03/30/2006 1:00AM

Sam Houston: Lissa's Star shortens up


Lissa's Star will return to racing around one turn and the site of his most impressive victory when he takes on the Danny Pish-trained entry of Rain on Monday and Guacamole in the $40,000 Citgo at Sam Houston.

The seven-furlong race is restricted to 3-year-olds bred in Texas.

Lissa's Star was an explosive five-length winner of an open company allowance two starts ago at Sam Houston. In his most recent start, he rallied for fifth in the $125,000 Jim's Orbit division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at one mile on Feb. 18.

"We've tried him around two turns, and we really feel like, probably, one turn is his best," said Michael Stidham, who trains Lissa's Star for Stonerside Stable.

Lissa's Star will break from post 11 under Ted Gondron.

"I think he'll be in a stalking kind of position, depending on how quick they're going up front," said Stidham. "The day he won [at Sam Houston], it was only going 5 1/2. He got way back, made a real big run, and just blew by them late. I think that is probably what he's going to be best at - a late-running sprinter."

Lissa's Star is a half-brother to Catalissa, a seven-furlong stakes winner at Sam Houston a few years ago for Stonerside and Stidham.

Pish has named Roman Chapa on both halves of the entry. Rain on Monday will be making his stakes debut off a maiden and an allowance win, and is a full brother to multiple sprint stakes winner Boots on Sunday.

Guacamole was one of the most impressive 2-year-old winners at the meet when he rallied to capture the $50,000 Groovy for Texas-breds at seven furlongs in his last start Nov. 19.