07/06/2005 11:00PM

$575,000 up for grabs

Lone Star Park
Rare Cure is the horse to beat in Saturday's Assault Stakes on Stars of Texas Day, but he has difficulty racing in some types of weather.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Rare Cure was 15-1 when he upset the $50,000 Premiere Stakes on opening night of the Lone Star Park meet in April, but he figures to be a shorter price Saturday in the $125,000 Assault Stakes. He has worked consecutive bullets for the race, which is one of six restricted stakes on the Stars of Texas Day program at Lone Star. All told, the races are worth $575,000.

In the Assault, which Rare Cure won in 2003, he will face two other past winners of the 1 1/16-mile race for Texas-breds: Goosey Moose and Lights on Broadway. Rounding out the competitive seven-horse field is Charming Socialite, Agrivating General, Dixie Meister, and Blinding Prospect, who has won 6 of his last 8 starts, some in turf starters at Lone Star.

tuned up for the Assault with a four-furlong move in 45.80 seconds last Monday, and a six-furlong drill in 1:13.40 on June 26.

"I had to crank him up," said Joe Petalino, who trains Rare Cure, a winner of more than $500,000. "It's a little tougher spot."

Rare Cure defeated Yessirgeneralsir by a neck in the Premiere. After that race, he moved into open company and finished seventh in an optional claiming race in his last start May 18.

Since then, Rare Cure has been preparing for the Assault. Petalino is pleased with how Rare Cure is coming into the race because the horse has been sweating well. In the past, there have been times when he has not sweated properly, usually when there are fluctuations in the weather. That was the case in his last start, when temperatures turned abruptly hot.

"He doesn't shut all the way down like a non-sweater," said Petalino. "He just sweats slower. He can clog up in a race, but by the time he gets back to the barn, he's sweating good. If the temperature stays the same, he's pretty much okay. He's sweating real good [right now]."

Proof of that are his smart recent works.

"When he works good like that, he's pretty right on," said Petalino.

Leading rider Cliff Berry has the mount on Rare Cure, who is owned by Larry Dyson. Rare Cure can set the pace or stalk in the Assault.

figures to kick late, tactics he used to win the $40,000 Gold Nugget, an overnight route stakes in his last start June 17.