11/01/2001 1:00AM

It's 'Magic' class


Runaway Magic seems to have a slight class edge over the competition in Saturday night's $25,000 Jiffy Lube Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston. The 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares is the first of 35 stakes to be contested at the meet, and has drawn a well-matched field of 12.

Runaway Magic, who was also entered in Friday night's $25,000 Carris Memorial Handicap at her home track of Remington Park in Oklahoma City, seems more likely to run in the Jiffy Lube because Sam Houston officials are expecting her, and because unlike the Carris Memorial, the race is on turf.

Runaway Magic has been competing on turf for the past year. Her last six starts have come in stakes company, and she has finished no worse than third in those races behind such notable regional turf runners as Darlin Dixie, Mumtaz, Nanie's Dinner, and Voladora.

The quality of company Runaway Magic has kept, coupled with the fact that she has started to show more speed than usual in her last few races, gives her the edge in the Jiffy Lube.

Others of note in the Jiffy Lube are Screen Attraction, a recent allowance winner at Retama Park; Pleasant State, beaten a head by male rivals in a starter allowance Oct. 19; and Slapstick, who in her last start was fifth in the $50,000 DeBartolo Oaks, a race that has produced at least three return winners, including Grade 3 Valley View winner Chausson Poire.

Louisiana Downs

Rapide, who won his maiden in last month's $35,000 Stardust by four lengths over favorite Walk in the Snow, meets Walk in the Snow again Saturday in the $25,000 Pelican State Stakes at Louisiana Downs. The 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-olds bred in Louisiana shares a program with the $25,000 Southern Belle.

Rapide had finished second in his six career starts leading into the Stardust, mostly chasing top Louisiana-bred colt Hail to Bag.

C J's Star headlines the Southern Belle, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana. In her last start, C J's Star was workmanlike in the stretch, steadily driving past the leaders to post a one-length win in the $35,000 Laurel Lane. She is to be ridden by Gerard Melancon.

Taylor's Queen, this year's $102,000 Jean Lafitte Futurity winner, and The Mother Load, a full sister to Grade 2 winner Astas Foxy Lady, appear to be the chief threats to C J's Star.