10/10/2007 11:00PM

Northern Scene seeks second Hall of Fame score

EmailFor a Texas-bred who can run on turf, there is no better place to be Saturday night than Retama Park near San Antonio. The track is putting on its richest card of the meet, with six statebred stakes worth a cumulative $485,000. Four of the six races are on the grass, including the featured $100,000 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Stakes.

The 1 1/16-mile Hall of Fame for 3-year-olds and up is the state's richest race for that division, and it has attracted General Charley from Arlington Park and Dreamsandvisions and Northern Scene from Louisiana Downs.

Prior to the start of the racing, trainer Carl Nafzger and owner Preston Carter Jr. will be inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Northern Scene is seeking his second straight win in the Hall of Fame. He won the race in 2005, but was scratched last year when the race was moved to the main track due to rain. Northern Scene covered the distance in a quick 1:40.80 in 2005, proving he likes the local course.

"He's 1 for 1 on it," said Morris Nicks, who trains Northern Scene for Don Eberts.

Northern Scene chased wire-to-wire winners in each of his last two starts, finishing a close fourth to Starspangled Gator in the $75,000 Concern at Louisiana Downs in his last out Aug. 18. Before that, he rallied for second to Bamboo Gap in a July 28 allowance.

John Jacinto will ride.

General Charley has faced the best recent company among the Hall of Fame starters. In his last start he was seventh to Purim in the John Henry at Arlington on Sept. 16. Purim then won last weekend's Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.

General Charley will be racing against statebreds for the first time since February, when he won the $45,000 Tomball on turf at Sam Houston Race Park. Paul Nolan has the mount for trainer Michael Stidham.

Wrenice makes turf debut

Also on the card, Wrenice - a seven-time stakes winner - will make her turf debut in the $45,000 Selma, a five-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies.

Wrenice has won 8 of her last 9 starts. She comes into the race in peak form, having won the $45,000 Lakeway in open company at Retama on Sept. 8 with a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 98. It was her first start since April.

"She got a lot out of that race," said Randy Mayfield, who trains Wrenice. "She came back a little tired, but she bounced back real quickly. It got some air in her."

Mayfield is looking forward to seeing what Wrenice, a stakes winner around one turn and two, will do on the grass. Her sire, Uncle Abbie, is by turf influence Kingmambo and gets 9 percent turf winners. Wrenice will be the first turf starter for her unraced dam, Slew.

"I hope she handles it like she has everything else so far," said Mayfield, who has given the mount to Bobby Walker Jr.

Return of Rusted Steel

Rusted Steel, an undefeated 2-year-old who has been idle since winning the $45,000 Manor Downs Futurity in April, returns in the $125,000 My Dandy division of the Texas Stallion Stakes. The six-furlong race for the offspring of stallions nominated to the series also drew Namesake, winner of the $100,000 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star in May.

* A freshened Valid Lilly is the one to beat in the $125,000 Darby's Daughter division of the Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. She has never finished worse than second, and just missed beating open company in the $67,000 Silver Spur at Lone Star in her last start July 28. Luis Quinonez has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

* Boundus and Durrymane, who are multiple winners on turf, will each be moving into the statebred ranks for the first time in a long while for the $45,000 Fiesta Mile. Boundus last faced Texas-breds as a maiden in August 2005 and Durryland has raced exclusively in open company since March 2006. The one-mile turf race also drew the up-and-coming Speed Fest.

* Austin Lights, who won a stakes the last time he raced against statebreds, runs in the $45,000 Watson MacManus Memorial. The five-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds also drew Grade 3 winner Datrick.