05/23/2002 11:00PM

A battle of turf unbeatens


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Buddha is not the only good 3-year-old in trainer James Bond's care this season. The Bond-trained Legislator is undefeated on turf, and will attempt to remain that way Monday when he starts in the $200,000 Diamond "A" USA Stakes at Lone Star Park.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race is one of seven stakes that will make up Lone Star Million Day, which is the richest program of racing in Texas.

Legislator has not lost in three starts on turf. Most recently, he won the Grade 3, $100,000 Crown Royal American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 3. Before that race, he finished third, beaten five lengths on dirt, in the $250,000 Aventura at Gulfstream Park.

"Turf is a much better surface for the horse, but if a race is ever rained off or we had storms, he can adjust," said Bond, who trains Legislator for Bill Clifton of Waco, Texas.

Bond also trained top- class handicap horse Behrens for Clifton. Legislator is closely related to that horse, as his half-sister is the dam of Behrens.

Bond said one of his goals for Legislator this season is the Mid-America Triple at Arlington Park, a series of graded turf stakes for 3-year-olds that concludes with the Grade 1, $400,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 18.

Robby Albarado will ride Legislator, and it appears the biggest threat could be the Bob Baffert-trained Regiment, another colt who is perfect on turf.

Regiment, who is making his stakes debut, has won his last two starts, and will attempt to give Baffert a fourth win in the USA.

Regiment will be ridden by David Flores.

Others expected for the race are Diamond Hope, third last out to Regiment for trainer Richard Mandella; April's Lucky Boy; Kamolia; No Net Needed; Dusty Spike; and possibly Southwest Stakes winner Paloma Parilla.

Congaree arrives for Handicap

The Baffert-trained Congaree flew into town Friday morning for the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, the richest stakes on Monday's card.

Others on the flight included Hattiesburg and Spanish Glitter, here for the $100,000 Valid Expectations; Mr. John, for the Lone Star Handicap; and Dianehill, for the $200,000 WinStar Distaff.

A plane filled with horses from California was scheduled to arrive Saturday. A total of 31 horses are scheduled to ship in for Lone Star Million Day.

Legislator also arrived Friday morning, but flew aboard a special cargo flight from New York.

Dianehill bred to A.P. Indy

Dianehill, who finished third as the favorite in the Grade 3, $100,000 Citgo Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on May 4, was bred to A.P. Indy after that race and will probably be retired after the WinStar Distaff, said trainer Elliott Walden.

Dianehill, a 6-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Danehill who races for WinStar Farm, won the $75,000 Stravinsky at Keeneland in April. Overall, she has won 6 of 25 starts and $426,551.

"She's a very tough, game, consistent filly on turf," said Walden.

In the last month, champions Spain and Caressing were bred and returned to training. Pat Day, who has ridden Dianehill in her last two starts, has the mount in the WinStar.

Two turns for Mr. John

Walden, who won the inaugural Lone Star Handicap in 1997 with Connecting Terms, will shoot for a second on Monday with Mr. John. The race will be the first two-turn start of the year for Mr. John, who has won both of his starts in 2002.

"This will be a good test for him," said Walden. "He's always been a pretty good horse."

Last year at 3, Mr. John finished second in the Grade 3 Gotham and the Grade 2 Lexington. Mark Guidry has the mount in the Lone Star Handicap.

Norman has a full arsenal

Trainer Cole Norman, who led the standings by two wins heading into the races Friday, plans to start as many as seven horses in stakes Monday. In the Lone Star Handicap, he will be represented by both Unrullah Bull, winner of the Grade 3 Texas Mile, and Prince Iroquois.

Southern Tour will go for her fourth straight win for Norman in the Valid Expectations; Mysia Jo starts in the WinStar Distaff; Dancing Dreams, a multiple stakes winner at 2, will make her comeback in the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station; Joyful Tune will try turf in the $100,000 Beck Auto; and Desert Demon is possible for the $50,000 Carter McGregor.

Leading rider Anthony Lovato will ride all of Norman's stakes starters except Prince Iroquois.