11/19/2003 12:00AM

Big-money races on the horizon for Comic Truth


OKLAHOMA CITY - Comic Truth, the 10-length winner of the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby, is being considered for a handful of races for his next start, but his main objective will be the Grade 2, $500,000 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds on Feb. 29, said his trainer, Pat Daly.

Comic Truth will be based at Fair Grounds starting next month, and between now and the New Orleans Handicap, could start in either the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita Jan. 24 or the $60,000 Louisiana Handicap on Jan. 2.

"There are quite a few spots for him," said Daly. "He came out of the [Oklahoma Derby] terrific. He's been pulling the hotwalker around the shed row."

Comic Truth is the first stakes winner for Daly, who opened a public racing stable earlier this year after spending the past three years working as an assistant to trainer Ken McPeek. Comic Truth is one of a handful of horses Daly trains for K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman.

The Jayaramans have a breeding farm in Florida, and Comic Truth became the first graded stakes winner for one of their stallions, Proudest Romeo. Because he was bred in Florida, Comic Truth is eligible for the Sunshine Millions, which is restricted to horses bred in either California or Florida.

Comic Truth won at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Sunshine Millions Classic in the Oklahoma Derby.

Another top horse Daly has for the Jayaramans is Explosive Truth, who won the $100,000 Middleground at Lone Star Park at 2.

Turf possible for Excessivepleasure

Excessivepleasure, who finished second as the favorite in the Oklahoma Derby, is scheduled to fly back to Hollywood Park on Saturday and could make his next start on turf, said his trainer, Doug O'Neill.

"He came out of the race in great shape," said O'Neill. "We'll look at something in a month or so. We're talking about trying him on the grass."

One start before the Oklahoma Derby, Excessivepleasure won the Grade 3, $400,000 Indiana Derby over Grand Hombre and Wando, winner of the Canadian Triple Crown.

O'Neill plans to return to this region next month with Perfect Moon for the $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs on Dec. 5.

Lozano, Owens hit it big

Martin Lozano has been a successful addition to the training ranks this year at Remington. This meet, he has won 16 races from 65 starters to rank fourth in the standings. Lozano works as a private trainer for Gary Owens, who is tied with Paul Horton for the lead in the Remington owner ranks through Wednesday.

Lozano, 40, is training for the first time in years. Among his successes have been Dance Note, a $7,500 claim turned $12,500 starter allowance winner, and No Kowtowing, who is competing at the allowance level after being claimed for $5,000.

"We went to California, Kentucky, and Chicago, and claimed horses and brought them in here," said Lozano. "It's been a good meet."

A native of Mexico, Lozano was introduced to racing about 20 years ago when one of his brothers worked at a Tulsa, Okla., farm for Jack McNaughton, who is the father of jockey Cliff Berry's agent, Richard McNaughton.

Lozano worked there breaking young horses, and also spent four years as an assistant to top Minnesota-based trainer James Green. He took out his trainer's license in 1997 and set up shop in New Mexico, but after his stable did not attract as many clients as he had hoped, Lozano returned to Oklahoma and galloped horses for trainer Joe Petalino.

Things have changed in the last year. Lozano learned that Owens, who operates concrete plants, was looking for a private trainer, and after an interview, Lozano was offered a job. The men have 25 horses stabled at Remington, with another 20 young horses being developed at Owens's farm in Oklahoma. After the current meet, the stable will be based at Sunland Park, then Prairie Meadows.

Bayakoa's Image out for a year

Bayakoa's Image, who this meet defended her title in both the $35,000 Classics Day Distaff and the $35,000 Black Mesa Handicap, winning them by a combined 19 lengths, came out of her last start with a strained suspensory, said her owner, breeder, and trainer, O. J. Osburn.

A sonogram revealed the injury following Bayakoa's Image's sixth-place finish in the $35,000 Lady's Secret on Nov. 9.

"There's not a great deal of damage, but it's going to take it a long time to heal," said Osburn. "We hope to have her ready for the meet next year."

Overall, Bayakoa's Image has won 7 of 23 starts and $168,883.

* Remington will hold a qualifying tournament for the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Saturday and Sunday.