09/20/2006 11:00PM

Warrior Song fresh and fast


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Warrior Song looks like the controlling speed against a strong group of regional stakes winners on Saturday in the $200,000 Louisiana Downs Breeders' Cup Handicap. The 1 1/16-mile race is one of four turf stakes supporting the card's main event, the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby.

The Louisiana Downs Handicap is also the final leg of a $100,000 guaranteed pick four that runs from races 8 through 11 and includes the Super Derby. The other stakes in the series are the $200,000 Marie P. DeBartolo Oaks and the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial. Together, stakes purses for the card total more than $1 million.

Warrior Song last raced on July 20, wiring the field in a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer on turf at Del Mar. He ran the opening six furlongs in 1:10.60 before winning by a length in a sharp 1:39.60. The race was his first start since February at Santa Anita.

"He runs so well fresh, it seems like this spot and the timing was perfect for him," said Mike Machowsky, who trains Warrior Song.

Victor Espinoza has the mount on Warrior Song, who has won 4 of 8 starts. He will be making his stakes debut on Saturday, and is weighted at 114 pounds. The 119-pound highweight is Don'tbotherknocking, who in his last start swept to victory in the $150,000 DeBartolo Memorial Breeders' Cup at Remington Park.

Others of interest in the 13-horse field include Erroneous I.D., who set a course record last out at Louisiana Downs; Dreamsandvisions, who won the $150,000 Evangeline Mile; and multiple stakes winner Waupaca.

Oaks: Battle of the coasts

Charming N Lovable invades from California and Dancing Band from New York for the DeBartolo Oaks. Waiting to face them here are Brownie Points, Aly's Vow, and Rich Fantasy, all of whom are turf stakes winners in this region. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies is the first leg of the pick four, as race 8. Others of interest in the field include Kentucky stakes winner Palace Rumor.

Charming N Lovable put three straight Southern California turf wins together between April and July, a streak that culminated with a win in the $100,000 Flawlessly at Hollywood Park. She drops out from Grade 1 company for the DeBartolo, having finished a close eighth last out in the Del Mar Oaks. Trainer Paddy Gallagher has given the mount to Espinoza.

Dancing Band last raced at Saratoga in the Grade 2 Lake Placid, finishing third. She is a two-time winner on turf, and her trainer, Todd Pletcher, has given the mount to Mike Luzzi.

Wilhite: Trio cross-entered

Costa Rising, Follow the Storm, and His Eyes are all entered in the Super Derby but have been cross-entered in the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial, a 1 1/16-mile handicap for 3-year-olds on turf. His Eyes is entered main-track only, and will likely go here if the race comes off the turf, his connections said earlier this week. The probable favorite in the race is Kingship, who two starts ago won the Grade 3 Arlington Classic. Trainer Ronny Werner has given the mount to Robby Albarado.

Kingship, who must overcome post 13, is the 122-pound highweight in the Wilhite. Costa Rising is next in the weights at 121 pounds. He has won his last six starts, including a pair of statebred stakes over this course, one against older rivals. Costa Rising seemed more probable to go in the Wilhite earlier this week, as there are long-range plans to test him in a turf stakes in Kentucky. Trainer Joseph Boxie has given the mount to Mario Reyes.

Juvenile: Rematch from Retama

Going Ballistic, Western Prize, and Locomotion, who were first, second, and third last out in the $100,000 El Joven at Retama Park near San Antonio, meet again in the $100,000 Juvenile. The 1 1/16-mile turf race for 2-year-olds also drew Kentucky shippers Birdbirdistheword and Rahystrada.

* Races 6-11 will be simulcast to California on Saturday.