05/30/2002 11:00PM

For owner, the highs and lows


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Last week was an emotional roller-coaster ride for owner Bill Clifton.

Clifton won back-to-back races with impressive maidens at Lone Star Park on Sunday, then a day later watched his promising turf horse Legislator suffer a broken leg as the favorite in the $200,000 Diamond "A" USA Stakes.

Legislator had surgery at a Dallas equine hospital on Tuesday to stabilize a longer-than-normal condylar fracture in his right front leg, and was doing well Friday.

"He was a good patient," said Clifton, who raced top-class handicap horse Behrens. "After surgery, the talk was there is a chance he might race again. But I think it would be presumptuous to talk of that yet."

Legislator, who had been based in New York, will spend the next 10 days recovering at the equine hospital. He then is scheduled to continue his rehabilitation at an upstate New York farm owned by his trainer, James Bond.

Overall, Legislator has won three of six starts, including the Grade 3 Crown Royal American Turf at Churchill Downs.

Clifton has two horses aiming for stakes at Lone Star. Native Texan, an impressive debut winner last Sunday, will run in the $175,000-estimated Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds on June 29.

Native Texan's win had special meaning for Clifton, because he raced the horse's sire, Capitalimprovement, and his dam, Fast Gin Fizz. Both were stakes winners, and both were trained by Bill Leach, who also trains Native Texan.

Leach also trains the Clifton-owned Premeditation, who is pointing to the $100,000 Alysheba Stakes over seven furlongs July 3 after finishing a troubled second in a tough allowance for 3-year-olds last Monday.

Ole Rebel won the six-furlong allowance by two lengths in a sharp 1:10.60, and is also aiming for the Alysheba.

Five Straight flattered by association

Five Straight, who turns back from a mile to seven furlongs in an allowance race Sunday, had his stock go up last week when Prince Iroquois finished a strong second to Congaree in the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap.

A few weeks earlier, Five Straight had defeated Prince Iroquois by a head, fighting back along the rail to win a one-mile allowance at Lone Star.

On Sunday, the Wes Hawley-trained Five Straight faces several capable rivals, including Exemplary, third last out to Beau's Town in the $75,000 Ford Express Stakes, and Big Numbers, who has placed in several stakes.

Miss Ritz points to Valor

Miss Ritz was one of the favorites for the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes last Saturday, but was scratched from the race with a bruised foot.

"She'll be okay," said Bob Young, who trains Miss Ritz.

Young said he will now point Miss Ritz to the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes, a six-furlong race for statebred 3-year-old fillies at Lone Star on June 29.

Earlier this meet, Miss Ritz won the $75,000 Wafare Farm Stakes over Gilded Wings, who returned to run second to Spring Meadow in the Stonerside.

- The leading rider at the close of racing Sunday will earn a berth in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association All-Star Jockey Championship here on June 21. Corey Lanerie had a one-win lead over Anthony Lovato and Gerard Melancon heading into the races Friday.