06/22/2010 11:00PM

Fudge Truffle finally shows off


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainer Butch Marshall thought so much of Fudge Truffle last year that he ran him in the Grade 2 Remsen as a maiden. But it was not until last Friday night at Lone Star Park that the horse turned in the kind of effort his trainer believed was in him all along. Fudge Truffle won a maiden special weight route at Lone Star Park by more than 15 lengths, and the Beyer Speed Figure of 85 that he earned has put him under consideration for the $75,000 Assault Stakes.

"I was really, really pleased with his race," Marshall said. "It was a heck of a race."

Last fall, Fudge Truffle was sent from his Oklahoma base to New York to run in the Remsen, and he finished fourth to Buddy's Saint. He got the call for the 1 1/8-mile race because he had shown a desire for as much ground as possible at a time when many of his peers are not ready or able to get such a demanding trip. Fudge Truffle had given Marshall an indication of his distance propensity in September, when he finished third in the $150,000 Sunday Silence at 1 1/16 miles at Louisiana Downs.

"He doesn't have a huge turn of foot," Marshall said. "He just wears them down. The reason we went was it was the time of year when a limited amount of horses can do that well, as far as a 2-year-old going a mile and an eighth. It puts you in a different bracket for that time. You're advanced, and you want to take advantage of what you have."

Marshall said he was pleased with the Remsen effort from Fudge Truffle, who following the start ran sixth as the favorite in a maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs in January. But the horse was found to have a quarter crack following that race and did not return to action until the Lone Star Park meet. Fudge Truffle defeated Texas-breds in the maiden special weight last week and would again face statebreds if he goes in the Assault, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on July 10.

"I'm just not sure what we're going to do yet," Marshall said. "We're thinking about it. It's in the back of our minds. We just wish it was a 3-year-old race. I hate to place him against older horses. We'll see. We'll nominate for it."

Fudge Truffle, who is by Candy Ride, figures to be a factor in some of this fall's 3-year-old stakes in Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Another winner for Willis?

Mindy Willis is having one of her winningest years as a trainer, and on Friday night she can add to her stats with E Bee Girl. The mare, who came into this region from Southern California, will be one of the top choices in a first-level allowance for fillies and mares. The race will be run over 7 1/2 furlongs on turf, a distance similar to the one E Bee Girl raced last out when she was third to Kite Seeker, a multiple winner at the meet, on June 4.

The race was the first in about a year for E Bee Girl, who had been racing at Hollywood Park.

"If she runs as well as she did last time, I think she'll give them a run for their money," Willis said. "She seems to be training forwardly, the same as she was going into that race. She's doing really well."

Sidney LeJeune has the mount on E Bee Girl.

Willis had won 24 races through Wednesday in her most productive year since her 32-win year in 2001. She came into the Lone Star meet off a powerful Sam Houston season in which she went 19 for 113 from the Nov. 27 start of the meet to its close April 3. Willis also had 18 seconds and 17 thirds at Sam Houston.

Willis is the daughter of the late California-based horseman Barney Willis, who in the 1970s trained multiple stakes winners Doonesbury, Raise Your Skirts, and Hazel R.

Following the Lone Star meet, Willis plans to race some at Louisiana Downs, Remington Park, and Retama Park.

* Tom Durant set a record for owner wins in a Lone Star meet last Friday night, when Street Cell won the eighth race. It was the 31st winner from 77 starters at the meet for Durant, who broke the 2007 mark of 30 wins from 91 starts by Heflin and Driver Racing. Durant, who has won six local titles, is the all-time winningest owner at Lone Star. Chris Landeros rode Street Cell for trainer Jack Bruner.

* Jockey Cliff Berry will not be riding at Lone Star on Friday night or Saturday because he has mounts in a number of stakes at Prairie Meadows.