07/07/2004 11:00PM

Look for Berdelia late in Texas Stallion

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Berdelia has something most 2-year-olds don't have on their resume this early in the year: a stakes win. Because of that, Berdelia could be a slight favorite in a competitive division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park on Saturday.

The 5 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies is restricted to the offspring of stallions nominated to the Stallion Stakes program, and it drew a field of nine. Other top contenders in the race are Rockin' Kate, Magnolia Belle and Rockin Regent.

Berdelia won her maiden in her third career start last out, when she rallied from midpack for a one-length win in the $129,000 fillies division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star on June 12.

"She's gotten better all three races," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Berdelia for Ro Parra. "She had no excuse when she ran third in a maiden race. Then she was second in the trials for the Sales Futurity. She's just gotten better. She's just gone the right way."

Berdelia also seems to have the right running style for the Stallion Stakes. There are a number of quick fillies in the race, and were they to duel, they could set the table for Berdelia's late run. She has made up ground in the stretch in all three of her races, and she figures to be coming in the lane again Saturday under regular rider Casey Lambert.

Parra bred the filly, who is a daughter of Wild Zone.

Rockin' Kate would be dangerous with a repeat of her maiden win, which came in trials for the TTA Sales Futurity. She raced on the lead throughout for a five-length win, and was sent off the 4-5 favorite in the finale. Rockin' Kate tracked the pace instead of setting it in that race, and finished third. She shows a sharp four-furlong work since the Futurity, and she could return to her pacesetting ways in the Texas Stallion Stakes.

Jeremy Beasley has the mount on Rockin' Kate for Oz Creek Farms and Asmussen.

Magnolia Belle won her maiden in her last start, a 2 1/4-length victory against statebreds. She has been given plenty of time between starts, as that race came May 12. Guy Smith has the mount for trainer Jim Hudson.

Another impressive maiden winner, Rockin Regent, scored by 3 1/4 lengths May 28. She was flattered when the second-place finisher, Noble Jazz, returned to win her next start. Eddie Martin Jr. has the mount on Rockin Regent for Clarence Scharbauer Jr. and trainer Bret Calhoun.