05/21/2008 12:00AM

Going Ballistic likely for Turf Cup


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Going Ballistic is being pointed toward the Grade 3, $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup and highweight Medici Code will take a pass on the race, their respective connections said Wednesday. The Dallas Turf Cup is one of six stakes worth a cumulative $1.1 million at Lone Star Park on Monday.

Going Ballistic also remains under consideration for the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, which is the richest race on the card. The Lone Star is at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, while the Dallas Turf Cup, at 1 1/8 miles, comes at the distance of Going Ballistic's biggest win, the Grade 2 Super Derby. His best recent race came on the grass, where he was second by a head in the Grade 3 Connally Breeders' Cup at 1 1/8 miles at Sam Houston Race Park in April.

"We're leaning toward the turf race," Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Going Ballistic, said Wednesday of the Dallas Turf Cup. "Of the two, I like the mile and an eighth better, and that's why I'm leaning that way. But I am still up in the air."

Cliff Berry, the leading rider at Lone Star, has the mount on Going Ballistic in either spot. If the horse goes in the Dallas Turf Cup, he would carry 116 pounds.

The 120-pound highweight Medici Code will not make the trip from Southern California, according to Cris Vienna, assistant to his father, trainer Darrell Vienna. He said Medici Code is a candidate for the Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar on July 20.

Expected to run in the Turf Cup are Church Service (115), Eighteenthofmarch (114), Swains News (113), and Jazz Quest (115), who arrived here Wednesday from Kentucky. Those considered possible are Storm Military (115), Mr. Wolverine (115), Major Rhythm (115), Skim the Till (112), Wise River (112), and Scrappy Roo (116), who won the Connally Cup.

Mr. Wolverine, the winner of the $150,000 Khaled for statebreds at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Hollywood Park on April 27, was 50-50 for the Dallas Turf Cup as of Wednesday, according to his trainer, Jorge Gutierrez. He said Mr. Wolverine may run instead in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Memorial at Hollywood Park on June 7.

Eighteenthofmarch, who was third by a neck in the Connally, is scheduled to arrive at Lone Star by van from Kentucky on Saturday, said his trainer, John Good. James Graham has the mount on Eighteenthofmarch, who won a pair of allowances at Fair Grounds in January and February.

The field for the Lone Star is expected to draw Giant Gizmo, winner of the Grade 3 Alysheba at Churchill Downs, as well as Zanjero and Cowtown Cat, who arrived from Kentucky on Wednesday. Magnum, a past winner of the Lone Star, had been under consideration for the race but is now being pointed to the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate on Monday, said Cris Vienna.

Others arriving from Kentucky Wednesday were Boss Lafitte, the probable favorite in the $100,000 USA Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf, and Tres Dream, who is nominated to the $100,000 Valid Expectations.

Force Freeze to Summit of Speed

Force Freeze, who earned a career-best Beyer Figure of 98 for a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Hirsch Jacobs on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico last Saturday, is back at Lone Star and is being pointed for the Grade 2, $300,000 Carry Back Stakes at Calder on July 12, said his trainer, Allen Milligan. The Carry Back, for 3-year-olds at six furlongs, is part of the Summit of Speed card.

Force Freeze set the pace in the Jacobs and fought on along the rail to finish a close third in a six-furlong race that went in a strong 1:09.10.

"He didn't ever give it up," said Milligan. "He ran his race. We were very proud of him."

Belton heads trials for TTA

Belton figures to be the shortest-priced favorite in the three trial races to be run here Friday night for the $100,000 colts and geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity. The finale will be held June 7.

Belton runs in the first trial, which will go as the fourth race. He has been one of the most impressive debut winners of the meet, barreling to a 5 1/2-length win here April 26. He defeated open company in the 4o1/2-furlong race, and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 79.

Luis Quinonez has the mount on Belton for Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and trainer Steve Asmussen.