05/22/2012 2:18PM

Lone Star: Marilyn's Guy a proven road warrior


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Marilyn’s Guy has had some recent success shipping and winning, and his connections will be hoping for more of the same on Monday when he runs in the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. The 1 1/16-mile race is the richest of the meet and it caps an extended, five-day holiday race week at Lone Star.

Marilyn’s Guy on Tuesday morning vanned out of his Delaware Park base bound for Texas after satisfactory flight arrangements could not be made to Lone Star.

“We just now put him on the truck,” trainer Tony Dutrow said Tuesday. “We couldn’t make the airplane work, so he left and he’ll be there about 8 or 9 a.m. [Wednesday]. It’s something he’s familiar with. We just recently sent him from Palm Meadows to Aqueduct, and he had a very successful February and March.”

Marilyn’s Guy won the first two stakes of his career after making the ship from Florida to New York. He took the $73,000 As Indicated by a nose on Feb. 18, then won the Grade 3, $150,000 Excelsior by a neck in his most recent start March 17.

“He traveled well [to New York], and we’re getting him in some five or six days before the race,” Dutrow said of the ship to Texas.

Cliff Berry, the leading rider at Lone Star, will have the mount on Monday, said Dutrow.

Marilyn’s Guy has won 4 of his last 5 starts, with his lone loss during that period coming by a nose in a Laurel stakes race for which he earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 102. Marilyn’s Guy has won 9 of 25 starts overall, for earnings of $375,695. He races for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and Gary Aisquith.

“He’s proven to be a quality horse,” said Dutrow. “We were hoping that the Metropolitan in New York and the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs would keep the best horses away from Texas, so that’s why we’re coming down to Texas.”

Marilyn’s Guy has been weighted at 120 pounds for the Lone Star, which had eight or nine possibles as of Tuesday. Alternation was highweighted at 125, but his connections have said he is likely for the Grade 1 Stephen Foster next month following his win last Saturday in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special.

Entries for the Lone Star Handicap will be taken on Friday. The race had annually anchored the Lone Star Million Day card of six stakes worth $1 million each Memorial Day, but that program was discontinued for 2012. Instead, the Lone Star Handicap will be the lone stakes run here Monday. Forecasters are calling for sunny skies and a high of 92 degrees. First post is 1:35 p.m. Central.

Recent claim tries allowance foes

Demure Halo, a $35,000 claim out of her last start, will return to turf in Thursday night’s sixth race. The second-level allowance for fillies and mares will be run at a mile. It drew a field of seven, including leading contenders Lillie Abbie and Cajun Cowgirl.

Demure Halo has been favored in her last four starts and figures to be the chalk again Thursday. She was third at the race’s mile distance at Oaklawn Park in her last start April 11, and that race has since produced two next-out winners. The seventh-place finisher, Inner Grove, came back to take a $20,000 claiming race at Betfair Hollywood Park with a Beyer Figure of 80, and the eighth-place finisher, Sweet Tizzy Lizzy, won a $10,000 optional claiming race at Assiniboia Downs, with a Beyer of 77.

As for turf, Demure Halo has two second-place finishes from three starts on the grass. Her sire, Quiet American, gets 9 percent turf winners and her dam, the five-time stakes winner Mocita, was placed on the turf. Demure Halo, who is 4, is to be ridden by Berry. She will be making her first start for owners James and Ywachetta Driver and trainer Cody Autrey. Demure Halo has been claimed two other times in her career, at Saratoga and Churchill Downs, and won for both those sets of connections. She will be making her first Lone Star start on Thursday.