05/22/2009 12:00AM

Zimmerman gets off to fast start


BOSSIER CITY, La. - There are a few new faces in the jockey colony this season at Louisiana Downs, but nobody has been more visible than Ramsey Zimmerman.

A native of Florida, Zimmerman, 27, won with four of his mounts on opening weekend last week to take an early lead in the rider standings in his first summer of riding here.

"I won the riding title two years ago at Lone Star and rode last summer at Arlington," said the well-traveled Zimmerman. "In trying to decide where I wanted to summer this year I thought back how I had really enjoyed my time in New Orleans in the past during the winter months and just decided to remain in the state.

"I also wanted to stimulate the local economy," Zimmerman added with a chuckle shortly after booting home Zarb's Whirl to victory in last Sunday's third race to the tune of a $56.40 mutual.

This is also the first full-time action for Zimmerman since he broke his collarbone early in the Fair Grounds season last fall.

"I broke it in four places," he said, fingering the still-fresh scar, a result of surgery to repair the injury. "I rode a couple of races at Keeneland about three weeks ago when I first came back, but this will be my first full meeting back."

Zimmerman's business here this summer is being handled by agent Richie Price.

"Trainer Bret Calhoun called me when I was still in New Orleans and said Zimmerman was planing on spending the summer at Louisiana Downs," said Price. "At the time I was looking for another rider, so it worked out great. He has already helped himself out by picking up the mount on a horse they were looking for a rider on the other day. Some of the trainers here really seem to like him."

Commander Buck merits slight edge

Sunday's featured eighth is a competitive starter allowance affair on the turf that drew an evenly matched field of 11. Commander Buck has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite off two strong victories earlier this year at Oaklawn.

Galloping Home is ranked right behind Commander Buck at 5-2. Trained by Keith Bourgeois, Galloping Home comes off a win over the Evangeline turf earlier this month.