06/07/2006 12:00AM

Gold Storm aimed at champ

Email
Jim Linscott
Up 'n Blumin, here winning a Fonner Park stakes, set a track record for six furlongs at Lincoln on Saturday.

Gold Storm's record-setting performance in last Saturday night's $75,000 Need for Speed Stakes at Evangeline Downs still has the locals buzzing, and may soon have national repercussions as well. Gold Storm's owner, Keith McKinney, says it is on to Calder and that track's summer highlight, the Summit of Speed, on July 15.

"We're headed to Calder, where hopefully we will meet Lost in the Fog" in the Grade 2, $500,000 Smile Sprint, said McKinney earlier this week. Gold Storm lowered Evangeline's five-furlong track standard to 56.94 seconds in his three-length win in the Need for Speed. The win was the 10th victory in 17 starts for Gold Storm, a 6-year-old Seeking the Gold gelding, and his first start since pulling a suspensory ligament in the Churchill Downs Handicap on May 6, 2005. Among Gold Storm's other conquests are the $125,000 Kenner Breeders' Cup and the $147,000 Arlington Park Sprint. He finished ninth in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Lone Star Park.

"We are going to train Gold Storm up to the race at Calder," said McKinney. "We also plan to enter Mykindasaint on the same day as she continues her return. We would like to get a race into her before then but that may not be possible."

Mykindasaint, trained by Bubba Cascio, is a 3-year-old filly who began her career last season with three straight victories before shipping to New York and finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont. She is recovering from injuries to both knees and is in training at Lone Star Park.

Canterbury Park

With five victories from his first 22 starts at this meeting, Trainer Justin Evans has made a quick impression on racing fans at Canterbury Park. Evans, 25, is a third generation horseman who began working on the Prescott Downs backstretch at the age of 14. Following stints working in the barns of Owen McDaniel and Darryl Alvey, Evans became a regular on the Turf Paradise-Yavapai circuit. He has sent out 336 winners since sending out his first starter in 1999.

Evans, whose stable is primarily focused on claiming stock, is in his first season Canterbury. Several runners in his stable are nominated to the Claiming Crown, including the improving Threat From Above, who recently captured an allowance event in his second start of the meet.

Evans is quick to credit his fianc?e, Tammy Domenofsky, for the barn's success. Domenofsky gallops the barn's horses in addition to organizing the daily work schedule.

- David M. Miller

Lincoln

Up 'n Blumin and Missy Can Do provided one of the best performances of the meet last Saturday when the pair hooked up for a neck-and-neck battle that provided a new track record for six furlongs.

With R.D. Williams aboard, Up 'n Blumin was outpaced to the first turn as Missy Can Do opened a lead of slightly more than five lengths. As they approached the far turn of this five-eighths mile oval, Up 'n Blumin was breathing down the neck of Missy Can Do and rider Yuri Yaranga.

The pair dueled through the turn as Williams used a right-handed whip to keep Up 'n Blumin aside her rival, then let her run her own race through the stretch as Up 'n Blumin inched away for the one-length win in 1:09.80. The time lowered the mark set by Genuine Lass in 2002 and equaled by Grand Kat last year.

Williams enjoyed his strongest week of the season with riding triples on both Friday and Saturday, then finished off the weekend with a four-bagger on Sunday. Mike Luark had a double on Friday night and added another win Saturday to pick up his first wins since being injured in a spill while pulling up after a race at Fonner Park in April.

Two-year-olds have yet to race here so far this year, but they are lurking in the shadows. Early nominations closed last Sunday for the $25,000-added Capitol City Futurity, which will be contested on closing day, July 16. The early deadline brought out 31 nominations for the revamped stakes event. Supplemental nominations for the race remain open through Sunday, June 4 at a cost of $200 each. The race was designed to give the local horses a strong purse to run for with first preference written for 2-year-olds who have started at the Lincoln meet.

- Bill Hodtwalker

Oaklawn Park

For the first time, Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will host a qualifying tournament for the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship.

