12/15/2005 1:00AM

Sam Houston: 'Zeal' owns an edge


Run Zeal Run's company lines and recency both point him out as the one to beat in a six-furlong allowance at Sam Houston Race Park that also drew comebacking stakes winners Expect Will and Leo's Last Hurrahy.

Run Zeal Run has raced against a host of stakes winners since March, defeating horses such as Charming Socialite, Orphan Brigade, and War Bridle. He has also run credibly against stakes winners The Niner Account, Proven Cure, Oncearoundtwice, and Joe Six Pack.

Aside from the strength of his running lines, Run Zeal Run has a recency edge over a number of his rivals. He last raced on Dec. 3, winning a $35,000 claiming race over stakes winner Herve, covering six furlongs in a sharp 1:09.60. It was a powerful, front-running win, much like his victory in the $40,000 J.R. Straus at Retama Park in August, when he covered six furlongs in the same time.

Run Zeal Run has the speed to control the pace but can also stalk, making him a double threat. Trainer George Northrop Jr. has given the mount to Jeremy Beasley.

Expect Will makes his first start since December 2004, when he finished fifth in the $161,000 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park. He has worked consecutive bullets in his final preparations for his comeback.

Leo's Last Hurrahy returned from a six-month layoff last out and finished seventh in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes at Sam Houston. He has worked well since.