07/15/2009 12:00AM

Young hot with juveniles


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Trainer Bob Young's statistics with 2-year-olds speak for themselves - an almost 30 percent win clip with first-time starters and a success rate of 23 percent with all his juvenile starters. Saturday, Young will try and introduce some black type to the equation as he plans to send out two starters in both the Minstrel and Princess stakes at Louisiana Downs.

"It's probably my favorite thing to do," Young said of running juveniles. "I just like messing with those babies. We have had a lot of practice over the years and gotten fortunate and have developed some nice horses."

Young said that much of the credit for his success with young horses goes to Caroline and Ed Dodwell's Double Diamond Ranch in Texas.

"They break and school all of my 2-year-olds," he said. "Ed and Caroline have done a great job over the years. I actually train Ed's own personal string now. Their son Scooter handles most of the hands-on of the operation these days, and we just have a real good working relationship. The lines of communication are always open. I know everything about the horses when I get them."

Young also calls the hill country of Texas near San Antonio home, but admits he has not seen much of it this summer.

"Much of my ownership are like me these days - they have Texas roots but have a lot of ties to Louisiana," he said. "Many have moved at least some of their mares to Louisiana because the money there is so much better than it is in Texas. They really have a great breeding program."

In the Princess on Saturday, Young will be represented by Bambina's Bling, a winner at first asking here June 14, and Flying Native, who won her debut on the local turf while facing male opponents.

"That's the plan," Young said about both starting in the Princess. "Unless something comes up, they are both going to go. I don't think the maiden wins took too much out of them."

In the Minstrel, Young will saddle Chance Meister, who finished second at Lone Star Park in his most recent start, and Cowpuncher, a Valid Expectations colt out of the Regal Classic mare Regal 'n Rich who will be making his first start.

Others expected to go in the Princess on Saturday are Cielo Dove, from the powerful Bret Calhoun stable, and Kole's Mercedes, who is trained by Michelle Lovell.

Trainer James Hodges is expected to send out Blading Gold Ring, who along with Flying Native represents the majority of the turf experience in the season's first real test on the grass for the 2-year-old division.

The favorite's role in the Minstrel will likely land on the shoulders of another Calhoun runner, Fly South. Owned by Clarence Scharbauer Jr. of Alysheba fame, Fly South led every step of the way in winning his only start. The homebred son of Early Flyer defeated Texas-breds on May 23 at 2-5.