07/04/2001 11:00PM

Great Lakes: Romeo on a roll


MUSKEGON, Mich. - Secret Romeo, the top 3-year-old in Michigan, looks for his fifth win in a row in the $50,000 Dowling Stakes at Great Lakes Downs. The one-mile Dowling attracted six Michigan-bred colts and geldings and is the seventh race feature.

Secret Romeo, owned by the AAC Stable of A. A. Catenacci, is trained by Gerald Bennett, who will saddle half of the Dowling field. Other than a third in the Michigan Sire Stakes and a disqualification to second in the Little Ones, both last season, Secret Romeo has been unbeatable at this oval. He won the Lansing Stakes and the Spartan Handicap in his last two starts here. Terry Houghton retains the mount aboard Secret Romeo, who drew post 5 and will carry 122 pounds, as will the other starters.

Magic Spark, owned by Bob Gorham and Henry Mast and trained by Gorham, is the only Dowling starter who has tried Secret Romeo in both local stakes. He faltered in the Lansing but rallied for second in the Spartan. Mary Doser will break Magic Spark from post 2.

Facing Secret Romeo and Magic Spark are Timely Factor, Luis Martinez, Jr.; Northland's Gift, Tommy Molina; Lite Up, Felipe Santos; and Blackstone Dreamer, Luis J. Martinez.