12/26/2002 12:00AM

Sam Houston: Morgan holds two aces


Tommie Morgan, who has trained the a number of 2-year-old stakes winners in this region, has the top contenders in both divisions of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park.

The one-mile races are split into two divisions, one for colts and geldings and one for fillies. Both are restricted to 2-year-olds by stallions nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series.

Call Me Lefty is the one to beat in the male division, based on his 10-length win at a mile last out in a conditioned allowance at Sam Houston. It was his first start around two turns.

"I thought his last race was a really good performance for him," said Morgan, who trains Call Me Lefty for Christine S. Moore Family Partnership. "It looks like you can run him anywhere you want to."

Call Me Lefty, who won his maiden over six furlongs, has also placed in two sprint stakes. He was second in the $50,000 Groovy on Nov. 16, and a month before that ran second to Leo's Last Hurrahy, eventual winner of the $150,000 Sam Houston Texan Juvenile, in the six-furlong division of the Texas Stallion Stakes.

John Jacinto will ride Call Me Lefty.

Morgan, 56, began breaking young horses as a teenager and has developed a number of 2-year-old stakes winners. Among his more recent juvenile stakes winners are Amazing Trace, winner of the 1995 Friendship, Bara Lass, and Chaparral stakes; Haillye's Prince, winner of the 1997 Sugar Bowl; First Final, winner of the 1999 Friendship; and Front Nine, winner of the 2001 Friendship and Riverside.

The chief threats to Call Me Lefty appear to be Irish Rooster, who has won his last two starts for trainer Danny Pish, and Seneca Rock, who closed from last to third last out in the Groovy.

Since that race, Seneca Rock has worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:13 in preparation for his first two-turn start. Donnie Meche will ride for trainer Steve Asmussen, who leads the trainer standings at Sam Houston.

In the fillies division, Morgan starts Lady Mallory, who will make her first try around two turns, and She's a Deputy, a nine-length maiden winner. Lady Mallory could go favored based on her last start, when she closed from eighth to second in the $50,000 Bara Lass on Nov. 16.

Earlier this year, Lady Mallory closed from last for second behind Parting in the six-furlong Texas Stallion Stakes.

"She's got a good strong kick," Morgan said of Lady Mallory. "I think she'll handle the two turns."

Cathleen Garner will ride for owner Ed Few.