08/16/2009 11:00PM

Uno Mas emerges in three-way photo

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Louis Hodges Jr.
Forestry Steel, under Eddie Martin, narrowly prevails in the Sunny's Halo.

The $100,000 Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs is building a reputation for tight finishes. Last year, there was a three-way photo for the win. Saturday, the story was much the same at the wire, with Uno Mas edging Electric Alphabet and Red Lead by a neck in the 1 1/16-mile prep for next month s Grade 2, $750,000 Super Derby.

Uno Mas ($6.60) closed well through the lane to win the Prelude, which in addition to a first-place check of $60,000 offers its winner a fees-paid berth into the Super Derby on Sept. 19. Shane Sellers was aboard Uno Mas, who settled in seventh early, moved up midway on the final turn, and angled out past the eighth pole to run down Electric Alphabet and a determined Red Lead. The winner covered the distance on a track rated fast in 1:44.64.

Steve Asmussen trains Uno Mas, who picked up his first stakes win in the race for owners Bob and Cathy Zollars and Mark Wagner.

Last year, Star Production won the Prelude by a nose over Numismatist and Golden Yak.

The Prelude was the richest of four stakes on the card, all of them serving as preps for Super Derby Day. In the first of two stakes for 2-year-olds on turf, Forestry Steel ($6) came rolling from off the pace to catch Prince Eddington by a head in the $50,000 Sunny s Halo. Eddie Martin Jr. was aboard the winner, who covered the mile on firm ground in 1:37.93. Kenneth Marshall trains Forestry Steel for Rachel Curtis.

Rich Pearl ($40.20) was prominent throughout for a one-length win over Miss Afleet Alex in the $50,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial for 2-year-old fillies at a mile on turf. She covered the distance in 1:37.93. Sidney Lejeune was aboard the winner for owner-trainer Jerry Todd.

Mogumbo Cat ($13.80) won his fourth straight race after tracking a hot pace set by Gold Wonder and overtaking that one in the lane in the $50,000 Shiskabob for 3-year-olds and up at a mile on turf. He won by 2 1/4 lengths, and covered the distance in 1:34.86. Patrick Valenzuela was aboard for Jack Everett and trainer Larry Robideaux Jr.