07/15/2002 11:00PM

Beau's Town headed to Whiting at Saratoga


Beau's Town, the Louisiana Downs-based sprinter who has won six of his last seven starts for trainer Cole Norman, was flown out of Bossier City, La., on Tuesday bound for Saratoga Race Course in New York, where he will be trained by Lynn Whiting.

After Saratoga, Beau's Town is to return to Norman, said Dave Hulkewicz, the colt's co-owner who keeps horses with both Norman and Whiting.

Beau's Town is being pointed for two races at Saratoga, according to Hulkewicz, the Grade 2, $200,000 Vanderbilt Handicap over six furlongs Aug. 11, and the Grade 1, $250,000 Forego Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 1.

"It's going to be tough," said Hulkewicz. "There won't be any soft spots."

Hulkewicz purchased the colt after he ran second in his career debut and turned him over to Norman, who sent out Beau's Town to win his next six starts, including the $50,000 Hot Springs Stakes in a dead heat with Kings Command at Oaklawn, and the $75,000 Ford Express Stakes at Lone Star Park.

Hulkewicz sold an interest in Beau's Town to Coast to Coast Racing before the Ford Express, a race in which he ran 6 1/2 furlongs in a sharp 1:14.80. In his most recent start, Beau's Town finished second in the $50,000 Kings Court at Louisiana Downs on June 28.

Franks buys Halo Cat

Halo Cat, who upset Beau's Town in the Kings Court, has been sold to John Franks, the multiple Eclipse Award-winning owner who tops the current standings at Louisiana Downs.

Halo Cat earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 110 for his win in the Kings Court.

He was sold for an undisclosed sum, and has been shipped from his Lone Star Park base to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer at Arlington Park near Chicago, confirmed Mike Mareina, the former trainer of Halo Cat.

Mareina managed Halo Cat for Kuehne Racing. The colt had developed rapidly in recent months, winning two allowance races at Lone Star and the $30,000 Manor Downs Sprint over six furlongs in 1:08.40 before taking the Kings Court.

Miss Ritz to Dixie Miss

Miss Ritz is one of a number of horses who won stakes during the recent Lone Star meet that are now pointing for races at Louisiana Downs.

Miss Ritz was a two-time stakes winner this season at Lone Star, and could make her next start in the $40,000 Dixie Miss for 3-year-old fillies on Aug. 10, said trainer Bob Young.

Over the past few months, Miss Ritz has won the $75,000 Wafare Farm Stakes and the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes at Lone Star. Last year, she won a division of the Friendship Stakes at Louisiana Downs.

Young has a big shot to win the Sept. 14 colts and geldings division of the Friendship Stakes this year with Leo's Last Hurrahy. This spring at Lone Star, the colt won a division of the $150,000 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity.

Action Tonight, who won two 2-year-old stakes at Lone Star including the $89,100 Middleground Breeders' Cup last Saturday, is also eligible for the Friendship, said trainer Danny Pish.

Among older horses, Mountain General, who won the $75,000 Bob Johnson Memorial at Lone Star last Sunday, could turn up next in the $50,000 Ark-La-Tex Handicap on Aug. 3 for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Fillies clash on turf

Asmussen will send out Open Minded in Thursday's featured 10th race, a two-turn turf allowance for fillies and mares worth $27,000. Her chief opposition appears to be Distinctive Code, who is going for her fourth straight win for trainer Larry Robideaux Jr.

Another top contender is Chosen, a recent allowance winner for Cole Norman, who moved into a tie atop the trainer standings with Bret Thomas after winning five races last week at Louisiana Downs.

* Mighty Merlin, an 11 1/4-length debut winner last Thursday, is under consideration for both the $40,000 Pioneer Stakes for 2-year-olds on Aug. 11, and the $35,000 Stardust for Louisiana-breds Oct. 19, said trainer Keith Bourgeois. Mighty Merlin ran five furlongs in 58.60 seconds Thursday, and is a son of Zuppardo's Prince.