05/22/2008 11:00PM

Capestro finally gets shot at Ouija Board


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Forest Melody will be trainer Paula Capestro's first starter at Lone Star Park when she runs in the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board here Monday. Capestro almost ran a horse in the Ouija Board two years ago - River's Prayer - but changed her mind. River's Prayer went on to become a Grade 1-winning sprinter.

"Now we get our shot at the race again," Capestro said.

Forest Melody invades from Southern California for the Ouija Board, a one-mile grass race for fillies and mares that is part of Lone Star Million Day. She will be cutting back from 1 1/4 miles in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara at Santa Anita on April 19. Forest Melody set the pace in that turf race and finished fourth by a length to Foxysox.

"We thought that a mile might suit her, so we're going to give it a try," Capestro said. "I think she ran a very good last race. She's gradually improving, which is what you want to see.

"She's coming the right way. She's developed her speed, she's matured a lot, she's a lot more relaxed than she used to be. There's a lot of good things going on in her world."

Brice Blanc has the mount on Forest Melody, who is a daughter of Forest Camp. She is one of 10 potential starters in the Ouija Board. The race is the richest race for fillies and mares on the Lone Star Million Day program, which includes six stakes worth a cumulative $1.1 million.

Costume, a multiple Grade 2 winner, is the 119-pound starting highweight in the Ouija Board. Others expected to go are Brownie Points (118), Candy Ball (115), Forest Melody (115), Super Freaky (115), Tears I Cry (115), Barbette (114), Buddha Lady (114), Emma Grace (113), and My Three Sisters (112).

Asmussen points 11 for Million Day

Trainer Steve Asmussen plans to start 11 horses in the Million Day stakes, led by Zanjero in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. The program tends to be a big one for this track's perennial leading trainer, who won four stakes on the holiday card in 2004, and three in 1999.

"It's a ton of money," Asmussen said. "We've got some nice horses, and it's very important for us to do well."

Asmussen could have as many as three starters in the Lone Star, which is the richest race on the program. Zanjero, the runner-up to Monterey Jazz in the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star, and Encaustic, who was second by a neck in the $100,000 Fifth Season at Oaklawn, are both being pointed for the race. Beta Capo is to be entered in the Lone Star, but will be cross-entered in the Grade 3, $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup. He was third last out in the Texas Mile and is also a stakes winner on turf at Lone Star. The Asmussen-trained Red Rock Creek will go in the Dallas Turf Cup.

Asmussen said Shaun Bridgmohan has the mount on Zanjero, while Luis Quinonez will ride Encaustic. His other graded stakes starter on the program is My Three Sisters, who goes in the Ouija Board with Bridgmohan. Bridgmohan also has the mount on Red Rock Creek.

Asmussen has a pair of 3-year-olds for the USA, a 1 1/16-mile turf race. He said Bullet Brew, a winner of 2 of his last 3 starts, will go with Bridgmohan, while Ablaze With Spirit will be ridden by Quinonez. Ablaze With Spirit will be moving back to turf, and the last time the horse ran on the grass he was second to the future graded stakes winner Adriano in an allowance at Gulfstream.

The Valid Expectations is a race that Asmussen has practically owned, with four wins in the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares. The race is named for the multiple Grade 3 winner Asmussen trained. He is now a perennial leading stallion in Texas. Asmussen will be represented in the race this year by Tres Dream and Stealth Cat.

Asmussen's other starters on the card will be Sky Mom and Twisted Tale in the $100,000 Cinemine.

Shorter price on Rapid Squall

Rapid Squall, who was second in a first-level turf allowance at 24-1 here May 4, will be a much shorter price Sunday when he runs back at the same condition in the featured eighth race.

Rapid Squall was beaten in his last start by Trackerman, who is to run Monday in the USA. Rapid Squall earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 71, which is the best last-race turf number in the field. He has run first or second in his two grass starts. Trainer Val Ray Foster has given the mount to Martin Escobar.