06/19/2007 11:00PM

Going Ballistic aims for Iowa Derby


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - As a stakes winner on dirt and turf, Going Ballistic had a wide range of options for his next start. But his connections have narrowed the focus to just one race. Going Ballistic is being pointed for the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows on June 29, his trainer, Donnie Von Hemel, said Wednesday.

Going Ballistic will be moving back to dirt for the 1 1/16-mile race. In his most recent start, he won the $100,000 USA Stakes at that distance on turf. That race came at his Lone Star Park base on May 28.

"We'll give him another chance on the dirt to win a derby," said Von Hemel.

Going Ballistic's lone derby start came in April, when he finished fifth in the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby. Following the race, he moved back to the grass and was third in the $60,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge here April 28. One start later, Going Ballistic won the USA under Cliff Berry, who has the mount in the Iowa Derby, said Von Hemel.

Going Ballistic's dirt stakes win came last year at 2 in the $100,000 MEC Mile at Remington Park.

He will be joined on his Prairie Meadows trip by Brownie Points. A stakes winner on dirt and turf, she was second to Lady of Venice last out in the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff at Lone Star. Von Hemel said she will start in the $125,000 Iowa Distaff Breeders' Cup on June 30.

With the pair, Von Hemel will be looking for his latest in a long line of Iowa stakes victories. He has regularly shipped from Lone Star with success during the rich cluster of stakes held each summer at Prairie Meadows.

"We've always been lucky enough to have a couple of horses that can run up there," he said.

Von Hemel said Luis Quinonez, who is based at Lone Star, has the mount on Brownie Points.

First-timer puts Sutton over the top

Runaway Lil Bull's debut win at 13-1 in the ninth race Sunday at Lone Star lifted Roger Sutton of Mesquite, Texas, to victory in the track's two-day qualifying tournament to the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship. With the win, he earned a trip to the championship, scheduled for January in Las Vegas.

Sutton beat out 192 others in the Lone Star qualifier, which was held on the second floor of the grandstand last Saturday and Sunday. Runaway Lil Bull paid $28, helping drive Sutton past five other players with a winning bankroll of $222.70. Louis Licata of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, who had held the lead, finished second with $220.40. The third-place finisher was Kenneth Clark of Longview, Texas, with $205.30.

Sutton earned $5,000 in prize money, while Licata earned $2,500 for second and Clark got $1,000 for third. Licata and Clark also won berths to the Las Vegas finale. The total of 193 players for the qualifier was a Lone Star record.

Half-brother to Charlie's Beau debuts

Sharp Move, a half-brother to 2-year-old stakes winner Charlie's Beau, will get his career started in the seventh race Friday night at Lone Star. The maiden special weight for 2-year-olds bred in Texas will be run at 5 1/2 furlongs. It drew a full field of 12.

Sharp Move has a pedigree geared toward early success. He is a son of Valid Expectations, a sprint stakes winner of $596,092 who gets 19 percent juvenile debut winners. Sharp Move's dam, Charlie Fepp, has produced three 2-year-old stakes winners. In addition to Charlie's Beau, her 2-year-old stakes winners were Balkan and Tuned In, who is a full sister to Sharp Move.

Steve Asmussen trains Sharp Move for Will Farish. The colt will be ridden by Glen Murphy.

* Nicely Done and Petit Jean Creek appear to be the major players in the featured ninth race Friday night, a second-level allowance for fillies and mares at seven furlongs. Another leading contender in the field is the stakes-placed Real Soup.