The qualifier is scheduled for Aug. 12-13, and the first three finishers will win trips to the finals, to be held in Las Vegas in January 2007.

Oaklawn recently began taking entries for the qualifier, and had 37 entrants through Tuesday. The contest is open to 225 participants, with an entry fee of $300, $120 of which will be used as the player's bankroll. There are a couple of ways interested parties can sign up, said Jason Milligan, a spokesman for Oaklawn.

"They can either call me at 800-Oaklawn, extension 563," said Milligan, "or they can go online to oaklawn.com, and we have a link that says '2006 DRF/NTRA Handicapping Tournament.' The link will take them to a page where they can print off an entry form and mail it to Oaklawn."

Milligan said the qualifier is being held in response to patron requests. The total purse for the Oaklawn tournament is $25,000, with the first-place finisher earning $12,000.

Milligan said so far he has received entries from players in Arkansas, Wyoming, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas.

- Mary Rampellini

Prairie Meadows

Miss Macy Sue will try two turns for the first time when she heads a field of six 3-year-old fillies entered in Friday's $50,000 Panthers Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

The one-mile distance is the only question Miss Macy Sue - who has never run beyond six furlongs - has to answer on Friday, as she has a big edge in Beyer Speed Figures over her five rivals. The Beyer Figure of 98 Miss Macy Sue earned last out, defeating older allowance rivals by six lengths, was 14 points higher than any of her Friday rivals has ever run.

Jockey Perry Compton, who has a return call in the Panthers, never asked Miss Macy Sue for her best in that six-furlong allowance event here on May 23. Kelly Von Hemel trains Miss Macy Sue, a daughter of Trippi who has won her last three starts by open lengths and has a career slate of 3-0-1 from 5 starts.

Miss Macy Sue figures to set the pace in the Panthers and should prove tough to run down. Lady Bell Dawn, who has improved greatly since joining the barn of Dick Clark two starts back, may be the main danger.

Lady Bell Dawn is 2 for 2 since joining Clark's barn, with her most recent win coming at Friday's distance, when she drew off against older entry-level allowance rivals to score by 3 1/2 lengths on May 13. Glenn Corbett has a return call on Lady Bell Dawn.

Multiple stakes winners Jazzy Okie and Whatsitgonnatake add depth to the field.

- Dave Basler

River Downs

In attendance at River Downs last Saturday for Fisticuff's win in the Green Carpet Stakes was Verna Lehmann, the mother of Larry and Fred Lehmann, the owners and co-breeders of Fisticuff.

Verna Lehmann is the widow of Robert Lehmann, whose Golden Chance Farm owned the 1970 Kentucky Derby winner, Dust Commander. After Robert Lehmann's death in 1974, his family continued the racing and breeding operation and enjoyed more classic success when their homebred colt Master Derby won the 1975 Preakness.

The Lehmann sons, prominent in Ohio racing circles for many years, continue to use the famed gold and red Golden Chance Farm silks.

Before the Green Carpet, Verna Lehmann had a chance to meet up in the paddock with retired jockey Mike Manganello, who rode Dust Commander and is now a steward at River Downs. A complete 1970 Derby reunion was not to be, however, as Don Combs, who trained Dust Commander and who often races at River Downs, did not have a horse entered on Saturday's card.

* Earlier on the card, former leading rider Dean Sarvis won the second race with Piece of My Heart in his first race back since he fractured a shoulder blade in a race accident on the second day of the meet.

* Jockey Victor Lebron won 4 of the 7 races on last Thursday's card, including a starter allowance aboard Usher In, who was winning for the seventh time this year.

* Two grass allowances are featured on Saturday's seven-race card. Tommeyesgold, recently third in the Tomboy Stakes, may be the one to beat in the ninth, a second-level allowance for 3-year-old fillies. Another prominent Ohio-bred 3-year-old, Sybles Angel, will take on older mares in a conditioned allowance, which goes as race 11.

- Vance Hanson