04/23/2006 11:00PM

Halos Sailing Sain to get the extra turn he needs


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - After finishing second to Bandini going a one-turn mile, Halos Sailing Sain will benefit from a return to two turns Saturday in the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park, according to his trainer, Joe Orseno.

The one-mile race is the richest of three stakes here Saturday. It will share a card with the $75,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge for 3-year-olds, and the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station for fillies and mares bred in Texas.

Halos Sailing Sain flew in from Florida on Monday to be part of an anticipated full field of 12 for the Texas Mile. Joe Bravo has the mount on Halos Sailing Sain, who two starts ago raced close to the front and finished second by 2 3/4 lengths to Grade 1 winner Bandini in an optional claimer at Gulfstream on March 1.

"I'm not a big fan of the one-turn mile," said Orseno. "I knew it would be a grueling test that day and he handled it fine and came out of it with flying colors. But the two-turn mile is what I'm looking for. Two turns is intriguing for this horse because if I have to put him on the lead, he can do it just kind of leaving there on his own, and easy."

Halos Sailing Sain, 4, has made just one two-turn start on dirt, capturing a second-level allowance last August.

"He hasn't done a lot wrong going short, but when I did stretch him out, he ran an incredible race at Monmouth going long," said Orseno. "Off that race, I was going to take him to the Pennsylvania Derby."

A foot bruise, however, interrupted Halos Sailing Sain's training, and his connections gave him ample time off. He returned to action in January, and after a series of sharp works he made his comeback in the $300,000 Sunshine Million Sprint. Halos Sailing Sain suffered through a rough trip and finished 11th. One start later, he behind Bandini but a neck in front of Grade 3 winner Wanderin Boy. Bandini returned in his next start to win the Grade 3 Skip Away at Gulfstream, while Wanderin Boy has since come back to win a third-level allowance at Keeneland with a 113 Beyer Speed Figure.

Halos Sailing Sain headed to turf for his next out and was a troubled third in a starter allowance April 2.

Halos Sailing Sain will be Orseno's first starter in Texas, and the trainer is expecting a big effort.

"He just ran an incredible race against a really good horse, Bandini," Orseno said. "I think what we're coming to do, that mile, will be a great distance for him. I'm pleased with the way he's doing right now. He worked [Sunday] in 47.80 at Palm Meadows, just in hand, and he wanted to do so much more. He's ready."

Halos Sailing Sain is expected to meet Yes He's a Pistol, Preachinatthebar, and Texcess, who were all scheduled to fly in from California on Tuesday. Others that Lone Star stakes coordinator Mike Shamburg is expecting are Charming Socialite, Dominguin, High Strike Zone, Mr. Trieste, Nakayama Kun, Play The Chime, Stockholder, and Wishingitwas.

High Strike Zone is the defending champ. Dominguin, fifth last out in the UAE Derby at Nad Al Sheba, breezed a half-mile in 51.20 seconds Monday at Lone Star.

Sweetening possible for Grand Prairie

Sweetening has emerged as one of the best 3-year-olds in the region, judging from his third-place finish to the promising More Than Regal in the $50,000 Sportsman's Paradise at Evangeline and his runner-up finish in the $100,000 Northern Spur at Oaklawn.

He is being strongly considered for the Grand Prairie Turf Challenge, his trainer, Joe Duhon, said Monday. The one-mile race would be the turf debut for Sweetening, and if he goes he will be ridden by Francisco Torres.

Others considered probable are Belligerence, Desert Wheat, Kip Deville, Quest Venture, Red Dirt Road, Sans Serif, and Wait in Line.

Proven Cure right on at 12

The 12-year-old Proven Cure delivered as the favorite Saturday, when he won the $40,000 Littlebitlively. He captured the five-furlong turf sprint by three lengths for his third win in four starts in 2006.

Trainer John Locke said Proven Cure came out of the race in good order. Plans for him are being discussed with owner William Reed, and one of the options is to give Proven Cure a rest, said Locke.

Reed and Locke teamed to win another five-furlong turf race here Sunday with Destiny's Design, who is a half-sister to Proven Cure.

* Honor the Flag has faced the best company recently among those in the featured eighth race Wednesday night. She will make her turf debut in a 7 1/2-furlong optional claimer. In her last start, Honor the Flag was fifth to graded stakes winners Capeside Lady and Injustice in the $100,000 Bayakoa at Oaklawn.