07/18/2006 12:00AM

Candy Ball finds turf to liking

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Candy Ball showed she may be a major player in this region's upcoming turf stakes following her powerful two-length victory in the $40,000 Fresa at Lone Star Park last Saturday. The victory was her fourth straight, all on turf, after she had started her career 1 for 5 on dirt.

"She just keeps on winning," said Andrew Leggio Jr., who trains Candy Ball for Tom Ball.

Candy Ball has won five races in her nine-race career. She won a maiden race on dirt at Evangeline Downs by 11 1/2 lengths on March 1, then moved to turf two starts later and won allowances at both Lone Star and Louisiana Downs heading into the Fresa.

"She got on the turf, she turned into a monster," said Leggio. "She loves it.

"That had to make Tom Ball happy, because that race was named in honor of his horse Fresa."

Ball raced Fresa, a six-time stakes winner who earned $427,633.

Leggio said Candy Ball could make her next start in the $50,000 Old South Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 12. She is a 4-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid.

Open Meadows eyes Ponca City

Open Meadows has gone from maiden winner to two-time stakes winner during the Lone Star meet to establish herself as one of the best 3-year-old fillies on the grounds. Her trainer, Jack Bruner, said he thinks Open Meadows is at her best at sprint distances, and said that she could make her next start at six furlongs, in the $50,000 Ponca City at Remington Park. The race is restricted to 3-year-old fillies and will be run Aug. 7.

Bruner said Open Meadows will also be considered for the $40,000 Selma at five furlongs on turf at Retama Park on Oct. 14. The race is restricted to 3-year-old fillies bred in Texas.

Open Meadows picked up her first stakes win in May in the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths over Shesabigcat, who went on to win the $60,000 Allen Bogan Memorial in July.

Open Meadows registered her second stakes win earlier this month, when she led throughout in the $40,000 Valor Farm for 3-year-old fillies bred in Texas. She set a sharp pace and covered the six furlongs in a strong 1:10.53.

"We're very pleased with her," said Bruner, who trains Open Meadows for Tom Durant.

Open Meadows is a daughter of Open Forum, a Deputy Minister stud whose other stakes winners at the meet include Upstream and the undefeated 2-year-old Be a Resident.

Following the Lone Star meet, Bruner will be based at Remington.

Veteran horseman Carter dead at 80

Elmer Carter, a breeder, owner, and trainer based in Texas, died last Friday night, July 14. Funeral services were held Monday at the Methodist church in Antelope, Texas. He was 80.

Carter, who was a veteran of World War II, had been involved in racing for decades. His last winner came July 13, with 2-year-old Sister Genevieve. One of the horses he trained, Brother Gerald, was entered in the ninth race Thursday night at Lone Star.

Carter's most recent stakes winner came last winter at Remington, when he sent out Out Our Way to win the Oklahoma Classics Day Juvenile. Carter also handled Korbyn Gold, whom he sent out to win his debut and later sold. Korbyn Gold became a multiple stakes winner of $318,904.

Carter is survived by his wife, Dee.

Berry closes in on seasonal record

Cliff Berry is closing in on the single-season record for wins by a jockey at Lone Star. He is four victories from tying Corey Lanerie's record of 102 wins, set during a 72-date meet in 1999.

Berry won nine races over four days last week to lead the standings with 98 wins, 21 more than second-leading rider Quincy Hamilton. The 66-date meet ends Sunday.

Juveniles on turf Thursday

A pair of maiden races for 2-year-olds at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf spice up the card Thursday night. The juveniles will test their skills on the grass in the first and fifth races. Among the starters in the first are Okie Spur, who is a half-brother to D Fine Okie, a stakes winner and the runner-up to Candy Ball in the Fresa.

The turf races offer a first look at some of the colts who might end up in the $100,000 El Joven at a mile on turf at Retama Park on Sept. 2.