07/21/2004 11:00PM

Retama: Kristina's Wish pays dividends


Kristina's Wish is the kind of horse owners and trainers hope to walk away with when they make a claim. Taken for $10,000 at Oaklawn in April, she went on to win all four of her starts during the Lone Star Park meet and now makes her stakes debut in the $50,000 Margarita Breeders' Cup at Retama Park near San Antonio.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares drew a full field of 12, including stakes winners Mexican Moonlight, Cherylville Slew, Lady Mallory, and Lady Sonya.

Kristina's Wish has not lost since being claimed by Gary Owens and trainer Martin Lozano. She won on turf and dirt at Lone Star. Her last two victories came in off-the-turf optional claiming races in June.

"I like her better on the turf because of her breeding, but she runs pretty good in the mud, too," said Lozano.

Kristina's Wish is by Smart Strike, and out of a half-sister to millionaire Soaring Free. That was one of her draws at the claim box this spring for Owens and Lozano.

"We liked her pedigree," said Lozano.

Kristina's Wish, whose last four wins have come by a combined 15 1/2 lengths, set the pace in her last start, but is versatile and can stalk if need be in the Margarita.

"She doesn't have to be on the front," said Lozano. "Last time there was a slow pace. She can come from off of it."

Cliff Berry, who rode Kristina's Wish all meet at Lone Star, has the mount.