06/23/2009 11:00PM

Berry heads to Iowa for stakes


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Lone Star Park leading rider Cliff Berry will be missing from the entries here Friday and Saturday because he has mounts in five major stakes during the two-day Iowa Racing Festival at Prairie Meadows. Some of the best horses Berry rides will be running, including Jonesboro, the second highweight in the Grade 2, $300,000 Cornhusker, and Euphony, the favorite for the $125,000 Iowa Distaff.

"It's nice to get this group of horses together on one weekend," said Berry's longtime agent, Richard McNaughton. "They're all very live, it seems like. We're excited about riding Euphony again, and of course, Jonesboro is training great. We'll see what happens."

Jonesboro, with whom Berry won the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile in April, and Euphony, whom he guided to victory last month in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron at Arlington Park, race Saturday night. On the same card, Berry will be aboard Semaphore Man in the $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap.

On the Friday night card, Berry has the mount on Sweet Relish in the Grade 3, $200,000 Iowa Oaks and Red Lead in the $250,000 Iowa Derby. Last month, Berry guided Sweet Relish to victory in the $100,000 Cinemine at Lone Star.

McNaughton said Berry would resume riding at Lone Star on Sunday. Forty-five days into the meet, Berry has won 67 races, giving him a seven-win advantage over Chris Landeros through Wednesday. Berry leads in mount earnings with $1,247,719. He is seeking his fourth meet title at Lone Star, which closes July 26.

Eagle Storm seeks return to Claiming Crown

Eagle Storm recently returned to the Lone Star stable of trainer Justin Evans with the goal being a defense of his title in the $75,000 Rapid Transit on the Claiming Crown card at Canterbury on July 25. He takes a step toward that objective Friday night, when he runs in the eighth race, a $30,000 optional claiming sprint that also drew multiple stakes winner Rodeo's Castle.

Eagle Storm ran a career race in the six-furlong Rapid Transit a year ago. After spending some time with other trainers this past winter and spring while racing at out-of-state tracks like Calder Race Course and Prairie Meadows, he is back in the care of Evans.

"He's one of my favorites," Evans said. "They say you can't get attached to horses, but I mean it's like sending your kid off when he leaves the barn."

Evans said Eagle Storm is again eligible for this year's Rapid Transit, a six-furlong race for horses who have started for a claiming price of $16,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2008.

"My goal is to get him back there," Evans said. "It's sure good to have him back in the barn."

Eagle Storm has won 11 races during his career and is 5 for 7 at Canterbury. Eguard Tejera has the mount on Eagle Storm in Friday night's optional claimer. The race is a competitive one, with Rodeo's Castle, a multiple stakes winner, making his third start off a layoff. He was third at this level in his last start June 6.

No Other Tone points to Valor Farm

No Other Tone, who earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 96 for her three-length win in a $30,000 optional claimer here June 18, is now being pointed to the $50,000 Valor Farm at Lone Star on July 11, trainer Jack Bruner said. The one-mile race is for fillies and mares bred in Texas.

No Other Tone defeated open company last week at Lone Star and is 2 for 2 in races restricted to horses bred in Texas. Among those she is expected to face is multiple stakes winner Wrenice.

City Tone, who earlier this meet won a $125,000 division of the Texas Stallion Stakes, is on deck for the $50,000 Lone Star Park Oaks here Saturday, Bruner said. The race is for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf. No Other Tone and City Tone both race for leading owner Tom Durant.

Charity ballgame set for Monday

The baseball complex across the street from Lone Star will be the site of a charity softball game Monday night, with the local riding colony taking on a team of local racetrack management and media personnel. The beneficiary will be the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund.

Fans will be asked to make a $5 admission donation, with the first pitch set for 7:30 p.m. Central. There will be opportunities for fans to meet with riders before and after the game, according to a statement issued by Lone Star.