06/11/2008 12:00AM

Golden Yank's grass trial continues

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Golden Yank tried turf for the first time last out. He liked it, and on Saturday he will stay on the grass for the Grade 2, $200,000 Jefferson Cup for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

Golden Yank was scheduled to van out of his Lone Star Park base on Thursday for the 1 1/8-mile turf race, according to his trainer, Gary Thomas. Jamie Theriot has the mount.

Golden Yank, who is a multiple stakes winner on dirt, tried turf for the first time in the $100,000 USA Stakes at Lone Star on May 26. He came rolling to finish second in the 1 1/16-mile race, three-quarters of a length behind Grade 3 winner Boss Lafitte. He was awarded an 86 Beyer Figure.

"He ran pretty good," said Thomas. "He was wide all the way, both turns."

Thomas said Golden Yank had also been under consideration for the Grade 3, $175,000 Northern Dancer on dirt the same day at Churchill, but he is hoping for a more favorable pace for the horse to run at in the Jefferson Cup.

"It might set up better," he said. "There's two or three speed horses in there."

Last year as a 2-year-old, Golden Yank won the $100,000 MEC Mile at Remington Park and the $150,000 Jean Lafitte around two turns at Delta Downs. He has earned $304,832.

Thomas also trains the stakes winner Greeley's Conquest, who could run next in the $50,000 Temperence Hill at Louisiana Downs on June 21. Greeley's Conquest has won three races at the six-furlong distance of the Temperence Hill.

Greeley's Conquest closed fast for third in a five-furlong turf sprint at Lone Star on June 1. The race was his first out since February.

A racing secretary in demand

Mike Shamburg was named the racing secretary at Lone Star late last month, and he will take the same position at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., which opens a mixed meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in September. His appointment at Zia is pending approval from the New Mexico Racing Commission, said Rick Baugh, the assistant general manager of Zia.

Shamburg's appointment for the Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star, which runs through July, represents a subtle shift in the roles of some of the key members of the racing office staff. Larry Craft, who has been the director of racing and racing secretary since the track opened in 1997, will now carry the sole title of director of racing, according to Drew Shubeck, president and general manager of Lone Star. Craft will not be on hand every day for the remainder of the meet, but will continue to oversee Lone Star's racing program and write its condition books.

"He's still going to be the leader of the team," said Shubeck.

Shamburg had been the stakes coordinator at Lone Star. Jeanette Hughes continues in her longtime role as assistant racing secretary, while Bart Lang has been named the assistant director of racing, said Shubeck. The changes come at the midway point of the meet, with Lone Star having run all of its graded stakes for the season. Craft annually begins his duties well before the start of the meet, noted Shubeck.

Hughes will also be the racing secretary during the fall Quarter Horse meet at Lone Star.

Baugh said Shamburg will be a nice addition to Zia, which will open its stable area on Aug. 13. The racing secretary at Zia last year was Tom Davis. Shamburg, 55, is a longtime racing official and a past racing secretary at Remington Park and Retama Park.

* Fiesty Lula, who won her maiden in dominant fashion at Lone Star on May 22, looks strong against winners in the featured eighth race Friday night. The first-level allowance at 6o1/2 furlongs is for fillies bred in Texas. Quincy Hamilton has the mount for trainer Michelle Lovell.