06/29/2006 11:00PM

Great Hunter goes to California after sale


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The promising 2-year-old Great Hunter has been sold for an undisclosed sum and sent to trainer Doug O'Neill in Southern California, said Joe Petalino, who trained the colt when he was based at Lone Star Park.

Great Hunter has made two career starts. He finished a troubled second in his debut, then won his maiden one start later, on June 8. For his effort, Great Hunter earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 80. As a son of Aptitude, he is bred to improve with distance.

"For a guy looking for a horse, he's the kind to have. He's pretty legit, I think," said Petalino.

O'Neill has nominated Great Hunter to Tuesday's Grade 3, $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Hollywood Park. The owner listed is J. Paul Reddam. Petalino trained Great Hunter for Illona Whetstone.

Petalino had been pointing the colt for the Grade 3, $150,000 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs on July 8.

Petalino said Great Hunter was flown to O'Neill the week of June 18, aboard the flight that carried Dallas Turf Cup runner-up New Export back to Hollywood Park.

Petalino has a number of promising 2-year-olds in his stable this year. He is still planning a trip to Churchill Downs this month with Gallant Dreamer, an impressive maiden winner at Louisiana Downs on May 26. Gallant Dreamer is scheduled to make her next start in the Grade 3, $100,000 Debutante at Churchill on July 8.

Gallant Dreamer, a daughter of Belong to Me, races for Whetstone.

Norman has promising 2-year-old

Stormin Quality, a 7 1/4-length debut winner last month at Lone Star, could see stakes action soon, said her trainer, Cole Norman. Stormin Quality is a candidate for the $65,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs at Lone Star on July 22.

Stormin Quality is a Kentucky-bred by Stormin Fever. Her dam is Western Quality, a Lone Star stakes winner. Stormin Quality is one of several nice young horses Norman trains.

"I'm excited about the 2-year-olds we've got coming up," he said. "I've just been taking my time with them. There's really no hurry."

Stidham eyes Texas stakes

Trainer Michael Stidham has nominated a handful of horses to the six restricted stakes that make up next weekend's Stars of Texas program at Lone Star Park. Total purses for the Texas-breds stakes are $465,000.

"We're going to look at the races and consider running as many as we can," said Stidham.

Among his nominees are General Charley for the $75,000 Assault, Lissa's Star for the $40,000 Harold V. Goodman Memorial, and Expect Misty for the $40,000 Valor Farm. General Charley and Lissa's Star are stakes winners and race for Stonerside Stable.

Stidham also nominated Sandburr to the Assault, but right now he is under consideration for the Claiming Crown.

"We claimed him at the Houston meet for $20,000 and he's won for $25,000 and $40,000 over at Arlington," Stidham said. "We're looking at maybe running him in the Claiming Crown. He's really blossomed. He's just doing super."

The Claiming Crown will be run at Canterbury Park on July 15. Stidham has divisions of his stable at Canterbury, Arlington Park, and Lone Star.

Locke finds good spot for turf sprinter

Trainer John Locke, who has had good success in turf sprints this meet, has a top contender in Truly Social for Sunday night's featured ninth race, a first-level allowance at five furlongs on turf for fillies and mares.

Truly Social was second in a 7 1/2-furlong turf race in her first start in blinkers last time, and now cuts back in distance. The last time she ran over five furlongs on turf she was a seven-length winner of a conditioned claimer at Sam Houston Race Park in March. Filemon Rodriguez has the mount on Truly Social.

Locke won the $40,000 Miller Lite at five furlongs on turf last weekend with Magic Power, and earlier this meet won another turf sprint stakes with Proven Cure.

* There is a special 5 p.m. Central first post on Sunday to accommodate a fireworks show that will begin at approximately 10 p.m.