05/24/2009 11:00PM

It's a Bird looks like a rising star

Bob Coglianese
It's a Bird could get a shot at the Grade 1 Stephen Foster if he wins Monday's Lone Star Park Handicap.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - It's a Bird can continue his ascent up the ranks of the nation's older horses with the right kind of performance Monday in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. He stands out in the 1 1/16-mile race, which is the richest of six stakes worth a cumulative $1.1 million on the annual Lone Star Million Day.

It's a Bird has become a horse of consequence in the last few months, upsetting Delightful Kiss in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park in January. Two starts later, he overwhelmed the field in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap. It's a Bird won off by six lengths, then was flattered when third-place finisher Jonesboro came back to win the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile.

"His last race was almost a duplicate of the Sunshine Millions race," said trainer Marty Wolfson. "He stalked and took over on the backside.

"In the Sunshine Millions, he was just sitting right off of it and then he opened up five real quick."

It's a Bird could be headed into Grade 1 company after the Lone Star Handicap. He was pointed for this race in part because of its timing in relation to the Stephen Foster at Churchill on June 13, said Wolfson. It's a Bird ran career races with a similar amount of time between starts, he noted, but added a final decision has yet to be made on the Stephen Foster.

It's a Bird will start from post 7 in the field of 9 in the Lone Star, and is to be ridden by Julien Leparoux.

Jonesboro got up for a half-length win in the April 23 Texas Mile after a demanding trip in which he found himself father back than usual.

"I thought he showed his class," said trainer Randy Morse. "They kind of out-footed him somewhat. It took him a little bit to find his stride, and when he did he came running."

Magnum won the Lone Star in 2006, and would become a millionaire with a second win in the race Monday. He took the Grade 2 San Antonio at Santa Anita in March, but turned in a rare off-the-board finish last time when sixth in the $615,000 Charles Town Classic. There was a calvary charge into the first turn of the 1 1/8-mile race, run around three turns.

"We were wide every turn and there were plenty of turns in that race," said trainer Darrell Vienna. "He ran two miles. He lost a lot of ground."

Song of Navarone, who has won his last four starts, has been cross-entered in the Dallas Turf Cup.