03/18/2006 12:00AM

Racing festival features six stakes worth $380K


OCALA, Fla. - The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company will host its 17th annual festival of racing on Monday, with six stakes offering a total of $380,000 in purses. The races will be run over the one-mile track at the OBS Training Center.

The featured events are the two divisions of the $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes. The supporting stakes include two divisions of the $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes. Separate divisions of each race are offered for 3-year-old males and 3-year-old fillies. All four races require that an entrant has gone through the sales ring of an OBS auction.

The remaining two races on the program are $40,000 stakes sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association: the Florida Breeders' Distaff Stakes, in which Florida-breds get preference over horses bred out of state, and the Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes, which is restricted to horses sired by stallions whose seasons were offered at the Florida Thoroughbred Charities auction in previous years.

Parimutuel wagering is not offered on the races. The results, however, are accepted into the general cataloging system. First post is 1:30 p.m.

Harborage heads a field of 11 3-year-old males entered in the OBS Championship Stakes. A son of Monarchos, Harborage comes into the 1 1/16-mile race off a 4 1/2-length victory in a two-turn maiden race on Feb. 9 at Tampa Bay Downs. Before that race, Harborage finished second by a neck in a maiden race at Aqueduct. Harborage is trained by Gary Contessa and will be ridden by Edgar Prado.

Derby, with Rafael Bejarano named to ride, is the only horse with stakes experience in the field. A Touch Gold colt trained by Joe Orseno, Derby won his maiden at Monmouth Park in September. He was then shipped to Woodbine, where he finished fourth in the Grade 3 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes.

El Lobo, a son of El Corredor, is 2 for 2 at Tampa Bay Downs this winter for trainer Kathleen O'Connell. He was also entered in last Saturday's Tampa Bay Derby.

Bushmills Best is cross-entered on Monday's program in the Championship and the Sprint Stakes. Bushmills Best has a win and two seconds in three lifetime starts but will be making his first start around two turns if he goes in the Championship.

The fillies division of the OBS Championship Stakes drew a field of seven. Three of the entrants last competed in the $60,000 Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Saffronista finished second, Excellerant was fourth, and Chic Cat was eighth in that 1 1/16-mile race.

Laptop Computer off career-best

Laptop Computer comes into the eight-horse male division of the OBS Sprint Stakes off a 4 3/4-length allowance win at Gulfstream. Laptop Computer earned a career-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure in the six-furlong race.

Bushmills Best, who is trained by Kirk Ziadie, has won an allowance and a maiden race in his last two starts at Tampa.

In the six-furlong sprint for fillies, which will be run as the first race on the program, three-time stakes winner Running Lass has earnings just under $200,000. A daughter of Running Stag, Running Lass will add blinkers for this race.

Sparkling Pink won the restricted $200,000 NATC Futurity at Monmouth in September. In her last start, she finished second in the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Lizzy's Township is the third stakes winner in this field of 12. A daughter of Delaware Township, she won the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes last August. Cornelio Velasquez will ride.

Veteran tops Charities stakes

The Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes is for 3-year-olds and up at five furlongs. The field of 10 is topped by the 9-year-old Above the Wind, who finished second by a nose in this race last year. Above the Wind has won 20 of his 55 career starts and has earned more than $465,000.

The Florida Breeders' Distaff Stakes at 1 1/16 miles drew a field of seven, led by Friel's for Real, who will be making her first start since winning the Lady's Secret Stakes at Monmouth in August. Tasha Sangue is coming off a win in the Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa.