09/06/2004 11:00PM

Malika's Gold met challenge head on

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Kris Davis/Coady Photography
Malika's Gold wins the one-mile La Senorita on Saturday at Retama Park.

Malika's Gold was a dominant winner of the $100,000 last Saturday night at Retama Park, and with the victory established herself as one of the early favorites for a stakes on opening night of the Breeders' Cup meet at Lone Star Park.

Malika's Gold is being pointed for the $100,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup, a one-mile dirt race Oct. 1.

In the La Senorita, which was run on turf, Malika's Gold won by 1 1/4 lengths over stakes winner Ready to Live.

"It was first Lasix, her first time going long, and her first on turf, so she had a lot of questions to answer," said Randy Oberlander, who trains Malika's Gold for Tim Hoese.

Malika's Gold stepped up to the challenge, stalking the early pace in the La Senorita, opening up in the stretch, then holding off a fast-closing Ready to Live.

"She just handled everything remarkably well," said Casey Lambert, who rode Malika's Gold.

Malika's Gold shipped in from Remington Park for the La Senorita. The race was her second career start, with her other victory coming in a five-furlong dirt race at Canterbury, which she won by 7 1/4 lengths.

"I think she runs equally well on both surfaces," said Oberlander.

Malika's Gold, who returned to Remington on Sunday, was Oberlander's first starter at Retama. She is one of three horses Hoese has in training, all with Oberlander.

Hoese, who is from Minnesota, said he looks forward to racing Malika's Gold at Oaklawn Park.

Malika's Gold is by Gold Case and out of the Cozzene mare Mucci Baby.

Ready Ruler opens eyes in El Joven

Like most 2-year-olds, Ready Ruler is still learning the racing game. But he turned in a big effort to upset the $100,000 Ketel One El Joven, also at Retama on Saturday night. He was a length winner despite propping at the sight of the photo finish lights when approaching the wire.

Ready Ruler's win was a testament to his ability, the foresight of his connections to outfit him with screened blinkers and a shadow roll for the first time for the race, and a heads-up ride by Jeremy Beasley.

"The game plan was to keep him busy until the last minute," said Beasley, who kept Ready Ruler off the pace in the El Joven. "We wanted to keep his mind occupied until the last minute."

A son of More than Ready, Ready Ruler is trained by Tony Mathiasen and has won 2 of 5 starts.

Sweet Macaroni in allowance

Sweet Macaroni, who put in a powerful bid to finish second last out in the $50,000 Southern Belle Stakes, returns in an allowance Thursday at Louisiana Downs. The six-furlong race is restricted to 2-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana.

Sweet Macaroni was an impressive debut winner earlier in the meet and was just edged in the Southern Belle after a wide trip. She is trained by Troy Young and will be ridden by Corey Lanerie.

One of the chief threats will be Equestrian Girls, an impressive maiden winner this meet for trainer Kelly Broussard. In her last start, Equestrian Girls was third in the Southern Belle. She will be ridden by John Jacinto.

Movie scene shot at Retama

Retama recently accommodated a movie shoot for the low-budget film "Veritas, Prince of Truth." Jockey Casey Lambert was part of a scene that was shot on the main track at Retama.

The scene featured a stunt horse that lay down on the track on command. The children's film is part live action and part animation, said Doug Vair, spokesman for Retama. It is being produced by the Garland, Texas-based company Twelfth Night.

Day to ride Quarter Horse Turbo Tex

Pat Day has been named to ride Turbo Tex, a Quarter Horse, in a 400-yard match race at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday night. The race will go as the eighth with an approximate post time of 9:50 Central.

Day is riding at Sam Houston as part of his national tour for the Racetrack Chaplaincy. He will be at Retama on Sept. 15.