08/29/2001 12:00AM

Halo of Hearts is following footsteps of Doublethebetwice


Trainer Sam David Jr., who sent out Doublethebetwice to win the inaugural $100,000 El Joven at Retama Park near San Antonio in 1995, returns to the track Saturday night with one of the favorites for this year's running of the one-mile race for 2-year-olds, Halo of Hearts. The $100,000 El Joven and its counterpart for fillies, the $100,000 La Senorita, will share a program, and together the races will make for one of the richest nights of racing at Retama Park.

Halo of Hearts is following the same road to the El Joven as Doublethebetwice. Doublethebetwice rolled to a seven-length win in the inaugural El Joven on the heels of a 7 1/2-furlong turf allowance score at Louisiana Downs. Halo of Hearts won a 7 1/2-furlong turf allowance at Louisiana Downs in his most recent start, and before that race won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight by 9 3/4 lengths, covering the distance in a blazing 1:03.40.

Halo of Hearts races for his breeders, James and Sue Burns, who campaigned Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Blushing K.D. The colt is expected to face several capable rivals Saturday night, including Premeditation, who won the local prep for the El Joven by 6 1/2 lengths; French Assault, second to Halo of Hearts in the Louisiana Downs turf allowance; and Angela'stoughwater.

Miss Ritz, who won the $100,000 Silver Spur Stakes at Lone Star Park, meets a contentious group of fillies in the La Senorita, including Victory Road, who won the prep for the one-mile race on Aug. 12.

Nanie's Dinner to River Cities

Nanie's Dinner, who improved her Louisiana Downs turf record to four wins from five starts after capturing the $50,000 Sangue Handicap last Saturday, is to make her next start in the $150,000 River Cities Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 15, said trainer Larry Robideaux Jr. After that race the filly will ship to Retama Park for the $35,000 Fiesta Mile. The race is one of seven state-bred stakes to be run at Retama Park on Oct. 6.

Also pointing for a Retama Park stakes on Oct. 6 is Little Angel, who last week had her first work back since finishing third as the favorite in the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes at Lone Star Park on June 30. The filly, who won the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station Stakes in May, is pointing for the $35,000 Selma, a five-furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies, said trainer Gilbert Ciavaglia.

* Mister Deville, the Remington Park-based colt who won last year's Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park, and Great West Stakes at Remington, has been retired from racing after fracturing a cannon bone during a workout. He underwent successful surgery, and will start a stud career next year in Piedmont, Okla., for his new owner, E.L. Burns.

* Blushin Bugs is believed to have set a Quarter Horse world record for 250 yards last Thursday night at Sam Houston Race Park when he won an allowance race in 12.79 seconds, lowering the mark of 12.92 seconds set by Dashing Scott at Pocatello Downs in Idaho in 1994. The record is pending verification of the American Quarter Horse Association.

Bens Coasting, who finished second to Blushing Bugs, returns to action Friday night in the Sam Houston Classic. The 440-yard race has drawn a competitive field, including Gone Kool Man.

* Grade 3 winner Maysville Slew, who finished a sharp second in his first start back from a more than four month layoff last Friday night at Remington Park, is being pointed for the $100,000 Louisiana Downs Handicap at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 22, according to trainer C.R. Trout.

* Retama Park will revert to a Wednesday through Saturday night racing schedule starting Sept. 5.