08/02/2006 11:00PM

Post 13 not jinxed, says Straight Faced's trainer


Races can be lost at the post position draw, especially when dealing with large fields of 12 or more horses. Trainer Steve DiMauro is hoping that won't be the case with Straight Faced, his undefeated and untested 2-year-old, who drew post 13 for Saturday's $100,000 Dr. Fager Stakes.

The six-furlong Dr. Fager and its filly counterpart, the $100,000 Desert Vixen Stakes, begin the 2006 Florida Stallion Stakes series, which is restricted to 2-year-olds whose stallions are nominated to the Florida Stallion Stakes program.

won his debut by five lengths at Calder on June 15 and returned six weeks later to register a 5 1/2-length decision in the Birdonthewire Stakes.

"I'm not crazy about the post, but I'd rather get 13 than 1 or 2, especially in a big field like this," said DiMauro, who trains Straight Faced for owner Walter Donnelly. "At least I know I'm the last one loaded into the starting gate, which is a plus when dealing with 2-year-olds in large fields."

DiMauro said that Straight Faced's jockey, Manny Cruz, "is going to have to come out of there and get position. He doesn't have to be on the lead, but he can't dillydally or he'll wind up getting hung very wide on the turn."

Straight Faced will race on Lasix for the first time in the Dr. Fager.

"I scoped him after his last race and he bled a little bit, so we felt it couldn't hurt to put him on Lasix for this race," DiMauro explained.

The Dr. Fager drew a strong field of promising juveniles that also includes Drums of Thunder, Green Vegas, Villainage, Wonderous Glory, and a Kentucky invader, Sir Winston.

finished well to be second in the Birdonthewire after winning his debut by two lengths. He, too, is unfavorably drawn on Saturday, coming out of post 1.

Green Vegas and Villainage finished a well-beaten third and fourth behind Straight Faced in the Birdonthewire, and like that rival will return on Lasix in the Dr. Fager.

ships in from Churchill Downs, where he won his maiden by 1 1/4 lengths on July 4. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan is returning to his roots at Calder to handle the assignment.

ran to his 2-1 backing to win his debut by 1 3/4 lengths on June 24.

The lineup also includes Definitely True, an impressive maiden winner in his second start.

The Desert Vixen drew a field of only seven fillies, with Yesshecandance likely to be the tepid favorite over Perfect Lie and Snow Lady.

Yesshecandance was an easy three-length winner when she launched her career going 4 1/2 furlongs on June 3. She returned six weeks later to finish a distant second as the 7-5 favorite in the Cassidy Stakes.

Perfect Lie and Snow Lady both won their maiden at second asking, with Perfect Lie the more impressive of the pair. She won her maiden at six furlongs, making her the only member of the field with experience at the distance of the Desert Vixen.