09/27/2004 11:00PM

Aud flies in for Yellow Rose

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Benoit & Associates
Aud, winning last year's Pucker Up at Arlington, is one of about 700 horses on the Lone Star Park grounds.

Aud was one of four horses who flew into the Dallas area from Kentucky on Tuesday for Lone Star Park's opening weekend stakes. She will be one of the favorites for the inaugural $100,000 Yellow Rose Breeders' Cup on Sunday.

Lone Star will open for a 19-date meet on Friday night. The track has never run a Thoroughbred meet in the fall, but it is doing so this year to accommodate its hosting of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 30. The meet will end on Oct. 31.

As of Tuesday morning there were about 700 horses on the grounds, with another 300 due in before the meet opens, said Larry Craft, director of racing for Lone Star. Craft said he is pleased with the response from horsemen for the abbreviated meet, which will operate four days a week, Thursday through Sunday.

During the spring meet, when Lone Star races five days a week and has about 1,500 horses on hand, about 30 percent of each card is made up of starters who are shipped in to race. That ratio will be different for the fall meet.

"I think it's going to be higher than the spring," said Craft. "I think we'll have quite a few shippers."

Craft said Lone Star expects to draw starters from neighboring tracks that will be racing in October, including Louisiana Downs, Remington Park, and Delta Downs. Craft also looks for Lone Star to draw horses from Retama Park, which is operating as a training center, as well as the vast number of farms and training centers around Texas.

In addition, Remington, which like Lone Star is owned by Magna Entertainment, will not race on Saturdays in October with the exception of Breeders' Cup Day. Entries at Lone Star should benefit from this. Lone Star's purses will average more than $220,000 a day, excluding the Breeders' Cup.

Aud flew into the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport with Myrene, who is nominated to the $100,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup on Friday night, and Danieltown and Scat Sam Man, who are expected to meet Grade 2 winner Bwana Charlie in the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup on Saturday.

Also on the flight were Royal Liverpool, Sacred Time, and Princess Edwina, who all made their last start at Woodbine. They are owned by the Texas-based Kuehne Racing and are trained by Mike Mareina.

Last year, Aud won the Grade 3, $175,000 Pucker Up at Arlington Park, and in her most recent start she was fourth in the Grade 3 Glens Falls at Saratoga on Sept. 5. She is owned by Willmott Stables and trained by Tony Reinstedler.

Plans pending for 'Merry'

Merry Me in Spring used new tactics last Saturday to win her fourth race of the Louisiana Downs meet in the $100,000 DeBartolo Breeders' Cup Oaks. She rallied from last to win the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies. Plans for her next race have yet to be decided, said trainer Sam David Jr.

Key to the Cat, who was a fast-closing third, will be pointed for the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland on Oct. 23, said her trainer, Bobby Barnett.

Merry Me in Spring was a slight favorite in the DeBartolo under Kent Desormeaux.

"She relaxed real good for him," said David. "We had always wanted to try to get her back a little farther and try to make her run a little later. Before, she was laying closer and making her move a little premature. If we can get her back and make that move a little later, I think she'll be a better filly down the road for us."

David said he wants to keep Merry Me in Spring racing around two turns.

"We'll probably try to find something going long - not necessarily on the grass, but long," he said.

Cajole seeks third in a row

Cajole, who has won his last two starts, will stretch back out around two turns in the featured ninth Thursday at Louisiana Downs, a 1 1/16-mile allowance that carries an optional claiming price of $60,000. Others in the race include White Star, Guaranteed Sweep, and Absent Friend.

Cajole won over 1 1/16 miles on turf two races ago, then returned to win over seven furlongs in his most recent start, earning a 98 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest last-race number in Thursday's field. John Jacinto has been named to ride Cajole, as well as his entrymate Ba Ba Boom, for trainer Cole Norman.

Absent Friend last raced at Saratoga, finishing fifth after being pinched back in a 1 1/8-mile race. He was claimed out of that race for $35,000 by H & H Ranch and trainer Cody Autrey. Leading rider Lonnie Meche has the mount on Absent Friend, who has worked well at Lone Star since moving to this region in August.