08/22/2003 12:00AM

Murphy's Law: Keep crew stable


Trainer Paul Murphy ships to win. His biggest success was Spellbound, who in 1986 traveled to California and won a division of the Grade 1 Hollywood Park Derby at 87-1. His latest is Golden Rhythm, who picked up her second straight stakes win last Saturday in the $50,000 Sangue at Louisiana Downs.

Murphy is based at Squaw Creek Downs, a training center in Fort Worth, Texas, that is the former Trinity Meadows. He operates a high-percentage stable, shipping into the major tracks in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

One of the biggest advantages of being stabled at Squaw Creek, Murphy said, has been familiar hands on his horses. He said that by staying in one place he has been able to maintain the same barn crew for five years.

Golden Rhythm has benefited from such a stable environment. Once an immature filly, she has developed an all-business attitude in her approach to racing.

"All of the sudden, she got the hang of it," said Murphy, who trains Golden Rhythm for Sandstone Racing Stable. "It was August of her 3-year-old year. She's become a really consistent filly. She's pretty professional."

Now a 5-year-old, Golden Rhythm has won 9 of 34 starts and $240,130. One race before the Sangue, she shipped to Retama and won the $50,000 Margarita Breeders' Cup.

Golden Rhythm is now being pointed for the $75,000 River Cities at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 6.

Spellbound won an allowance at Louisiana Downs in 1986 before shipping to California. He made two starts at Bay Meadows before winning the Hollywood Park Derby.