02/26/2009 12:00AM

Fire Is On tries to stay hot

Email

Fire Is On will try to remain undefeated when he makes his third career start in the $141,750 Maiden Strakes at Los Alamitos on Saturday night.

The 350-yard Maiden Stakes is restricted to 3-year-olds who were still maidens on Dec. 15, 2008.

Fire Is On fit those conditions when he made his career debut Jan. 2, but he quickly lost his maiden status. Overlooked at 30-1 after two ordinary works, Fire Is On turned heads with a 1 1/4-length win in 16.746 seconds for 330 yards, the fastest time from the first two months of the year-long Los Alamitos season.

"I never saw a race like that coming from him that night," owner Daniel Reynoso said.

That attention-getting effort immediately made the gelding a horse to beat in the Maiden Stakes. He lived up to those expectations when he fought to a head win over Royal Proclamation in their Maiden Stakes trial. His time of 17.305 seconds for the 350 yards was the quickest time from six trials.

Trial runner-up Royal Proclamation was the 11-10 favorite after winning his maiden Jan. 10 by a half-length. The gelding veered at the start and then got lined out to win in a noteworthy 15.57 seconds for the 300 yards. In the Maiden Stakes trial, he had the lead before dropping the close decision to Fire Is On.

A Famous Dial has shown steady improvement throughout his four career starts and could be dangerous in the Maiden Stakes after a troubled win in his trial. The gelding was still a maiden going into the trials but was sent off as the 6-5 favorite with two third-place efforts in his previous two starts. After being knocked around at the start of his trial, his winning prospects were dampened. However, he rallied to win by 1 3/4 lengths while pulling away. His time of 17.465 seconds was the third-fastest clocking.

Jessthisgirl has experience on her side with eight career starts, including wins in her two latest efforts. She won her maiden by a neck on Jan. 23 and then captured her trial by the same margin with the fourth-fastest time of 17.515 seconds.

Mr Overloaded moves up

Mr Overloaded steps up to the stakes ranks after a consistent record against lesser company in the $50,000 Mr. Jess Perry Stakes for Louisiana-breds on Saturday at Louisiana Downs.

The lightly raced 4-year-old has finished on the board seven times, with three wins from eight career starts. He won back-to-back allowance races as the strong favorite before finishing second in his latest start.

Heza Jodys Toast returns from a yearlong layoff in the Mr. Jess Perry. He made three starts last year, with a win in the Swift Stakes and a second in the 2008 Mr. Jess Perry, both at Louisiana Downs, and a third in the John Alleman Memorial at Delta.