05/02/2004 11:00PM

Midweek sprint gets stakes talent

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Kool Humor, Fitzroyal, and Won CC were all nominated to Saturday's $75,000 Ford Express at Lone Star Park, but instead will run Wednesday night in a six-furlong allowance. The competitive race also drew stakes-quality rivals Dash for Daylight, Lights on Broadway, and Ski Bum.

The strong cast expected for the Ford Express likely drove some nominees into the allowance. Beau's Town leads the list of seven early probables for the Ford Express. Others expected by Lone Star officials are defending champ That Tat, Where's the Ring, More Crafty, Grand Steal, Ole Rebel, and Gold Storm. Among those considered possible are Bang and Was My Case.

Dash for Daylight and Fitzroyal, a pair of uncoupled horses from the barn of leading trainer Cole Norman - the trainer of Beau's Town - will both cut back to six furlongs Wednesday after racing two turns in their last start. Dash for Daylight was a close second in a one-mile allowance at Oaklawn on April 3, while Fitzroyal was fourth in the $50,000 Premiere for Texas-breds on April 15. The race was his first start since Jan. 2.

Dash for Daylight could go favored under John Jacinto, while Gerard Melancon has the mount on Fitzroyal.

One of their chief rivals, Kool Humor, won the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup at seven furlongs last year at Lone Star. He shows a series of endurance-minded workouts for this, his first start since Dec. 13, when he finished third to Leo's Last Hurrahy in the $35,000 Kingwood at Sam Houston. Trainer Jack Bruner has given the mount to Eddie Martin Jr.

Fall return for There Goes Rocket

There Goes Rocket, who was recently named horse of the meet at Sam Houston Race Park, has undergone successful surgery to remove a small bone chip from his left front ankle, confirmed Kathy Moore, racing manager for owner Frank Fletcher. There Goes Rocket came out of his last start, the $50,000 Sportsman's Paradise at Delta Downs, with the bone chip.

Moore said There Goes Rocket will be pointed for the $100,000 Assault Stakes for Texas-breds at Lone Star on Oct. 23. The race will be held the week before the track hosts the Breeders' Cup.

There Goes Rocket was Texas's champion 2-year-old last year, and overall has won 5 of 8 starts and $250,000. He is trained by Sam David Jr.

Record handle on Derby Day

Lone Star set an ontrack wagering record Saturday, when a crowd of 17,878 bet $3,412,562 on the track's 12-race card, as well as incoming simulcasts topped by the Kentucky Derby. Lone Star's previous ontrack record came on Kentucky Derby Day 2000, when wagering was $3,356,951.

This year, Lone Star patrons bet $1,156,938 on the Kentucky Derby, which was also a record for Lone Star. That helped lift handle on incoming simulcasts to $2,460,845. Patrons bet another $951,717 on the live card, and from all sources - including the $2.5 million bet on Lone Star's races offsite - total handle Saturday exceeded $5.8 million.

Derby Day was also good for neighboring Retama Park near San Antonio. An ontrack crowd of 5,572 bet $927,392 on incoming simulcasts, which was a record for Retama.

* Ruby Be Mine ($12) broke the track record for 4 1/2 furlongs Friday night, when she won her debut in 51.30 seconds. The previous record was 51.39 seconds, set by Rayanegra in 1997. Ruby Be Mine, a 2-year-old filly by Rubiano, is now being pointed for the trials for the $150,000 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity on May 26. The finale is June 12. She is trained by Ed Dodwell.