Some 110 horses are entered for the 10 races on the Louisiana Cup race program at Louisiana Downs May 22 when four $100,000 events for state breds are contested.
The day includes eight state-bred stakes worth a total of $600,000. The biggest field was drawn for the Louisiana Cup Turf Classic, a 1 1/16-mile test that attracted 14 entrants. It is the ninth event on the card. Thirteen passed the entry box for the race preceding that one, the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Derby, while the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Oaks (11), the sixth race, and the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff Presented by Walmac Farms (10), race seven, also lured big fields.
The other stakes on the program are the Louisiana Cup Sprint and the Filly & Mare Sprint, each worth $60,000, and a pair of $40,000 starter stakes.
Star Guitar , winner of last year's Turf Classic, is skipping the race this year, making for a wide open affair.
Snakebite Kit, who began his career with four consecutive wins over state breds at Fair Grounds this year, looks to get back to the win column after finishing third against open company in the John Henry Stakes at Evangeline Downs April 17. Edward Johnston trains the Steve Hartman homebred son of Sky Classic .
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable has a two-horse entry in Hallway, from the Steve Asmussen stable, and Snug, trained by James Hudson.
Hallway, winner of the Dixie Poker Ace in January at Fair Grounds, has won two of four starts in 2010. A lifetime earner of $361,087 while capturing six of 31 races, the 6-year-old son of Graeme Hall breaks from the rail and will be ridden for the first time by Aaron Gryder.
Snug, who snapped an eight-race losing streak when he won a turf allowance over "good" ground at Evangeline Downs in his last start May 1, leads the field in earnings with $377,300. The 5-year-old Swamp gelding's last stakes win came in the Gold Cup on a fast main track at Delta Downs more than 14 months ago.
The only other entrant coming into the race off a victory is Candiano, who rolled over $20,000 claimers by four lengths going a mile on dirt at Evangeline April 23. That was Candiano's first start for trainer Emile Schwandt. The 4-year-old Sefapiano gelding was previously with trainer Troy Lewis.
The Asmussen-trained Heavenville, another homebred from the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, is the one to beat in the seven-furlong Louisiana Cup Derby for 3-year-olds. The son of Offlee Wild romped to a 6 1/4-length victory in the Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds March 27 and gets back with his friends after a troubled eighth-place effort in the 1 1/16-mile Lexington Stakes (gr. II) over Keeneland's Polytrack April 17.
Chad White's front-running homebred Redsugar defeated Heavenville handily at odds of 35-1 in winning the seven-furlong Louisiana Premier Night Prince Stakes at Delta Downs in February, but finished a well-beaten sixth in the Crescent City Derby, his only start since. The Laabity gelding, trained by Frank Trosclair, drew the far outside post in the big field.
The Louisiana Cup Distaff, at 1 1/16 miles on turf, drew recent stakes winners Hisse, owned by Heiligbrodt and conditioned by Asmussen, and Jac Mac Stable's Superior Storm, from the Richard Jackson stable.
E. Fred Currie's homebred Daphne Angela, and Heiligbrodt's Lunar Fest, one-two finishers in the Crescent City Oaks, vie with Red Oak Stable's Shezacrazygirl, a three-length winner of the Premier Night Starlet for trainer Albert Stall Jr., in the seven-furlong Louisiana Cup Oaks.
$100,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic (Race 9, 5:25 p.m.), Louisiana-breds 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. a-Hallway (LA), A T Gryder, 124, S M Asmussen
2. Smoothcideup (LA), P A Valenzuela, 117, M G Nicks
3. Dessy (LA), T J Hebert, 117, R P Ward
4. Kissimmee Kyle (LA), R E Eramia, 117, A M Stall, Jr.
5. Candiano (LA), M St. Julien, 121, E Schwandt
6. Autobeacat (LA), K P LeBlanc, 117, E L Heitzmann
7. Snakebite Kit (LA), J Jacinto, 121, E J Johnston
8. Up and Out of Site (LA), J M Campbell, 117, E J Guillot
9. Fiesty Day (LA), C C Bourque, 117, R A Young
10. All Out Blitz (LA), E A Tejera, 117, L Robideaux, Jr.
11. Nowandforevermore (LA), K D Clark, 117, K G Bourgeois
12. a-Snug (LA), G Melancon, 119, J C Hudson
13. Twilight Ross (LA), D E Simington, 124, P Mouton
14. Wildrally (LA), T Agilar, 117, M Lovell
a- Heiligbrodt Racing Stable entry
Blinkers Off: Wildrally