06/26/2007 11:00PM

Martin back at familiar haunt


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Jockey Eddie Martin Jr. was making the rounds Wednesday morning at Lone Star Park, where he has moved his tack after riding at Belmont. He is named on three horses for Friday night's program, including two for Lone Star's leading trainer Bret Calhoun.

Martin was the leading rider in wins and earnings at Lone Star in 2004. He also led all riders in earnings here in 2003. Martin said he felt right at home here Wednesday.

"It's like walking right in my front door," he said. "Everything is great. I'm going to finish out the meet here at Lone Star, the last 30-something days."

Martin said that after the meet closes July 29 he will follow the Southwest circuit to Remington Park, the Oklahoma City track that opens on Aug. 2. He was getting reacquainted with trainers in this region on Wednesday.

"That's why I've been beating the barn area since 5 o'clock this morning," he said. "I'm here at Lone Star, and hopefully make the most of it for the rest of the meet and go from there."

Martin, 41, said he took the opportunity to move back to Texas because Belmont's meet ends in the next month and he had no plans to follow the New York circuit to Saratoga. Doug Davis is working as his agent at Lone Star.

Martin will be in action in the first race Friday night, when he rides Wish Again for trainer Jim Bausch. He also has the mount on Pure Grade in the seventh race, a first-level allowance turf sprint for fillies and mares. A seven-time winner trained by Calhoun, Pure Grade will start as a top contender on the strength of a third-place finish against $35,000 optional claimers in her last start. She moves back to turf, and drew well in post 2.

Martin will close out his first card back in the eighth, aboard Blues Festival for Calhoun.

Oklahoma agenda for D Fine Okie

D Fine Okie earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 89 for her win Saturday in the $50,000 River Cities at Louisiana Downs. It was the first time the Lone Star-based D Fine Okie shipped to run, and her 3 1/2-length win thrilled her trainer, Donnie Von Hemel. He said Wednesday that the long-term stakes objectives for her right now are at Remington Park.

"She's an Oklahoma-bred, and we want to be ready on Classics Night up there," said Von Hemel.

The Oklahoma Classics Night program is on Sept. 29. D Fine Okie has run in the series the last three years. She won the $50,000 Filly and Mare Turf in 2006, was second in the same race in 2005, and won the $40,000 Lassie as a 2-year-old in 2004.

Von Hemel said D Fine Okie would also be a candidate for the $50,000 Ricks Memorial for fillies and mares on turf at Remington on Sept. 3.

Von Hemel said that Waupaca, who finished a troubled fifth as the favorite in the $50,000 Barksdale Handicap at Louisiana Downs on Saturday, would be pointed for the $50,000 Bob Johnson Memorial at a mile on turf at Lone Star on July 21. Earlier this year, he finished third in the Grade 3, $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star.

* Mystical Moonlight, Elliecat, and Peace Symbol are among the top contenders in the featured ninth race Friday night, a 7 1/2-furlong turf allowance for fillies and mares. Peace Symbol has faced male rivals in her last two starts, among them a third-place finish in an off-the-turf allowance April 14.

* Don Pettinger is back riding after healing from three broken ribs sustained in a riding accident here the last week of May.