11/03/2008 12:00AM

Romans triple just a start


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Winning three races on a Stars of Tomorrow program at Churchill Downs not only means a trainer is having a good fall, but also that he's likely to have a good winter and spring. So when Dale Romans won three races Saturday, it wasn't difficult for him to add 2 and 2.

"It means I've got a lot to look forward to," he said with a grin.

Romans won maiden races with Glacken Queen and Jazzandthemagician, then topped off a memorable afternoon when Sara Louise won the Grade 3 Pocahontas Stakes with authority. All 11 races Saturday were restricted to 2-year-olds.

Sara Louise, by Malibu Moon, earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure with her 3 3/4-length triumph. Romans said she "probably" will run back closing day, Nov. 29, in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes.

"I was kind of surprised her first two Beyers were so low because her Ragozin sheet numbers said she was better than that," said Romans, referring to 70 Beyers in her first two starts. "It doesn't matter. She showed what she could do. She's probably one of the best horses I've ever had."

Only one other trainer, Steve Asmussen, had more than one winner on the Stars of Tomorrow card. Asmussen won a first-level allowance race with the filly Four Gifts before unveiling a buzz saw named Auspicious, an Indian Charlie filly who won her career debut by 6 1/2 lengths. Auspicious, owned by Padua Stables, earned a 92 Beyer, the highest of the day.

Capt. Candyman Can gets Wilkes noticed

Capt. Candyman Can, the winner of the Iroquois, earned an 84 Beyer and did everything right. Showing excellent tracking speed under Julien Leparoux, the gelding took command when asked, then had plenty in reserve when edging away to win by three lengths.

Technically, the victory was the first in a Churchill stakes for trainer Ian Wilkes, although as the longtime assistant to Carl Nafzger Wilkes has played a key role in far greater wins here, most notably the two Kentucky Derbys that Nafzger won with Unbridled and Street Sense. Although Nafzger remains active, he turned over a sizable portion of his stable to Wilkes nearly three years ago.

"One of the reasons Carl turned some of his horses over to me was to give me recognition," said Wilkes. "I guess that's a very satisfying aspect of it."

Capt. Candyman Can will stretch out from a one-turn mile when going 1 1/16 miles around two turns on closing day in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

"I think he's maturing a little more than you might hope," said Wilkes. "He's put on some weight and almost done too good. So I was coming into this race and hoping to move forward, and I'd love to win the next race" before wintering in Florida.

Einstein targets Clark Handicap

Einstein, unraced since finishing a troubled fifth in the Aug. 9 Arlington Million, is a possible starter for the Grade 2 Clark Handicap on Nov. 28, said trainer Helen Pitts.

Einstein suffered a minor injury to his hind end when stumbling at the start of the Million. The 6-year-old horse had an easy half-mile breeze Sunday at Churchill and could run in the $500,000 Clark if he continues to move forward, said Pitts.

Other notable possibilities for the Clark are Commentator and Mambo in Seattle.

* Leah's Secret, who got a 93 Beyer in winning the Grade 2 Chilukki Sunday, will make her final career start in the Nov. 28 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct, according to her owners at WinStar Farm.

* The Z-5 jackpot was emptied in the last race Sunday, meaning a $10,000 "jump start" guaranteed pool will be in effect for the third race Wednesday.

* Turf stakes for 3-year-olds are on tap for this weekend at Churchill. Fillies run Saturday in the Grade 2, $175,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes, and the males will take their turn Sunday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Commonwealth Turf.

w Hunch bettors were all over this one Friday: Haunted Hotel drew in as No. 13 in the last race of the Halloween program. The hunch, however, was more trick than treat as the gray filly labored home 10th of 12 at 9-1 odds.