07/06/2004 11:00PM

Petalino weighing options with stakes winners


Sea Dub capped a big weekend for trainer Joe Petalino on Sunday, when he won the $75,000 Independence Handicap at Louisiana Downs. A day earlier, Petalino sent out Rare Cure to win the $75,000 Bob Johnson Memorial at Lone Star Park, and the victories gave him a sweep of the weekend stakes for older horses in Louisiana and Texas.

"Both horses are doing exceptionally well," said Petalino. "We got lucky. Everything worked out just right."

Petalino said Rare Cure will make his next start at Louisiana Downs.

"We'll probably put him back on the turf," he said, with one option being the $100,000 Louisiana Downs Handicap on Sept. 26.

Later in the year, Rare Cure will defend his title in the $100,000 Assault for Texas-breds at Lone Star. That race will be run Oct. 23 during a special fall meet.

Sea Dub's next goal is the $125,000 DeBartolo Memorial Breeders' Cup at Remington Park on Sept. 6. That race will be run over 1 1/8 miles on turf, which should suit Sea Dub.

"He'll go a mile and an eighth, a mile and a quarter," said Petalino. "The further the better for him, more than likely."

Petalino has a string of 10 horses at Louisiana Downs and another 27 head at Lone Star. Following the close of the Lone Star meet Sunday, Petalino plans to move 24 horses into Remington Park.

Tyger River heads competitive feature

In the featured 10th race Friday at Louisiana Downs, a case can be made for most of the fillies and mares in the 7 1/2-furlong optional claimer, which will be run on turf.

One of the top contenders is Tyger River, who has lined up against some quality rivals in her last two starts. In an optional claimer May 20, Tyger River finished a close second to Kristina's Wish, who is now stakes bound after going 4 for 4 during the current meet at Lone Star.

Following that race, Tyger River finished third to stakes winner Cherylville Slew in a tough turf allowance June 16. Laurie Smith trains Tyger River.

Others of note in the race include Are You Home, who has never lost over the Louisiana Downs course in three starts; Dyna Del, a sharp allowance winner in her last start; and Injustice, who was second last out to Boston Express in the $50,000 Dixie Miss.