05/31/2006 12:00AM

Magnum proves good substitute

Lone Star Park
Plans for Magnum include the Hollywood Gold Cup and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - When owner Donna Herrick lost her favorite dark bay Argentinean-bred horse to the claim box, she and her husband, William Herrick, asked trainer Darrell Vienna to find another one for her. He did, and Herrick Racing won't be losing this one to the claim box anytime soon.

Magnum, a striking dark bay from Argentina, is climbing the charts among the nation's older horses. Monday, he picked up his first stakes win when he proved much the best in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap.

"It wasn't a bad trade," said Vienna.

Magnum came into the race off two strong performances. He was second by three-quarters of a length to Lava Man in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in March, then one start later shipped from his Southern California base to Arkansas and ran second to Buzzards Bay in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in April. When he returned home, his connections plotted a three-race summer campaign. The plan began Monday with the Lone Star.

"We were kind of treading a course, that we had some options with this race, whether we would run in the Pimlico Special, or whether we run here," said Vienna. "I chose to run here because No. 1, I've had good luck here, and No. 2, and probably the overwhelming reason, was it's just an easier ship.

"So our next step that we had charted was the Hollywood Gold Cup, and we're going to be pointing for that, and from the Gold Cup, if things go right, we'll go into the Pacific Classic.

"One step at a time, but two steps in our mind."

The Grade 1, $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup will be run at Hollywood Park on July 8. The

Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic will be run at Del Mar on Aug. 20.

Magnum was scheduled to fly back to his Santa Anita base on Thursday.

Biancone productive off the plane

Trainer Patrick Biancone flew six horses into Lone Star for six stakes on the morning of the races, and each one of his starters earned a check. The biggest went to Stream Cat, who picked up $90,000 when he won the $150,000 USA Stakes. All told, the Biancone runners earned $186,000.

The horses arrived in the Lone Star stable area from Kentucky at 10 a.m. local time Monday.

"Door to door, it was four hours altogether," said Biancone.

His other runners were: Joint Aspiration, who earned $40,000 for her second-place finish in the Grade 3, $200,000 WinStar Distaff; Man of Illusion, $20,000 for second in the $100,000 Beck; Cosmonaut, $24,000 for fourth in the Lone Star; Trolley's Last, $6,000 for fourth in the $100,000 Valid Expectations; and Trick's Pic, $6,000 for fourth in the $100,000 Stonerside.

Stream Cat remained undefeated on turf with his win in the USA. Biancone is targeting two $1 million turf races at Colonial Downs for the colt over the summer. Stream Cat is being pointed for the $1 million Colonial Turf Cup for 3-year-olds on June 24 and the Grade 2 Virginia Derby on July 15.

Stream Cat pleased Biancone with his win, which was his first start over yielding turf and his first race at Lone Star.

Five stakes winners go Friday

Cajole will move back to turf in the featured ninth race Friday, a one-mile money allowance that figures to produce starters for the Grade 3, $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup here June 17. Others in the allowance include stakes winners

A R Crackers, Rare Cure, Goosey Moose, Twilight Agenda, and Andanight.

Cajole was third last out in a money allowance on dirt that was won by Real Dandy, who returned in his next start to finish third in the Lone Star Park Handicap. Cajole has registered five of his nine career wins on turf, and could get a stalking trip behind Runaway Choice.

Trainer Cody Autrey has given the mount to leading rider Cliff Berry.

* Wait in Line, who finished second in the USA, could return to dirt for his next start, said his trainer, Chris Hartman. The colt will be considered for the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows on July 30. Earlier this meet, Wait in Line finished second in the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Derby.