08/19/2004 11:00PM

Young has twin threat for stakes


Sweet Macaroni did not let trainer Troy Young down. Young has had high hopes ever since purchasing Sweet Macaroni as a yearling for Five Star Stables last October, and she held up her end of the deal July 1 with a 5 1/4-length debut win at Louisiana Downs.

Fast forward seven weeks, and it's time for Sweet Macaroni to make her second career start. This time she will take on stakes rivals in the $50,000 Southern Belle. The 5 1/2-furlong race is restricted to 2-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana.

Sweet Macaroni beat statebreds in her debut, a five-furlong maiden race. She pushed the pace, then was easily clear at the wire over a track rated good.

"She came through like we wanted her to," said Young. "I think she's for real."

In her final prep for the Southern Belle, Sweet Macaroni worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 on Aug. 10. Young said Sweet Macaroni's physical and mental attributes stand out to him. The filly has the same sire, Malagra, and breeder, Mike Kennington, as Hallowed Dreams.

"She doesn't look 2," said Young. "She's big and strong and she's light on her feet. She loves what she does."

Corey Lanerie will ride Sweet Macaroni, who is one of two uncoupled fillies Young has in the Southern Belle. His other starter is Maid in China, who is 2 for 2 and is owned by Valene Farms.

"Maid in China is no slouch, either," said Young. "My 2-year-olds have been real good to me this year."

Maid in China was the first winner for stallion B.J.'s Mark when she captured a maiden special weight race wire to wire. She returned to win an open-company allowance in her next start on Aug. 7. Gerard Melancon will be aboard Maid in China.

Equestrian Girls was second to Sweet Macaroni in her debut. Equestrian Girls returned to win a maiden special weight race in her next start, then was flattered when the second-place finisher from that race, Angel Bayou, returned to win. Jeri Nichols has the mount on Equestrian Girls for trainer Kelly Broussard.

Meeshiano, who finished second to Maid in China as the favorite in her last start, will be making her second start on Lasix. A daughter of Rubiano, she returns to the statebred ranks Sunday for trainer Steve Asmussen. Donnie Meche has the mount on Meeshiano.

Leading rider Lonnie Meche has the mount on Shady Caller, an 8 3/4-length maiden winner two starts ago for trainer Bret Calhoun.