01/20/2004 12:00AM

Derby shifts to fall one day before Cup


The Grade 3 Lone Star Derby has been moved from spring to the fall this year, one of several changes Lone Star Park has made to its stakes schedule to accommodate the 2004 running of the Breeders' Cup World Thorough-bred Championships.

Lone Star, located near Dallas, will run two Thoroughbred meets this year instead of just one in the spring. The Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile on April 24 and Lone Star Million Day on May 31 will headline the 63-date spring season, which runs from April 15 to July 11.

The 19-date fall meet will run from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, and the eight championship races that make up the Breeders' Cup will be held Oct. 30. On the Breeders' Cup undercard, Lone Star has scheduled three new stakes: the $100,000 Texas Turf Cup, the $100,000 Metroplex Mile for 3-year-olds and up, and the $100,000 Lone Star Juvenile.

The Lone Star Derby is one of two stakes for 3-year-olds that will be run Oct. 29, the day before the Breeders' Cup. With the move to the fall, the Lone Star Derby has been reduced in value from $500,000 to $250,000 and has been shortened from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/16 miles.

Last year, Dynever won the Lone Star Derby when it was held in May.

The $150,000 Stonerside, for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs, will support the Lone Star Derby.

Lone Star has placed two one-mile stakes early in the fall meet to serve as preps for the Breeders' Cup juvenile races. They are the $100,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup for 2-year-old fillies on Oct. 1 and the $100,000 Middleground Breeders' Cup for 2-year-olds on Oct. 3.

In the spring, the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap and the Grade 3, $200,000 WinStar Distaff will once again highlight the Lone Star Million Day card, made up of seven stakes worth $1 million.