12/13/2001 12:00AM

Dates and names of stakes altered


Lone Star Park near Dallas has shuffled several of its stakes for 2002 by moving its richest race, the newly graded $500,000 Lone Star Derby, to a later date; replacing the $100,000 Mesquite Mile with the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies May 25; and putting Breeders' Cup funds into its season-ending races for 2-year-olds, the $100,000 Middleground and $100,000 Silver Spur.

The track will also host the first leg of the revised Texas Stallion Stakes series, which will offer two 5 1/2-furlong races for 2-year-olds, each worth an estimated $175,000. The races are for the offspring of nominated stallions, and will be run June 29 as part of a program of six restricted stakes called Stars of Texas Day.

Overall, 30 stakes worth a cumulative $4.1 million are scheduled for the April 4 to July 14 meet.

The Lone Star Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race that recently received Grade 3 status, has been moved to May 11, a week after the Kentucky Derby, in order to occupy a less-crowded spot on both the national and local sports calendar. The $1 million bonus created two years ago to reward the horse who won the Lone Star Derby as well as any Triple Crown race, has not been renewed for 2002.

In other changes, the track has swapped the dates for two of its 3-year-old stakes, moving the $100,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge up to April 6, and pushing the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup back to July 3.

For the handicap division, the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile will be run April 27, while the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap will headline the annual Lone Star Million Day, a program of seven stakes worth $1 million May 27. The NTRA Jockey Championship is set for June 21.