05/31/2007 12:00AM

Horse of the day for 6/1


Lone Star Park - Race 3
5 Furlongs (Turf)
Maiden Claiming ($20,000)
3-year-olds and upward
Purse $10,500.

TATES MANDATE is often hard to handle in the opening stages, and that may compromise his stretch stamina. That being said, he should appreciate turning back to this abbreviated sprint distance, and looms the speed of the race off the Locke claim (barn is 12-60, 20%, $1.98 ROI over last three years in first race after claim). His sire has done well with limited turf starters, and the dam is a half-sister to turf winner Strut Your Stuff (stakes-placed on dirt, won allowance race on grass at Golden Gate Fields with 81 Beyer Speed Figure). The broodmare sire won the San Juan Capistrano on the grass in 1981. Tates Mandate figures to be sent hard from the gate, and should be prominent when they swing into the stretch.
SEMI POWER's best races have come on the grass, and he was knocking on the door at Sam Houston earlier in the year. He has decent tactical speed, but has already had plenty of chances to break his maiden to no avail. He was a vet scratch on April 26, and hasn't registered a published workout since May 15. ROWDY WEST outran his 55-1 odds in his turf debut, then reverted to his poor dirt form when switched back to the main track for his most recent appearance. He'll make the important third start of the form cycle on Friday, and should move forward as he returns to his preferred surface. RARE KRIS is still seeking his first exacta finish after 14 races, but he raced evenly while wide last time out, and his turf figures fit with these. He'll offer value for low-profile connections.
SALTY CUSS is a full brother to Salty Syn (3-2-1-0 record on grass, won turf debut), and you have to respect anything the Asmussen barn puts on the track. EXCESSIVELYCROOKED projects to be closest to Tates Mandate in the early part of the race. He shows improving Beyer Speed Figures, makes the third start following the layoff line, and the dam enjoyed racing on the grass. Wouldn't be a surprise if the top pick packs it in early.

Selections (turf only)
1. Tates Mandate
2. Semi Power
3. Rowdy West

The play: Tates Mandate to win (2-1 odds or better, turf only)