05/03/2005 11:00PM

'Two Trail' streaks into Louisville


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Without Ashado, Friday's $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap becomes a wide-open affair and may just serve as the coming out party for the streaking Two Trail Sioux.

The Louisville is the richest of five stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. Ashado, last year's Oaks winner who would have been favored in here, was withdrawn from consideration by trainer Todd Pletcher because he was unhappy with the weight assignment.

Winner of five consecutive races, seeks her first graded victory when she faces eight rivals in the Grade 2 Louisville, run at 1 1/16 miles over Churchill's main track.

After running well but failing to win in three sprint races to begin her career, Two Trail Sioux has won five in a row since being stretched out around two turns. Starting last July at Del Mar, Two Trail Sioux won her maiden and went through her conditions before scoring her first stakes win in last month's listed Bayakoa at Oaklawn Park.

"She's a talented little nut, a high-class little gal," said trainer Wally Dollase, who won this race in 1996 with Jewel Princess. "She's not imposing, but she's got a heart as big as a mountain."

A daughter of Indian Charlie, Two Trail Sioux will be forwardly placed, and it will be Jerry Bailey's job to decide whether to put her on the lead or stalk the speed of Tempus Fugit, Resplendency, or probable race favorite Star Parade.

"She doesn't get in a hurry, but she gives it her all," Dollase said. "We'll be trying to save as much horse as we can for the last sixteenth of a mile."

Two Trail Sioux may offer a little value in a race that includes several graded winners and the second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers from last month's Grade 1 Apple Blossom.

, a multiple Grade 1 winner in Southern California, had a nightmarish trip in the Apple Blossom and was beaten a neck. Trainer Darrell Vienna said that jockey John McKee fought with Star Parade early, hesitated to go through a hole on the inside, then had to alter course again in the stretch when he nearly ran his mare up on heels of another horse. Vienna also said he didn't understand why McKee switched sticks with the whip when Star Parade was responding to the right-handed stick.

"She gets beat a neck when she was two hours the best," Vienna said Wednesday. "It was very frustrating and really inexplicable. I can't understand what John McKee was doing or thinking for the entire course of that race. I'm rarely critical of riders, but I couldn't be more critical of that ride."

Pat Valenzuela will replace McKee on Star Parade.

finished a half-length behind Star Parade in the Apple Blossom after trying to rally through tight quarters along the rail. She had won three consecutive races - including two on turf - before the Apple Blossom.

Island Sand finished second in last year's Kentucky Oaks and has not won since taking the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont last June. She will have to overcome an outside post.

La Reason, Personal Legend, and Storm's Darling complete the field.