06/28/2002 11:00PM

Desert Darby stars on Texas Day


Desert Darby won the $125,000 Assault Stakes at Lone Star Park on Saturday in his first start back from a layoff of nearly a year. The 1 1/16-mile race for Texas-breds was the richest of six restricted stakes on the program that made up the second annual Stars of Texas Day.

Logan's Leo finished three-quarters of a length behind Desert Darby in second, while it was another three-quarters of a length back in third to 3-5 favorite Lights on Broadway. Desert Demon broke down on the backstretch and threw rider Anthony Lovato, who suffered possible lacerations to his lip and tongue.

Desert Darby ($14.60), making his first start since July 2001, stalked the pace early, moved up on the turn, took the lead past the eighth pole, and went on to cover the distance in 1:44.97 over a fast track. Corey Lanerie rode the winner for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Asmussen's winning afternoon continued one race later, when he sent out first-time starter Tiffany Jennifer ($60.80) to upset 1-5 favorite Parting in the $122,500 fillies division of the Texas Stallion Stakes. Gerard Melacon rode the winner for owner Keith Asmussen.

* Coastalota won her fourth stakes race of the year when she ran down Miss Photogenic by a half-length in the $100,000 Allen Bogan Memorial, a mile race for fillies and mares bred in Texas. It was three lengths back to Secret Brick.

Coastalota ($7.20) raced midpack while Nanie's Dinner led the field through an opening five furlongs in 59.50 seconds in her first start since September. Coastalota launched a bid on the final turn, went wide into the stretch and was determined in the lane, covering the distance in 1:39.20. Bobby Walker Jr., rode the winner for trainer Randy Mayfield.

* Miss Ritz held off a late surge from Sly Kona to win the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes by a neck. It was another neck back in third to Lucky M.

Miss Ritz ($4) stalked in third in the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, while Dancing Dreams led the field through five furlongs in 56.90 seconds. Miss Ritz took over from there, and went on to cover the distance in 1:10.43. Gerard Melancon rode Miss Ritz for trainer Bob Young.

* Front Nine ($15.60) rallied from off a torrid pace to nail the front-running Nuclear Assembly approaching the wire in the $50,000 Harold Goodman Sprint, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds. It was 1 1/2 lengths back in third to Son of a Lue. Cathleen Garner was aboard Front Nine for trainer Tommie Morgan.

* Action Tonight ($10.60) was prominent throughout to win the $122,500 colts and geldings division of the Texas Stallion Stakes over 4-5 favorite Leo's Last Hurrahy.

Seneca Rock was third in the 5 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-olds. Roman Chapa rode Action Tonight for trainer Danny Pish.