12/05/2001 12:00AM

Two horses needing a boost


NEW ORLEANS - Littleexpectations made a splash at Fair Grounds two seasons ago. District did the same thing last year. But when District and Littleexpectations meet in Friday's Fair Grounds feature it will be in a $38,000 sprint allowance, with both horses in need of a revitalizing race.

Littleexpectations, a full brother to Valid Expectations, has managed to bank more than $205,000 for his owner, the Ackerly Brothers Farm, and trainer Steve Asmussen, and when he won his first four races as a 2-year-old it looked like he might become any kind of horse. But since winning the Sugar Bowl Stakes here two seasons ago, "Little E" has won only twice in 12 starts, both times in allowances. His last race, a fourth to Bonapaw in the Thanksgiving Day Handicap, was solid, but not good enough, and thus the drop to allowance company.

District, a Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider homebred, came around here a year later, winning an allowance race by a length and the Colonel Power Handicap by three lengths over Bonapaw, an effort that earned District a Beyer Speed Figure of 108. But District landed on the sidelines after that win and did not race again until the Oct. 28 Ack Ack at Churchill Downs, where he finished eighth of 11. District surely needed a race, and the 7 1/2-furlong Ack Ack was a tough place to come back, but more troubling was an eighth-place finish in a Churchill allowance race 23 days later. Still, Frank Brothers has trained District back from bad form before, and a recent half-mile workout here was sharp enough that the colt can't be counted out quite yet.

Meanwhile, District, Littleexpectations, and four others might be giving futile chase to Dr. Lewis, a Fair Grounds-loving colt who had the misfortune of running into the win machine Hallowed Dreams on Nov. 17 at Delta Downs. Louisiana-based trainer Doris Hebert has won at a 27 percent clip this season, specializes in quick sprinters, and probably has set up Dr. Lewis for a top effort. Dr. Lewis must outfoot the comebacking Entrepreneur for the early lead and if clear will prove hard to catch.

Vinnie's Boy (coupled with Littleexpectations), Incredible Bulk, and Silver Zipper complete the field. Silver Zipper is the first starter of the meet for Hugh Robertson, wintering here for the first time. Silver Zipper has potential excuses in his last two losses.

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