04/18/2004 11:00PM

Mile lures budding star in Yessirgeneralsir

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The fresh face in Saturday's Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park is Yessirgeneralsir. Although he will be the least experienced member of the field, Yessirgeneralsir brings much promise to the table.

In his last start, he came within a hundredth of a second of equaling the track record for a mile and 40 yards at Fair Grounds. Yessirgeneralsir won that entry-level allowance by 10 lengths and earned a 107 Beyer Speed Figure, which is the highest last-race number among those expected for the Texas Mile.

That includes Snorter, the probable favorite, who arrived Monday aboard a flight from California. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Snorter has won his last three starts, including the Grade 3, $100,000 Berkeley Breeders' Cup Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.

Yessirgeneralsir has made six starts in his career and won two of them, with his maiden score coming at Lone Star. His win at Fair Grounds was his first start back from a seven-month layoff, and it came on March 4.

"After what he showed me down there, I kind of think he may be the best horse I've ever trained," said Dallas Keen, who trains Yessirgeneralsir for Jim Jackson.

Keen, whose top horses have included Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap winner Allen's Oop, was impressed with how Yessirgeneralsir drew off after setting a fast pace. He led the field through a half-mile in 46.49 seconds, before going on to cover the distance in 1:38.53.

"Looking at the fractions, you're thinking that's too fast, too fast," said Keen. "Fair Grounds is known for its long stretch, and this horse just looked like he did nothing but get faster and faster. What amazed me, too, with him running that kind of effort, he didn't want to pull up."

During his layoff, Yessirgeneralsir had bone chips removed from his knees. A 4-year-old, Yessirgeneralsir is by Patton, a Grade 3 winner, and out of Honeydoon, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Sambacarioca.

Yessirgeneralsir, who was bred in Texas, will get his first major test in the Texas Mile. Keen would like to see him develop into a candidate for the Breeders' Cup, which will be held at Lone Star on Oct. 30.

"If he runs like we think he can, there's nothing we'd like better, especially having the Breeders' Cup in our home state," said Keen.

Others expected for the Texas Mile by Lone Star stakes coordinator Mike Shamburg are Crafty Shaw, Kela, Pie N Burger, Private Emblem, Spanish Empire, Supah Blitz, Taste of Paradise, and Wishingitwas.

The Texas Mile will share a card with the $75,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge for 3-year-olds. Shamburg said the early probables are Cryptograph, Forum Rules, Foxtrot Oscar, Go Kitty Go, Hi Teck Man, Mr. Devious, Oncearoundtwice, Peggy's Promise, Rollicking Caller, Silent Picture, and Skip and Go.

Lone Star off to a fast start

Lone Star reported a 13-percent increase in attendance and a 20-percent gain in handle during its opening four days compared to last year. The track drew more than 55,000 patrons over the four-day period, and handle on the track's races exceeded $12 million.

The strongest increase was off-track wagering, which was up 24 percent from last year, to $9 million. This meet, Lone Star opened following the close of neighboring Oaklawn after briefly overlapping with that track in 2003.

Attendance at Lone Star on Friday night, when the track hosted a concert by Willie Nelson, was 20,302. Handle on the track's races Friday was $3,207,583. Attendance for Saturday night, which featured a post-race concert by the Beach Boys, was 15,199. Handle on the 11-race card was a weekend-high $3,931,472.

Janeian, Bedanken to WinStar

Janeian, who came close to setting a course record for 7 1/2 furlongs when she won the $75,000 Irving Distaff last Saturday, is being pointed for the Grade 3, $200,000 WinStar Distaff on May 31, according to her trainer, Bret Calhoun.

Bedanken, who finished third as the favorite in the Irving, came out of the race in good order and is still on board for the WinStar, said her trainer, Donnie Von Hemel.

* The top contenders in the featured eighth race Wednesday night appear to be three fillies making their first start against Texas-breds: Marbella Girl, Comeawaywithme, and Fluidly. An entry-level allowance, the purse for the 6 1/2-furlong race is $26,000.