12/16/2003 12:00AM

Boots on Sunday's comeback begins


Boots on Sunday, an eight-time stakes winner who has been sidelined by a torn tendon, received clearance to resume galloping this week and could make his comeback this spring at Lone Star Park.

"He had a sonogram just a couple of days ago and they gave me the green light to put him back in training," said Danny Pish, who trains Boots on Sunday for Wilton Scott.

Boots on Sunday injured his tendon in October 2002, during his final workout for the $35,000 Longhorn Stakes at Retama Park. He has had a lot of stall rest, turn out time, and light exercise since, Pish said.

"We're going extremely slow with him," he said. "On the sonogram the tendon did look very, very good. It's about 95 percent healed."

Boots on Sunday, a 6-year-old gelding, is based at Pish's farm in San Antonio. He has been one of the top sprinters in Texas for years, and has won 14 of 35 lifetime starts and $417,965.

Breeders' Cup improvements

Construction on a 10,000-square-foot dining hall at Lone Star began in early December. The $1.4 million project is one of $7.8 million in improvements being made to accommodate the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at the track next Oct. 30.

The dining hall will be located on the east end of the second floor of the grandstand, above the trackside patio. It will provide 350 to 400 additional VIP seats for the Breeders' Cup.

Lone Star also plans to install 38,000 temporary seats for the Breeders' Cup, but the dining hall will be a permanent improvement. Other planned improvements are permanent outdoor seats on the apron, and the expansion of the winner's circle and saddling paddock.

Those projects will begin after Jan. 1, said Jeff Greco, general manager of Lone Star. The dining hall and expansions of the winner's circle and saddling paddock are scheduled to be complete before the start of Lone Star's spring meet, April 15. The temporary seats will be in place prior to the start of the track's fall Thoroughbred meet, Oct. 1.

Depop to Sugar Bowl

Depop, who won the $85,000 MEC Mile for 2-year-olds at Remington on Nov. 30, will cut back to six furlongs for the $60,000 Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds on Dec. 28, said his trainer, Joe Petalino.

Cliff Berry will ride Depop.

"I don't think the turnback will hurt him," said Petalino. "With the long stretch, he should be okay."

A long-term goal for Depop is the $100,000 Southwest at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 28.

Depop won his maiden by 16 lengths in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race in September. A son of Wertaloona, he races for Don S. Nutt.

'Leo' possible for Maxxam

Leo's Last Hurrahy, who was a game winner of the $35,000 Kingwood last Saturday night at Sam Houston, is being considered for the track's $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup on Jan. 17, said his trainer, Bob Young.

"We're going to look at it because the race is here and he's doing really good," said Young, who is based at Sam Houston. "I think he's training as good as he ever has right now."

Leo's Last Hurrahy, who is 3, picked up his biggest career win at Sam Houston in 2002 in the $150,000 Sam Houston Texan Juvenile. Overall, the colt has won four stakes and $377,968 for his owner, Ken Murphy.

Another horse under consideration for the Maxxam is the Mark Lee-trained Dusty Spike, who won the $50,000 Marshland at Delta Downs in his last start, Dec. 5. Lee also is considering the $50,000 Winsham Lad Handicap at Sunland Park on Jan. 10.

Earlier this year, Dusty Spike won the $100,000 Omaha Handicap.

Britt's Jules to Triple Sec

One of the fastest 2-year-olds at Delta Downs did not run in the $1 million Delta Jackpot on Dec. 5.

Britt's Jules, who earlier this meet set a track record for five furlongs, is being pointed instead for the $40,000 Triple Sec at five furlongs at Delta on Jan. 17, said his trainer, Christopher Angelle.

Britt's Jules has earned 96 Beyer Speed Figures in his last two starts. He won a five-furlong allowance in 57.49 seconds in November, breaking the track record mark of 57.53 set by Believe Im Special in the $40,000 Racino Inaugural on Oct. 31.

Britt's Jules returned in his next start to win the $40,000 Delta Beau. His first two-turn start could come in the $50,000 Sportsman's Paradise at Delta on March 13, said Angelle.

* Rudy's Finest won a $20,000 maiden claimer by 19 lengths last Friday night at Delta for trainer Cole Norman, who earlier this year won an allowance race by 22 lengths with Mass Media. Rudy's Finest, who is 3, was making his two-turn debut Friday and earned an 81 Beyer Speed Figure.