03/28/2002 1:00AM

Sam Houston: Coastalota seeks No. 3


Coastalota will go for her third stakes win of the Sam Houston Race Park meet Saturday night, defending her title in the $30,000 Double Your Flavor Stakes. The seven-furlong race for Texas-bred fillies and mares closes out the 2001-2002 Thoroughbred meet at Sam Houston.

Coastalota returned from a four-month layoff to win the $75,000 Martanza Handicap at Sam Houston on Dec. 1, then two starts back won her second stakes of the meet, romping by nine lengths in the $30,000 Tomball. In her most recent start, she ran fifth in the $50,000 Jersey Lilly, a 1 1/16-mile turf race Feb. 23.

Since then, Coastalota worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.80 to sharpen up for the turn back to seven furlongs. She should benefit from the return to the main track, site of her five career wins, and the return to racing with statebreds, as her biggest career victory came against such rivals in the Martanza.

Bobby Walker, Jr., rides for trainer Randy Mayfield.

The chief threat to Coastalota appears to be Holly Sue, runner-up in the Martanza. She cuts back to one turn for the first time this season. The last time she raced seven furlongs, she won. Leading trainer Steve Asmussen gave the mount to Glen Murphy.

An outside threat is Sister's Shamrock, who has been working sharp for her first start since August.