06/01/2011 3:45PM

Lone Star Derby win opens new avenue for Thirtyfirststreet

Reed Palmer Photography
Thirtyfirststreet (right) holds off Close Ally to win the Lone Star Derby by a neck.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Thirtyfirststreet might be headed down a new career path after winning his turf debut Monday in the $200,000 Lone Star Derby. Trainer Doug O’Neill said the horse, who flew back to his Southern California base Tuesday, is being considered for a start in next month’s Grade 2, $600,000 Virginia Derby.

“I’ve got to huddle up with the boys – it’s a great group of guys that own the horse – and see where our next journey will be,” O’Neill said. “I think they’re talking about Colonial Downs.”

The Virginia Derby, at a mile and a quarter on turf, will be run at Colonial on July 16.

Thirtyfirststreet was prominent throughout the Lone Star Derby, and had more when Close Ally, last month’s runner-up in the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs, challenged him nearing the wire. Thirtyfirststreet won by a neck and earned a career-high Beyer Figure of 88.

“He’s back in California and he looks fantastic,” O’Neill said Wednesday. “What a ride by Mr. Chris Landeros. He rode a beautiful race. This horse has always showed us a ton of talent. He got a real confident ride by Chris, got kind of a jump on [Close Ally], and got it done.”

Landeros is the current leading rider at Lone Star, and O’Neill said if Thirtyfirststreet advances to the Virginia Derby, his vote would be to have Landeros aboard the horse again.

“You’d like to have him ride back,” he said. “It’s up to the boys. But you’d like to keep the continuity with Chris and Thirtyfirststreet.”

Thirtyfirststreet, who also registered his first two-turn win in the Lone Star Derby, is owned by Kevin Bogart, Neil Haymes, and Mark Gorman. He came into the race off a close third-place finish in the $150,000 Snow Chief for California-breds at a mile and an eighth at Hollywood. Earlier in his career, Thirtyfirststreet won a sprint stakes for statebreds, at Santa Anita.

He was the first North American turf stakes starter for his sire, Good Journey, said Tom Hudson, the general manager of Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, Calif. Good Journey, who was a Grade 1 winner on the grass, stands at Magali. He will shuttle to Australia in July. Hudson noted Good Journey has had Group  1 and Group 2 winners in Australia.

O’Neill had long targeted the Lone Star Derby for Thirtyfirststreet as he wanted a turf stakes for the horse because of his breeding. He said the ship and other logistics were made easier by trainer Allen Milligan and his staff, who housed Thirtyfirststreet while he was in Texas.

Flat Out to Foster or Cornhusker

Flat Out, who ran a big second to Awesome Gem in the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on Monday, flew back to Kentucky on Wednesday. The race was his first start since December, and for his effort he earned a career-high Beyer Figure of 99.

“He came out of the race real well,” said Charles “Scooter” Dickey, who trains Flat Out for Preston Stables. “He ran a tremendous race for being off so long.”

Dickey said quarter cracks kept Flat Out sidelined after he won a $40,000 optional claiming allowance at Fair Grounds on Dec. 5. He said next-race plans are just starting to be discussed for the horse, who as a 3-year-old in 2009 won the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn.

“We haven’t really talked it over in detail with Mr. Preston or the farm manager, Rich Decker, but two races that have been mentioned are the Stephen Foster at Churchill and the Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows,” Dickey said early Wednesday. The Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster at a mile and an eighth is June 18, while the Grade 3, $300,000 Cornhusker at the same distance is June 25.

Chapa has first Texas mounts

Jockey Roman Chapa, who last month was reinstated by the New Mexico Racing Commission after being suspended five years for being in possession of an electrical device, will have his first Texas mounts since 2007 on Friday night at Lone Star.

Chapa, 39, is named to ride in the first, third, and fifth races. Since being reinstated, he has had a handful of mounts at Ruidoso Downs, and in his second mount back May 27 won a trial for Quarter Horses. He also won a race May 29.

Chapa was suspended in 2007, and late last month was approved for a conditional jockey’s license. He still has 14 months of unserved time left on his initial suspension, and will be licensed on probation for the remainder of that term. Chapa told the New Mexico panel that while he was away from the track he was galloping horses at a farm in Texas. Chapa was found to be in possession of the electrical device following a February 2007 race at Sunland Park. He won the riding title at the Fair Grounds meet held at Louisiana Downs in 2005-2006, and has also won titles at Retama Park and Zia.