03/16/2002 12:00AM

Sam-Son stymied by no-fill races


NEW ORLEANS - Fair Grounds could have become a showcase for the Sam-Son Farms stakes horses this month. Instead, the Sam-Son stars will be waiting for Keeneland.

Strut the Stage, second in the Grade 1 Secretariat last year, twice entered turf allowance races here as trainer Mark Frostad tried to start the colt's 4-year-old campaign, but the first race failed to fill, and when the second was rained off the turf, Strut the Stage scratched.

More recently, Frostad entered last year's Queen's Plate winner, the 4-year-old filly Dancethruthedawn, in a "money-since" allowance race, and again, the race failed to fill. But Frostad is not easily ruffled. He gave Dancethruthedawn a strong six-furlong workout Saturday at Fair Grounds, and will redirect her to a minor stakes at Keeneland, the Doubledogdare later next month.

Dancethruthedawn spent the winter at Sam-Son's training center near Ocala, Fla., and Saturday's was her second work since she shipped in to Fair Grounds. Working over a quick racing surface, Dancethruthedawn was timed in 1:13.80, the second fastest of seven works at the distance.

Dancethruthedawn last raced when she finished fourth in August in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes. "It was nothing in particular with her," Frostad said. "We just wanted to give her a chance to mature. She's stronger this year than last, and I expect her to be a better horse this year."

Frostad also sent Full of Wonder, a two-time turf winner this meet, through a six-furlong breeze on the main track. Full of Wonder, who worked a fifth of a second slower than Dancethruthedawn, is under consideration for the Explosive Bid Handicap this weekend.

Nasty Storm also likely to await Keeneland

Also working six furlongs Saturday was graded stakes-winning filly Nasty Storm, who is gearing up for her 2002 debut.

Trainer Dallas Stewart has not committed to a race for Nasty Storm, who also was timed in 1:13.80, but she, too, is likely to make her first start of the year at Keeneland.

True Concern will not miss Parade Leader

True Concern moves from a $125,000 stakes race into a third-level allowance-optional claimer and will be tough to beat in the Fair Grounds Monday feature. True Concern's claim to fame came in midstretch of last year's Louisiana Derby, when he loomed up to take a brief lead at odds of 102-1 before finishing fifth.

His price will be vastly shorter on Monday, but the competition is similarly downgraded. True Concern finished a close fifth in the Whirlaway, beaten less than three lengths by the place horse, Parade Leader, who returned to win the New Orleans Handicap by more than five lengths. There are no Parade Leader's in Monday's race, and the only other logical contenders True Concern must deal with are his stablemate, Almost Home, and T.B. Track Star, who finished third in a claiming race when he last started.