05/18/2009 11:00PM

It's a Bird heads Wolfson's invaders


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - It's a Bird has established himself as one of the top older horses in the country this year, and on Monday he will be looking for his third major stakes win in his last four starts when he runs in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap.

The horse is one of three that trainer Marty Wolfson is sending to Texas from Florida for the Lone Star Million Day program of six stakes. He also has Flibberjibit on deck for the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff Handicap, and Pious Ashley for the $100,000 Valid Expectations. Wolfson said all three horses are to be ridden by Julien Leparoux.

Leparoux has been aboard It's a Bird in all three of his starts this year, which have resulted in wins in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic in January and the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap in April, and a third-place finish in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap in March.

"He's been training well," Wolfson said of It's a Bird on Tuesday. "He worked this morning. It was a good work."

It's a Bird breezed a half-mile in a bullet 48.80 seconds at his Calder Race Course base. Wolfson said he likes the timing of the Lone Star for the horse, who earned a Beyer Figure of 107 for his win in the Oaklawn in his last start April 4. It's a Bird and his stablemates are scheduled to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Dallas on Friday. He is the 121-pound highweight for the Lone Star.

Researcher (119), who won the $600,000 Charles Town Classic in his last start April 18, is also probable for the Lone Star, according to Mike Shamburg, the track's stakes coordinator. Others he expects include Magnum (119), who won the Lone Star in 2006; Jonesboro (118), who became a millionaire last month with his win in the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile; Song of Navarone (118), the winner of his last four starts, including the $100,000 Sunland Park Handicap; and Consul Romano (114), a Group 1 winner in Chile who would be making his second start for Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Chip Woolley.

Flibberjibit, who in her last start was second to Raw Silk in the $50,000 South Beach at Gulfstream Park on April 11, is weighted at 117 for the Ouija Board at a mile on turf. Others that Shamburg expects to start include Superior Storm (118), the runner-up in the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap in her last start April 4; Secret Gypsy (117), the winner of the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct in March; and Rustic Flame (116), Bootleg Annie (115), Hotlantic (115), Love to Tell (114), Wasted Tears (114), R Charlie's Angel (113), Sharbat (113), and Sugar Baby Love (113).

Church Service, who won the Dallas Turf Cup in 2008, is among those Shamburg expects for this year's running of the 1 1/8-mile race. He is weighted at 117 pounds along with expected starter El Caballo, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz at Fair Grounds in March.

Shamburg said a plane from Kentucky carrying contenders is due in Thursday, while a flight from California is scheduled to arrive at Lone Star on Friday. The Million Day program is the richest card of the meet at Lone Star. The other stakes on the day are the $100,000 Cinemine for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs and the $100,000 USA for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Entries for the races will be taken Saturday.

Futurity trials set for Thursday

Ms Golden West, who was a sharp debut winner at Lone Star on April 25, is the most accomplished starter in the three trial races for the $100,000 fillies division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity, to be held Thursday night. The finale is June 6.

Ms Golden West rolled to a four-length win in a maiden special weight for statebreds to earn a Beyer Figure of 63. The number is the best among the fillies in the trials who have raced. Ms Golden West was also the first starter and first winner for her sire, Intimidator, who stands at Asmussen Horse Center in Laredo, Texas. Also at the farm is her damsire, Seneca Jones.

"She's got Laredo written all over her," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Ms Golden West for his father, Keith, and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable.

Intimidator is a son of Gone West, and he was a $2.1 million yearling purchase at Keeneland.

* There was one winning ticket in the 10-cent superfecta in the fourth race last Friday night at Lone Star, and it returned $21,969. In fact, no one had all four horses, and the winning combination was 8-14-12-all. The odds on the first four finishers were: 8-1, 36-1, 40-1, and 9-2.