07/01/2003 11:00PM

Plan comes together


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainer Paul Maxwell has been hoping to run Formal Miss in the $100,000 Walmac Lone Star Oaks since last fall. He gets his wish Friday, when Formal Miss will take on 10 other 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/16-mile turf race at Lone Star Park.

Formal Miss, a stakes winner last out at Calder Race Course, is the lone out-of-towner in the field. Her chief competition appears to be the stakes winner Sea Bloom and undefeated Clear in the West, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Bedanken.

Maxwell has long penciled in the Walmac for Formal Miss. "It was kind of a plan I had back when she won an allowance on grass back in October," said Maxwell, who owns the filly with Elite Racing and Sam Fornaro.

One start later, Formal Miss proved she was of stakes quality when she finished a close second in the Grade 3, $100,000 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream Park in her first start at 3. Then, after placing in another stakes, Formal Miss won the $42,000 Lenta at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Calder on May 3.

Based on that win, Maxwell chartered a private van to ship Formal Miss to Lone Star. She arrived June 23. Maxwell split her trip in half, giving her a 36-hour layover at a farm in Mississippi.

"The 23 hours of shipping that it takes to get here, she shipped in the dark about 21 hours of it, so we didn't get much heat," said Maxwell. "She shipped excellent. She hasn't missed an oat the whole time we've been gone from Florida."

Maxwell would like to see Formal Miss stalk the pace Friday. "I think she runs best stalking, but if there were to be no pace in the race, I think she could be on the front end," he said.

Maxwell has given the mount to Eddie Martin Jr.

Sea Bloom has won two of her three career starts in turf routes, including the $100,000 La Senorita at Retama Park at 2. Her trainer, Sam David Jr., also looks for her to be close to the pace Friday.

"We've been trying to get her to rate a little, but I think we're probably going to let her do things her own way," said David.

E.J. Perrodin has the mount for owners James Rester and John Treece.