07/06/2010 11:00PM

Greeley's Conquest returns on turf


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - With two of the region's top older horses in his barn, trainer Gary Thomas has a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Golden Yank, who was third last out in the Grade 2 Cornhusker, and Greeley's Conquest, who will make his first start of the year Friday night at Lone Star Park, both have rich races on the horizon.

Thomas said there are stakes for the two horses on Aug. 21 at Remington Park. Golden Yank is being pointed to the $150,000 Governor's Cup at 1 1/16 miles, while Greeley's Conquest will defend his title in the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup.

Greeley's Conquest gets his season started in Friday's fifth race, a $35,000 optional claimer over five furlongs on turf. It will be his first start since Nov. 6, when he was fifth in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs. Thomas has been pleased with how the horse is training for his comeback but is watching the weather as it has been wet in Grand Prairie.

"It's supposed to rain every day," he said Wednesday morning. "I don't want slick and soft [turf]. We'll just wait and see what happens."

The field also includes the mare Salty Wave, the speed of the race who will break from the rail. She has won her last three starts, and in her most recent race set a course record for five furlongs on turf when she won a $35,000 optional claimer in 55.09 seconds on June 5.

Greeley's Conquest, a 6-year-old winner of $448,763 who races for Millard R. Seldin, will be ridden by Martin Escobar.

Seldin also owns Golden Yank, a 5-year-old winner of $770,041. He came rolling for third in the Cornhusker, earning a 91 Beyer Speed Figure. It was Golden Yank's third start of the year, and for the Governor's Cup he will be returning to a Remington Park main track over which he is 3 for 3. He won his maiden and the $100,000 MEC Mile there in 2007 and the $350,000 Oklahoma Derby in 2008.

Poltergeist invades for Assault

Poltergeist shipped in from Arlington Park last weekend for a start in Saturday's $75,000 Assault at Lone Star, trainer Donnie Von Hemel said. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up bred in Texas drew a field of nine horses Wednesday morning. It is one of four restricted stakes worth a cumulative $325,000 on Saturday's annual Stars of Texas Day card.

Poltergeist will break from post 9, under Cliff Berry. The horse arrived at Lone Star last Sunday afternoon, Von Hemel said. It will be Poltergeist's second start at the Lone Star meet. He shipped over from Oaklawn in April and was third in the $50,000 Premiere.

Coyote Legend, who won the Premiere, returns to dirt for the Assault. He will break from post 2, just outside of fellow 3-year-old Fudge Truffle, a 15-length maiden winner last out who in November was fourth in the Grade 2 Remsen.

Richard Eramia, the leading rider at Louisiana Downs, has several mounts on the card, including Mile Marker in the Assault. Wasko and Red Hot Quest are coupled for trainer Michael Whitelaw, while Aprils Picture and Uncle Rose will race as an entry for trainer Danny Pish.

The $50,000 Valor Farm for fillies and mares at six furlongs includes stakes winners Formal Flyer and Hollye Lynne. But the favorite could be No Other Tone, who won a statebred allowance over those two in her last start, with a 95 Beyer.

There also are two $100,000 divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs, with the fillies side to go as the third race and the colts and geldings as the ninth race. The forecast for Saturday is for scattered thunderstorms and a high of 89 degrees, according to weather.com.

* Lone Star will offer $1 general admission, hot dogs, popcorn, and soft drinks Saturday.