sarahlane'sdestiny is the first foal to race from Sarah Lane's Oates, a multiple stakes winner with earnings of more than $880,000. Saralane'sdestiny is returning to Louisiana after winning a first-level allowance on Polytrack at Keeneland.

"She beat some nice fillies over there," said Andrew Leggio, who trains Sarahlane'sdestiny. "She's pretty versatile. She's run equally good races on dirt, turf, and Poly."

Lonnie Meche has the mount on Sarahlane'sdestiny.

"She comes from out of it, just like her mother," said Leggio.

Nine M.M. has won allowances on dirt and turf in her last two starts by a combined 18 lengths.

Barksdale: Wide post for Waupaca

Waupaca will have to overcome post 8 to win the $50,000 Barksdale, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race that he won as a 4-year-old in 2004. Now 8, he last raced on May 2, finishing second to Swains News in a $45,000 optional claimer at Lone Star Park.

"We were happy with his race that day," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Waupaca.

It was Waupaca's first start since October, and the mile went in a quick 1:34.60.

Incredible Ease: All new to turf

Every horse in the field for the $50,000 Incredible Ease for 3-year-olds at five furlongs will be making their turf debut in the race. There are eight starters, with the sires of Lone Star Special, Friday Meeting, Cocoa Max and Royal Expectations getting between 10 and 11 percent winners from their first-time turf runners, which is tops among all stallions with offspring in the Incredible Ease.

As for the female families of the entrants, there is limited turf form. Cocoa Max is out of the mare Cocoa Creek, a 10-time winner on the grass. And the maiden Friday Meeting is a half-brother to Shot Creek, a three-time winner on the grass.

Favoritism could go to Mr. Bubba, a first-level allowance winner at Evangeline Downs in his last start May 8. He owns the field's best last-race Beyer, an 84. Lonnie Meche has the mount for trainer Jorge Lara.

Beach Party: New test for Elocution

Elocution's runner-up finish to Palanka City in an allowance at Oaklawn in March is looking better all the time. Since their meeting, Palanka City has won two stakes and could see Grade 1 company next. As for Elocution, she will be trying something new when she starts in the $50,000 Beach Party.

A five-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, it will be her first start on turf. Elocution is by Mutakddim, who gets 11 percent debut turf winners. Her dam, Imaginary Number, has produced three turf winners. Donnie Meche will ride for trainer Steve Asmussen.