11/17/2005 12:00AM

Agrivating General due for luck

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Lone Star Park
Agrivating General (right), winless in 9 starts this year, runs in Saturday's Star of Texas at Sam Houston.

It has been a year of close calls for multiple stakes winner Agrivating General, who can pick up his first win of 2005 on Saturday night in the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

A 1 1/16-mile race, the Star of Texas is one of eight stakes for Texas-breds on the annual Texas Champions Day card. Purses for the stakes total $475,000, and the program is the richest of the meet at Sam Houston.

A 6-year-old, has yet to win in nine starts this year, but he has placed second or third in five stakes since April.

"He's been running his race and just hadn't had the best of luck," said Danny Pish, who trains Agrivating General for Lonnie Bates. "He's had a few rough trips and whatnot, and so I'm thinking this could be our week. I think he's about due."

Agrivating General, who won 3 of 4 starts last year, will be moving back to dirt for the Star of Texas. He has won three stakes on the main track, including the $30,000 Magnolia, a route, at Sam Houston.

"He's done very respectable on the grass, but I think he's a better horse on the dirt," said Pish.

Pish, the leading trainer at Sam Houston who won last year's Star of Texas with Goosey Moose, has sharpened Agrivating General for this year's running with consecutive bullet works. He has given the mount to Casey Lambert.

The chief threats to Agrivating General appear to be a pair of 3-year-olds, Dreamsandvisions and Dixie Meister, winner of a division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston in February.

Dreamsandvisions won the $50,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial in his last start Oct. 1, closing from 12 lengths back in the one-mile turf race at Louisiana Downs.

"We've had a couple of good works in him and didn't want to haul him anywhere since Louisiana Downs closed, so we've been prepping him for this race," said Steven Duke, who trains Dreamsandvisions for his wife, Sandra.

Duke said the distance was a draw for Dreamsandvisions, who is making his first start against Texas-breds Saturday.

"I've moved him up from six to six and a half furlongs to seven-eighths to a mile, and the next step was a mile and a sixteenth," said Duke, who has given the mount to Luis Quinonez.

Roman Chapa has the mount on Dixie Meister for trainer Steve Asmussen.