10/02/2002 11:00PM

Prized Amberpro going longer

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Trainer John Gelner feels another furlong might have been all Prized Amberpro needed to win her last race, so an extra furlong is what she will get Saturday when she starts as the 120-pound highweight in the $30,000 Majorette Handicap at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.

The seven-furlong race for fillies and mares drew a competitive group of nine, including Cielo Girl.

Prized Amberpro was closing well late in the $50,000 Monique Rene Handicap on Aug. 24 and finished fourth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Cielo Girl.

"She couldn't get a hold of the track last time," said Gelner. "It was kind of deep, and it really took her a while to get used to it. When she finally got a hold of it down the stretch, she came running but didn't have enough real estate.

"Another furlong should help her a whole lot."

Prized Amberpro has had an outstanding year for owners Linda Patch and Joseph Thomas. She has won 5 of 12 starts, and in May at Lone Star Park won her biggest career race when she defeated graded winners Hattiesburg and Hallowed Dreams in the $100,000 Valid Expectations.

One start later, Prized Amberpro helped jockey Chris McCarron win the National Thoroughbred racing Association All-Star Jockey Championship when she won the first race in the competition back in June.

Cielo Girl has also had a strong season. She is 5 for 9 this year, and picked up her first stakes win in the Monique Rene last out for owner Ro Parra and trainer Steve Asmussen. Tim Doocy will ride the filly, while Don Simington has the call on Prized Amberpro.