04/21/2002 11:00PM

Lone Star good fit for Smoked Em


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Smoked Em is headed to Kentucky. But only temporarily.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday that Smoked Em, winner of last Saturday's Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico, will most likely make his next start in the $500,000 Lone Star Derby at Lone Star Park on May 11. He will ship to Kentucky on Thursday and train at Churchill Downs while Pletcher is there to get Wild Horses ready for the Kentucky Derby.

Smoked Em took advantage of a lack of pace to record a front-running, two-length victory over odds-on choice Magic Weisner in the Tesio. While Magic Weisner is likely to run next in the Preakness, Pletcher said the Preakness might be too tough for Smoked Em.

"Nothing's etched in stone, but I'm taking him to Kentucky and he could ship either way from there,'' Pletcher said Monday. "My thinking would be you wouldn't expect to get away with a 48-and-change half-mile in the Preakness. I want to be realistic about where we're going to run back. The Lone Star Derby seems like a logical place.''

Smoked Em, a son of Smoke Glacken owned by G Three Stable, has a record of 3-1-1 from six starts. In his only previous stakes try, Smoked Em was placed second after finishing third in the Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct.

Stonerside buys Forest Heiress

A quarterback with a cannon for an arm was not the only thing Bob McNair purchased last week.

McNair, owner of the NFL's expansion Houston Texans, who drafted David Carr with the No. 1 pick last Saturday, added a fleet filly to his Thoroughbred stable, purchasing the multiple-stakes winning Forest Heiress from Ebby Novak's New Farm. McNair, who runs under the name Stonerside Stable, has turned Forest Heiress over to trainer Bill Mott.

Forest Heiress, a 3-year-old daughter of Forest Wildcat, has won 4 of 7 starts, including the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth and the Valley Stream at Aqueduct, both Grade 3 events. She is winless in two starts this year, finishing second at 1-5 in the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream, and third at 1-2 in the Cicada at Aqueduct.

"We had an opportunity to purchase her and a share of Forest Wildcat from New Farm, it was a package deal,'' said John Adger, racing and bloodstock manager for Stonerside Stable. "We like the filly very much for a future broodmare . . . We like her pedigree very much. Her mother [Penniless Heiress] is a half-sister to the dam of Louis Quatorze. We're big fans of Forest Wildcat. Right now, he's the up-and-coming son of Storm Cat.''

Adger said Forest Heiress would most likely be pointed to races such as the Grade 1 Prioress, July 6 at Belmont, and the Grade 1 Test, July 27 at Saratoga.

Monday, Forest Heiress breezed three furlongs in 37.63 seconds over Belmont Park's main track, her first move since arriving in Mott's barn.

Mott mentioned the Grade 2, $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes, run at Pimlico on May 16, as a potential next start for Forest Heiress.

Assistant switching barns

Seth Benzel, who has worked as an assistant to trainer Bill Mott for the last 4 1/2 years, will take a similar position with Todd Pletcher beginning June 1.

Benzel, who has run Mott's small New York string during the winter, will have greater responsibilities for Pletcher, who is expected to lose assistant Cindy Hutter following the Kentucky Derby. Hutter is leaving to start a family.

Benzel, 27, will be based at Saratoga for half the year and will spend the other half of the year in either Florida or New Orleans, heading a group of as many as 40 head.

"It's another influence that I'll have,'' Benzel said. "Billy's been fantastic. I've been able to learn a lot, and that's the reason I'm able to go and fill this spot for Todd. Billy's been very supportive. He realizes it's a good opportunity for me.''

Said Pletcher: "He comes from a great program, been in situation where he had responsibility over there. I think it's a good fit for both of us.''

Dreamers Glory tops feature

Though she will be taking on older horses for the first time, Dreamers Glory looks like the one to beat in Wednesday's $43,000 featured preliminary allowance race run at 6 1/2 furlongs.

After two losses to begin her season at Gulfstream Park, Dreamers Glory returns to Aqueduct, where she romped by more than six lengths in a maiden win over the main track last Dec. 1.

In her most recent start, Dreamers Glory was run down late by School for Scandal, who came back to win again at Keeneland. Prior to that, Dreamers Glory finished a disappointing fourth as the 2-1 favorite after breaking slowly in a preliminary allowance race at Gulfstream.

"Not only did she get away slow spotting them a length, she ducked over into the chute spotting them three more,'' trainer Joe Orseno said. "Then she rushed up to get into the race and it was asking way, way too much of her. She hung in till the end.''

Dreamers Glory drew post 7 in the eighth-horse field, which should allow jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., the luxury of seeing how the race shapes up.

Another closer with a big shot is Gimme the Willys, who makes her New York debut after being claimed in California by owner Roddy Valente and turned over to Bruce Levine, who at 7 for 33 is having a solid Aqueduct meet.