07/10/2001 11:00PM

Royal Spy heads to Arlington for American Derby


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Royal Spy, who romped by seven lengths in the $125,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge on July 3, will ship from his Lone Star Park base Monday to Arlington Park for the Grade 2 $250,000 American Derby, said trainer Cole Norman.

The 1 3/16-mile turf race, to be run July 22, will serve as the colt's stepping-stone to the Grade 1 Secretariat on Aug. 18.

Royal Spy has never lost in three starts on turf, his biggest triumph coming when he rolled to a 9 1/2-length win over Dr. Park and Baptize in the $200,000 Diamond "A" USA Stakes at Lone Star on May 28. Baptize returned in his next start to win the Grade 2 Arlington Classic.

T.B. Track Star tries for repeat

T.B. Track Star, a winner of $439,760, returns to the main track Sunday to defend his title in the $75,000 Bob Johnson Memorial. The one-mile race is one of three weekend stakes that will help close out the Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star.

T.B. Track Star, no worse than third in three main track races this meet, ran into trouble on turf last out, finishing a distant seventh in a June 24 allowance. "He got in a bad position going into the first turn, and got stuck there," said trainer Chris Candies. "Then at the head of the lane [another horse] dropped in on us and we just took up and galloped home. We came home safe."

Candies put a strong six-furlong work into T.B. Track Star last Saturday in his final prep for the Bob Johnson. "He needed that good work in him because he didn't overly perform in the turf race," said Candies. "I'm pretty confident he's going to be just where he needs to be for the race."

T.B. Track Star should appreciate being back on the main track. Last year over the local strip he won three races by a combined 18 3/4 lengths. His biggest local win came in the $300,000 Lone Star Derby in 1999.

Another good filly for David?

Trainer Sam David Jr., who in the past has developed such stakes winners as Blushing K.D., winner of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, and Dixie Kitten, might have another good filly on his hands in Prime Plus. A professional winner in her debut, Prime Silver could be supplemented to the $100,000-estimated Silver Spur, to be run over 5 1/2 furlongs Sunday.

"We're counting on her being one of our next big fillies," said David.

Last Sunday at Lone Star, Prime Plus worked five furlongs in a bullet 58.40 seconds. Five Straight, a Grade 3-placed gelding who is to run Sunday in the Bob Johnson, went the same distance in 59 seconds.

"We're taking a hard look at the race because she did run so good, and came back and worked so good for us," said David.

David looks for Prime Plus to improve with distance, and said she is being pointed for the $100,000 La Senorita over a mile on turf at Retama Park on Sept. 1.

* Ski Bum, who overcame a poor start to win an optional claiming race July 4, seeks his fourth straight win in the ninth race Friday night, a competitive 6 1/2-furlong optional claiming race worth $33,000. Carlos Gonzalez has the mount for Norman. Saturday, Gonzalez will be at Calder for the trainer to ride Southern Tour in the Grade 3 Azalea.