02/07/2002 1:00AM

Coastalota faces peers


Coastalota, whose last two races have come against open company, returns to racing with statebreds Saturday night in the $30,000 Tomball Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

The 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares has drawn eight others, including Holly Sue, who has finished behind Coastalota in her last three starts; Crook's Angel, the field's highest earner with a bankroll of $175,028; and Madison Grace, a full sister to multiple stakes winner Heza Fast Tab.

The last time Coastalota raced with statebreds she won the $75,000 Martanza Handicap at Sam Houston on Dec. 1 by 2 1/2 lengths over Holly Sue. The Martanza was the richest stakes for Texas-bred fillies and mares last year.

Since that race, she has finished second in an open-company allowance Dec. 29, and third, beaten less than three lengths, in the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff on Jan. 12.

Randy Mayfield trains Coastalota for Hubert Southard, and has given the mount to Bobby Walker Jr.

Leading rider Glen Murphy has the mount on Holly Sue, who could fire a peak race in her third start back from an extended layoff. In her last start, she finished a close third in an allowance race.

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