03/01/2006 12:00AM

Chit Chat Pam might try Sam Houston Oaks


Chit Chat Pam has developed into one of the most exciting 3-year-old fillies at the Sam Houston meet. She won her maiden in the $30,000 Cy-Fair on Jan. 14 in her second career start, then one start later won the $125,000 Two Altazano division of the Texas Stallion Stakes on Feb. 18 in her two-turn debut.

"She's done everything we've asked her to do, and she's done it pretty easy," said Bob Young, who trains Chit Chat Pam for Ken Murphy Thoroughbreds.

Chit Chat Pam is a Texas-bred daughter of Valid Expectations. She is out of the Dehere mare Dehere's Dream, and was purchased as a yearling from her breeder, Joe Archer.

Young said he and Murphy have been discussing next-race options for the filly, and one race that is under consideration is the $40,000 Sam Houston Oaks at one mile on March 11.

* Onthedeanslist is a candidate for the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf at Sam Houston on April 8, said his trainer, Ralph Nicks. Onthedeanslist won the $75,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap during the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs. He has earned $341,675.

* Ticklish Will, who invades off a win at Oaklawn, is the one to beat in the eighth on Friday night, an entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs. Leading rider Glen Murphy has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen. Also in the race is Broke Kitty for trainer Alan Love.

* Sam Houston will hold an eight-week handicapping contest covering the prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby. It will feature $4,800 in cash prizes. The contest will start Saturday.

Fonner Park

Larren Delorme made his presence in the riding colony felt last weekend, firmly planting himself in the top half of the rider standings while scoring what likely will be the only weekend stakes double of the meet. There is only one stakes race scheduled for each weekend at Fonner Park - but cold weather forced the cancellation of live racing on Feb. 18 at the Grand Island, Neb., racetrack, and that day's Grasmick Stakes was subsequently rescheduled for last Sunday.

Delorme guided Nikki Nine to a win in Saturday's Bachman Stakes for trainer Kim Veerhusen, then turned around to guide Fonner veteran Tonight Rainbow to victory in the Grasmick. Tonight Rainbow, a 7-year-old gelding, also won the Grasmick in 2004.

Delorme arrived at Fonner Park as an unknown quantity, but settled in with five winners last weekend and is tied for fourth at six wins with Mike Luark. Curtis Kimes also has six wins, but he has shifted his tack to the newly opened Will Rogers Downs Racetrack and Casino in Claremore, Okla.

* Tonight Rainbow, trained by Boyd Caster for owner Boyd Pugh, has now won nine of his 17 starts over Fonner's five-eighths-mile oval. Named the track's top sprinter in 2003 and 2004, Tonight Rainbow struggled in 2005 with nine starts and just a single win, awarded via disqualification as the result of a postrace purse redistribution. Caster told the Grand Island Independent that Tonight Rainbow battled a low red blood count and was never quite right in his 2005 campaign.

Following a strong three-furlong drill in 36 seconds at Will Rogers Downs on Feb. 23, Caster and his star runner hit the road to Grand Island for Sunday's Grasmick. Tonight Rainbow likely will return to Fonner from Will Rogers Downs for the Budweiser/Tondi Stakes on March 25, a race he won in 2003.

- Bill Hodtwalker

Manor Downs

Manor Downs near Austin, Texas, opened for a mixed meet for Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds last weekend. Racing at the track will continue through April 23.

Manor drew a crowd of 983 for its opening card Saturday, and 1,246 for its program on Sunday.

The track has a number of stakes scheduled this meet, with its biggest card to be held on closing day. That program is topped by the $75,000-added Manor Downs Futurity for Quarter Horses at 350 yards. There are also two Thoroughbred stakes on the program: the $20,000 Manor Downs Thoroughbred Futurity and the $20,000 Tony Sanchez Memorial Mile.

Other stakes for Thoroughbreds at the meet include the $20,000 Distaff on April 15.

Manor will race on Saturdays and Sundays, and first post is 1:30 p.m. Central.

- Mary Rampellini

Sunland Park

Indy Wildcat sure picked the right day to find himself. A 3-year-old son of A.P. Indy, Indy Wildcat stalked the pace in Sunday's $100,000 Borderland Derby and finished gamely to notch his first career win.

"He has been a little bit immature, but he is improving rapidly," winning trainer Paulo Capestro said after the race. "He wants distance. We will go back to California and wait for the WinStar Derby."

The 1 1/16-mile Borderland Derby serves as the key prep for the $600,000 WinStar, to be run here April 1. Any horse that sweeps the Borderland, WinStar, and Kentucky derbies will receive a $500,000 bonus.

Wait in Line, the Borderland runner-up, was a bit unlucky. He sat toward the back of the pack early and put in a strong rally to fall just a head shy. His rider, Alfredo Juarez Jr., lost his whip inside the sixteenth pole, though this might not have had any effect as Wait in Line continued on strongly even after the incident. He's expected back for the WinStar Derby as well.

Turf Paradise

Wilson Dieguez, the second-leading rider here, returned to the saddle last week after suffering a badly bruised foot in a paddock accident Feb. 19.

Dieguez, 32, suffered the injury when he was unseated by his mount, the filly Musical Topper, as the horses prepared to leave the paddock for the day's seventh race.

"The filly reared and I went sliding off the back," said Dieguez. "She reared again and . . . stepped on my foot, pinning me down."

Dieguez was also unseated from his mount in the first race that day and had another horse rear up on him in the fourth race.

* Spanish Chestnut, last seen setting the pace in the 2005 Kentucky Derby before faltering, was a surprise entrant in last Saturday's Coyote Handicap. Trainer Patrick Biancone then opted to scratch, but said Spanish Chestnut is still targeting the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup here March 18.

- Michael Hammersly