08/19/2004 12:00AM

Retama: Fly Slama Jama off big win


Sometimes you can teach an old horse new tricks. Fly Slama Jama turned one in his last start, when he rallied from off the pace to win the $50,000 Retama Park Breeders' Cup Turf.

The win was the most powerful of Fly Slama Jama's career, and he might not need to duplicate it to pick up his third straight win Saturday night in the $50,000 Chick Lang Jr. Memorial on turf at Retama Park near San Antonio.

Fly Slama Jama, 6, has used front-running tactics for most of his career, and last year at Retama wired the field in course-record time in the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes.

But in his last start, things were different. Blocked for much of the Retama Turf, Fly Slama Jama overcame a four-length deficit early to close for a five-length win. He earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 98, the highest last-race number in the Lang.

The Retama Turf win came on the heels of a front-running win in a $50,000 optional claiming race the closing day of the Lone Star Park meet on July 11.

Casey Lambert has the mount on fly Slama Jama for trainer John Locke, who is the second-leading trainer at Retama behind runaway leader Danny Pish.

Fly Slama Jama might have to call on his speed in the early stages Saturday night, as he draws post 12 in the 7 1/2-furlong Lang. Other horses of note in the race include Virginia Pride, who was favored in the Retama Turf, and Chauffe Au Rouge, who comes in from Louisiana Downs.