11/09/2001 12:00AM

Owner goes all-out in his bid for title


Owner Ken Murphy is hoping history repeats itself Sunday when his Miss Ritz runs as a $6,500 supplemental entry in the fillies division of the $66,650 Friendship Stakes, closing day feature at Louisiana Downs.

The last time Murphy supplemented Miss Ritz to a closing-day stakes she was a winner, and the victory helped lift Murphy to leading owner honors at Lone Star Park.

Murphy again finds himself in a close battle for an owner's title, this time at Louisiana Downs. Entering the races Friday, he led the standings by three wins over 17-time champ John Franks.

So, in comes Murphy's ace in the hole. Miss Ritz will start as the most accomplished filly in the Friendship with earnings of $89,313. The six-furlong race for Texas-breds drew nine others, including Sly Kona, a $6,500 supplement for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Miss Ritz worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.80 seconds Wednesday, and the sharp move led Murphy and trainer Bob Young to supplement the filly to the Friendship. "That was a good work, not a gut work for her," said Young. "She did it easy, and that's why we decided to go ahead and enter her. It looks like a good spot for her."

Miss Ritz, to be ridden by Casey Lambert, won't be as generous a price as she was the last time Murphy supplemented her to a race. She won the $100,000 Silver Spur closing day at Lone Star at 10-1. For the Friendship, she could vie for favoritism with Sly Kona.