09/04/2009 11:00PM

Jonesboro flourishing as a stalker


Jonesboro was already a multiple graded stakes winner of some $800,000 before the year started. But the 7-year-old Jonesboro has reached new heights in the last several months and will look to keep rolling Monday in the $150,000 Governor's Cup at Remington Park.

Jonesboro will start as a strong favorite in the 1 1/16-mile race, which is one of three stakes on the card. The $150,000 DeBartolo Memorial is for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on turf, while fillies and mares will go a mile on the grass in the $50,000 Ricks Memorial.

Jonesboro comes into the Governor's Cup off three of the best Beyer Figures of his career. He earned a 109 for his win in the Grade 2 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows in his last start June 27; a 107 for finishing second by a head to It's a Bird in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 29; and a 103 for taking the Grade 3 Texas Mile on April 25.

All three races have one thing in common: Jonesboro used off-the-pace tactics. Earlier in his career, he was regarded as a front-runner. But that was more a function of the pace makeup of the races he was running in, said trainer Randy Morse.

"He's been laying just off them lately and is sure running big races," Morse said. "He seems like he had always gotten into a lot races where there wasn't any pace, and you want to take advantage of the situation. But sometimes, no matter how slow they're going, they're not as good as when they're stalking something. I've felt for a long time he didn't have to be on the lead, and I think he's kind of proven his point."

Jonesboro, who will be ridden by Cliff Berry, could get another stalking trip Monday. He drew post 6 in the field of seven.

The race has front-runners in the rail-drawn King Dan and Anarko. King Dan was second to Star Guitar in the $150,000 Evangeline Mile in his last start Aug. 15, while Anarko is stretching out from a fourth-place finish in a six-furlong allowance that went in 1:08.80.

A strong pace would benefit Alcomo, who won the $200,000 Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park in his last start July 18. He is backing up in distance from 1 1/2 miles, and figures to be making his case late.

"He's a mile and a quarter, mile and a half horse, obviously," said Eduardo Caramori, who trains Alcomo. "[But] I'm not saying he cannot win at a mile and a sixteenth. He's more comfortable going longer."

The last time Alcomo ran 1 1/16 miles he was second to return stakes winner Shadowbdancing in an overnight stakes at Hawthorne on April 11. Willie Martinez has the mount on Alcomo.

Tizfiz in top form for DeBartolo

Tizfiz was set to embark on a broodmare career earlier this year when she was shipped into the Midwest from Southern California, said her current trainer, John Good. But when a breeding didn't take, her connections decided it was getting too late in the season to pursue another cover and she was returned to training. Monday, she will be looking for her second straight stakes win in DeBartolo.

Tizfiz, who won the Grade 2 San Gorgonio at 1 1/8 miles on turf in January at Santa Anita, returned from a three- month layoff to win the $105,000 West Virginia Senate Presidents at Mountaineer by two lengths Aug. 1.

"The race was nice timing," Good said. "It was kind of a perfect race as far as when she was ready to come back. She won, and still had another gear or two left there. I was pleased to see her run like that. She had really trained like that."

Tizfiz has since fired back-to-back bullet works. Luis Quinonez, who won the DeBartolo last year on the mare Brownie Points, has the mount

Hotlantic tries to fire fresh

Hotlantic, who has won stakes in her last two starts, could target the Grade 1, $400,000 First Lady at Keeneland on Oct. 10 with the right kind of performance in the Ricks. Hotlantic won the Irving Distaff at Lone Star in April with a Beyer of 103, and the Ricks will be her first start since taking the Top Corsage at Louisiana Downs on June 13.

"We'd run three times in really tough races and just wanted to give her a little break," said her trainer, Dallas Keen.

There is a special first post Monday of 1:30 p.m. Central.