08/11/2004 12:00AM

Uncle Clip gets tougher task


Uncle Clip, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90 when he defeated Louisiana-bred maidens in his last start, moves into the entry-level allowance ranks Friday at Louisiana Downs.

A six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up bred in Louisiana, the race has drawn a competitive group of eight horses, including Dukes Shawklit, who earned a Beyer Figure of 87 when he defeated statebreds in his debut in February, and Neon Leon.

Uncle Clip led throughout for a 2 1/2-length win in his last start and figures to be prominent again from his rail post Friday.

"We've always been real high on him," said James E. Hodges, who trains Uncle Clip for longtime client Stacey Moak. "We've really liked him."

Hodges, who is winning with 45 percent of his starters at the meet, said he would eventually like to test Uncle Clip around two turns. If he were to handle the distance, Uncle Clip could develop into a contender for the $75,000 Louisiana Breeders' Derby at 1 1/16 miles Oct. 23.

A route for Nitro Chip?

Nitro Chip, who improved his career record to 5 for 7 with his win in the $70,000 A.L. Erwin at Louisiana Downs on Sunday, could move to two turns for his next start, said his trainer, Sam Breaux.

The race under consideration is the Breeders' Derby.

"He's bred to go that far," said Breaux, who trains the grandson of Forty Niner for Emmitt Pickett.

Nitro Chip, who has won three stakes, has made just one start around two turns, and it came on turf. He finished off the board, and the race was inconclusive as far as his route ability, said Breaux.

Nitro Chip stumbled badly at the start of the race, but looked more like himself on Sunday, when he powered to a 4 1/2-length win in the Erwin. He was ridden by Donnie Meche.

"He broke real sharp, stalked the leaders, and when Donnie asked him to run, he ran by them," said Breaux.

All Gone tops auction Sunday

All Gone, a stallion from the Estate of John Franks, sold for $80,000 on Sunday to top the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Sales Co. summer mixed auction in Lafayette, La.

All Gone was purchased by Janet Jeanes and was consigned by Carousel Bloodstock. Foaled in 1990, he has has six crops of racing age. One of his best foals has been Showmeitall, winner of the Grade 2 Hutcheson. All Gone is a son of Fappiano and is out of the Grade 1-winning mare Squander.