05/25/2010 11:00PM

Warrior Maid makes for Heitzmann reunion


Warrior Maid's win in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint was a popular one for the Heitzmann family last Saturday at Louisiana Downs. The filly is trained by Eric Heitzmann, whose brother Roger made the trophy presentation in his role as the secretary-treasurer of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. In addition, another brother, David, was on hand as the new racing secretary at Louisiana Downs.

"It's always good to have family around," Eric Heitzmann said. "It was a good day."

It was the second time Eric has had his brothers ontrack following a stakes win. When the Eric Heitzmann-trained Autobeacat took the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds in 2008, Roger made the trophy presentation, while another brother, Mike, the stallion manager for Vinery in Kentucky, was there because he was in town for business. David, meanwhile, was the

assistant racing secretary at Fair Grounds at that time, said Eric.

David, 45, brings a host of experience to his new position at Louisiana Downs. He has been a racing official at a number of tracks through the years, including Fair Grounds, Churchill Downs,

Keeneland, and Arlington.

As for Warrior Maid, she could run next on the Louisiana Showcase card at Evangeline on July 3, in either the $100,000 Ladies Sprint or $100,000 Distaff.

"Naturally we're leaning toward the sprint just because of the race the other day," Eric said. "We'll see what suits her best."

Warrior Maid, who also is a stakes winner at two turns, scored by 1 1/4 lengths Saturday.

"She showed a lot of grit down the lane," Eric said. "She was collared by four different horses at different points in the race and went about her business and won with authority."

Louisiana Downs moved the Cup Day program of Louisiana-bred stakes from August to May this year, and experienced a surge in field sizes. The six stakes on the card averaged 10.1 starters per race compared to 7.8 in 2009, according to Trent McIntosh, director of racing operations for Louisiana Downs.