06/21/2005 11:00PM

Top fig horse also lone speed


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Friday's allowance feature appears to be a classic case of catch me if you can.

Leading trainer Cole Norman will send out the speedy Skin Flint, a runaway winner versus maidens last start and the apparent lone speed in the mile-and-70-yard, entry-level allowance feature. He faces seven rivals, for a $25,500 purse.

was never threatened in graduating on May 29, as jockey Guy Smith was merely along for the ride after clearing the field early. The time of 1:10.20 for six furlongs over a sealed and sloppy strip produced a gaudy 98 Beyer Speed Figure, considerably better than what the members of the rest of the field earned in their most recent starts.

Friday will mark Skin Flint's first try around two turns but as a grandson of A. P. Indy on the top side of his pedigree and Forty Niner on the bottom, the middle distance should be well within his reach. Smith has been given a return call.

Should the likely favorite stub his toe on the stretchout, appears the most likely to win. Trained by Wes Hawley, Biloxi Breeze comes off a second-place finish in a similar spot on Memorial Day weekend. Biloxi Breeze made what looked to be a winning move under Gerard Melancon after stalking the pace, but was run down in the late going by Tromp, who has since won again, strengthening the case for Biloxi Breeze.

In his next-to-last race Biloxi Breeze also ran second, that time to Silver Haze for a $75,000 tag on the grass. Silver Haze used that race as a springboard to launch a budding turf career that has produced a pair of stakes victories since. Melancon will ride Biloxi Breeze again on Friday.

There is no grass racing at Louisiana Downs this week as the John Franks Turf Course, which has been used extensively the first eight weeks of the meeting, undergoes routine maintenance.

"This is something we had planned for some time," said track superintendent George McDermott. "We are going to give the turf a little break and be ready to go for the big Fourth of July weekend."

With July 4 falling on a Monday this year, a special five-day week of racing is on the schedule. Highlighting the holiday weekend will the be the 28th running of the Independence Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.