10/09/2002 11:00PM

Lawbook tries for sweep


MIAMI - Thomas Heard Jr. never lost faith in Lawbook even after the colt, whom he owns and trains, lost the first six starts of his career. Now Lawbook can become part of Florida Stallion Stakes history if he can defeat 13 other 2-year-olds and complete a sweep of the open division of the series Saturday in the $400,000 In Reality Stakes.

The In Reality and $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes for 2-year-old fillies highlight Calder's marquee event, the $1.65 million Festival of the Sun program. The 13-race card includes the $200,000, Grade 3 Calder Derby, $200,000 Calder Oaks, and five other stakes. There will also be a $250,000-guaranteed pick four wager that includes the In Reality, My Dear Girl, Calder Derby, and Oaks.

Lawbook, who is bidding to become the fifth horse to sweep the open division of the Stallion Stakes series, ended his losing streak with a maiden special weight victory on July 20. Three weeks later, he rallied to a three-quarter-length win over odds-on favorite Trust N Luck in the six-furlong Dr. Fager, opening leg of the series. He followed that with an easy 4 1/4-length triumph in the seven-furlong Affirmed.

Heard opted to forgo a two-turn prep for Lawbook and instead has trained him up to the 1 1/16-mile In Reality.

"I knew he kept getting in trouble in his early races and that he wanted to go farther, so I wasn't discouraged," said Heard. "He's really doing good right now. He's sharp as can be and dead fit. He'll have no excuse unless something happens to him in the race."

Roger Velez, perfect since joining forces with Lawbook three starts back, will again have the assignment.

In contrast to Lawbook, Trust N Luck has lost his last three starts after beginning his career with two impressive victories. He wheeled and lost his rider shortly after the start of the Affirmed and finished a tiring second in his two-turn debut in the Foolish Pleasure Stakes.

Trainer Dale Romans has shipped Mister Deux to town for the In Reality. The lightly raced son of Mister Jolie won his debut by 2 1/4 lengths at Saratoga before finishing second in his only other start, Delaware Park's NATC Futurity.

Magnetic Storm, an impressive winner of his two-turn debut, turned in a sensational work for the In Reality when breezing a mile in 1:42.20 over a sloppy track on Oct. 1. He is a legitimate longshot threat from off what could be a lively pace.