07/03/2008 12:00AM

Fearless Anthony out to build on turf debut


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Fearless Anthony is a former $5,000 claimer who gets his shot at stakes glory Saturday in the $50,000 Lone Star Park Turf Sprint. But he's hardly running out of line. Fearless Anthony won the allowance prep for the five-furlong grass race and will be one of the top choices in a field that includes the Bret Calhoun-trained entry of Orphan Brigade and Chamberlain Bridge.

The Lone Star Turf Sprint will be the second stakes appearance for Fearless Anthony, who finished second by a half-length in the $50,000 Route 66 Stakes at Will Rogers Downs near Tulsa on May 3. Earlier in his career, he had competed mostly in claiming races, ranging in price from $5,000 to $15,000.

"He's hitting his peak late in life, I guess," said Chris Hartman, who trains Fearless Anthony for Black Hawk Stable. "He's a 7-year-old. But he's in top shape right now, and he's running the best he's ever run."

Black Hawk claimed Fearless Anthony for $12,500 at Sunland Park in January. The horse finished second by three-quarters of a length that day, but earned what at the time was his career-best Beyer Speed Figure, a 91. He proceeded to win two allowances at Sunland before his stakes start at Will Rogers. Hartman then decided to test Fearless Anthony on turf for the first time in his career on June 1, and he won the allowance prep at Lone Star.

"He seemed to take to it like a duck to water," Hartman said. "He ran one of the faster times here going five-eighths on the grass. And he did it well. He came out of the race strong."

Fearless Anthony ran five furlongs on turf in 55.40 seconds, winning by 1 3/4 lengths over stakes winner Gold Wonder, who in his next start won a tough optional claimer at Lone Star. Hartman said the distance of the allowance and a Lone Star course he thought Fearless Anthony would handle well led him to try turf with the horse.

"He liked it, and I think he's going to fit well in there," said Hartman, who has given the mount in the Lone Star Turf Sprint to Ken Tohill.

Calhoun will counter with Orphan Brigade, a multiple stakes winner of $593,910, and Chamberlain Bridge, who invades off an allowance win at five furlongs on turf at Churchill Downs on June 1. Chamberlain Bridge has won 3 of his 4 starts in turf sprints, and owns the field's best last-race Beyer, a 98.

"He's a very legitimate horse," Calhoun said. "Five-eighths on the grass, he's pretty rapid."

Cliff Berry has the mount on Chamberlain Bridge. Bobby Walker Jr. will ride Orphan Brigade. Both horses are owned by Carl Moore Management.