01/02/2008 1:00AM

Dominguez duo targets WinStar Derby


Trainer Henry Dominguez won last year's $600,000 WinStar Derby with Song of Navarone, and he developed a couple of candidates for this year's running over on Sunday when he sent out Rapper S S and Capetown Royal to finish first and third in the $100,000 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park.

"The goal for both of them is the WinStar Derby," Dominguez said.

The WinStar will be the richest race of the Sunland meet when it is renewed March 16. Before then, Rapper S S will be pointed for the track's $100,000 Borderland Derby on Feb. 16. He will start as a top choice following his 1 3/4-length win over multiple stakes winner Yonegwa in the Riley Allison. Rapper S S equaled his career-best Beyer Speed Figure, an 88.

"He's a horse that's just maturing," Dominguez said. "He's learning what it's all about. He's learned to rate a little bit off the speed."

Rapper S S, who gave Dominguez his second win in the Riley Allison following Disappearing Trick's score in 2005, races for Lathrop Hoffman. Capetown Royal, a $310,000 purchase at an Ocala Breeders' Sales auction last April, races for George E. Coleman, who also owns Song of Navarone. Capetown Royal made his career debut in the Riley Allison.

"He's an exceptional horse and it was a short field, and we know he's real talented, so I figured we might as well run him," Dominguez said. "We've always had a lot of high hopes for him."

Dominguez said next-race plans are to be determined for Capetown Royal.

Plans pending for Silent Pleasure

The connections of Silent Pleasure are taking a wait-and-see approach with the horse as he rehabs from a fractured sesamoid sustained in an August workout. The goal is for him to resume training, but retirement remains an option.

Silent Pleasure won five stakes last year, including the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park and the $100,000 Gulf Coast Classic at Delta Downs.

"The vet says he's healing up real good," said Penny Scarberry, who owns Silent Pleasure with her husband, trainer Howard Scarberry. "We'll have to play it by ear."

She said the earliest Silent Pleasure would come back in a race is March. Silent Pleasure is walking the shedrow, she said.

Silent Pleasure's injury, in his right foreleg, did not require surgery, according to Howard Scarberry. Last year, the horse won 6 of 8 starts and $505,000.

Mystery Classic eyes Colonel Power

Mystery Classic, who is the Texas-bred horse of the year for 2007, could make his next start in the $100,000 Colonel Power at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf Feb. 9 at Fair Grounds, trainer Bob Schultz said.

Mystery Classic won five consecutive stakes between July 4 and Dec. 1, with his wins coming on dirt and turf at Lone Star, Remington Park, Retama, and Sam Houston Race Park. In his most recent start, he finished seventh in the $100,000 Bonapaw, an off-the-turf sprint run Dec. 22 at Fair Grounds.

"The horse jumped up and ran a bad race," Schultz said. "We're going to set the horse back up to try to run him in the Colonel Power, and hopefully it will stay on the grass this time."

Mystery Classic led all Texas-breds in a points system that determines the state's champions. The system is administered by the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

Mystery Classic, who went 5 for 7 last year, races for his breeder, John L. Pierce II.

Valid Lil, Wrenice getting rest

Wrenice and Valid Lil, a pair of top Texas-bred female sprinters, are both being freshened. The horses met for the first time in the $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes at Sam Houston Dec. 1, with Valid Lil finishing fourth and Wrenice a troubled ninth. The connections of both horses said a future goal is the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station for Texas-bred fillies and mares at Lone Star on April 19.

Valid Lil last raced Dec. 22 and finished third in the $100,000 Esplanade at Fair Grounds.

"We're going to rest her right now," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Valid Lil. "She's going to walk for a couple of weeks, then jog for a couple of weeks, then she's going to go back into serious training after that, and probably try to target something in March."

Valid Lil, who went 7 for 10 in 2007, races for Circustown Stables.

Wrenice, the Texas-bred champion 3-year-old filly of 2007, had been considered for a start in the Esplanade but instead is being freshened at her Sam Houston base.

"I'm going to probably give her 30 days downtime," said Randy Mayfield, who trains Wrenice for Stewart Hamblen. "After that last race, I didn't want to go to Fair Grounds. I'm just going to freshen her and hopefully have her ready to go at Lone Star."

* Eric Johnston, director of racing and racing secretary at Sam Houston, has been promoted to vice president of racing, the track announced Wednesday. He will continue to oversee the racing department at Sam Houston.