08/31/2005 11:00PM

Turf action resumes in Lyrique


BOSSIER CITY, La. - With no turf racing here last week because of scheduled maintenance on the course, players and horsemen alike are eager for a return to the grass. They will get their wish in the form of a competitive 10-horse field in Saturday's $50,000 Lyrique Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.

, stakes-placed twice this summer, appears to be the one to beat in the Lyrique. She most recently contested a quick pace before finishing second in the Senorita Stakes here Aug. 6. Malika's Gold also finished third in the Northbound Pride Stakes on turf at Canterbury in June. Sandwiched between those two stakes tries was an allowance score at Lone Star Park. Trained by Randy Oberlander, Malika's Gold will once again have Luis Quinonez in the saddle and will carry top weight of 118 pounds.

, a rapidly developing Storm Cat filly trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel, makes her stakes debut in the Lyrique and goes for her third straight victory. After beating maiden special weight company at Lone Star in mid-July, Counterpoise won an entry-level allowance test a month later at Remington Park. Quincy Hamilton, atop the Remington rider standings, will ship in to ride.

Also coming in from Remington is . Trainer Mike Gass gave Prospectors Spirit time off after a Lone Star campaign, which included a third in the $100,000 Lone Star Oaks. Gass has given Benny Landeros the call.

The betting value in the Lyrique may come from . Dismissed at almost 25-1 in last month's Senorita, she finished third and was getting to runner-up Malika's Gold, who was favored that day and will likely be favored Saturday. Last season's defending riding champ, Lonnie Meche, will have the call.

, a lightly raced Anees filly representing the Al Stall Jr. stable, may have the most room to improve. In only her third career start and first on the grass, she just missed in an allowance test Aug. 6. Jose Riquelme, who is enjoying a solid season here, especially on the turf, will ride.