05/01/2008 11:00PM

Samba Rooster in Lone Star Derby mix


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - A mix of horses from California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, and Texas are under consideration for the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Derby on May 10, according to local racing officials. The 1 1/16-mile race will share a card with two 3-year-old divisions of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes.

Samba Rooster, the runner-up to Behindatthebar in the Grade 2 Lexington at Keeneland on April 19, is chief among horses that officials consider possible for the Lone Star Derby. Based at Santa Anita with trainer Bob Baffert, he could start as the favorite if he goes. Samba Rooster was beaten a length in the Lexington and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97, which is the highest last-race number among the prospective starters for the Lone Star Derby.

Golden Spikes earned a Beyer of 95 in his last start, when he was second to Recapturetheglory in the Grade 2 Illinois Derby. Based at Calder, he will fly to town on Tuesday if the decision is made to run in the Lone Star Derby, according to his trainer, Marty Wolfson.

Another possible is Texas Wildcatter, who was second by a nose to Visionaire in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct in March. He has been working at Belmont Park for trainer Todd Pletcher. My Pal Charlie, based at Churchill Downs, is expected to run Saturday for trainer Al Stall Jr. He was second to Pyro in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

Others possible for the Lone Star Derby include Leonides, the runner-up to Salute the Sarge in the $78,000 San Miguel at Santa Anita in his last start March 29; Limestone Edge, a first-level allowance winner last out at Keeneland; and Stolen Chevy, who has won his last two starts by a combined 18 lengths at Mountaineer Park.

Trainer Steve Asmussen said he plans to start King's Silver Son, who was the runner-up in the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn, and Poni Colada, who is a multiple stakes winner, in the Lone Star Derby.

Golden Yank, a two-time stakes winner who is based at Lone Star, is also being pointed for the race, said his trainer, Gary Thomas.

Fort Apache, who was a first-level allowance winner here April 13, is considered possible for the Lone Star Derby.

As for flights bringing horses, Lone Star officials said a plane from California is scheduled for Wednesday. Another flight, which will originate in New York and stop in Kentucky, is due in Thursday.

The purse for the Lone Star Derby has been increased $100,000 from last year's purse of $300,000. Nominations for the race closed Thursday.

Mystery Classic sidelined

Mystery Classic, who won five consecutive stakes last year between July and December, came out of a routine gallop in March with a non-displaced condylar fracture in his right hind leg, according to his trainer, Bob Schultz. He has undergone surgery to put a screw in the fracture. Mystery Classic is on stall rest in Louisiana.

"He's out until the fall," said Schultz. "He's at my farm. He's enjoying himself."

Mystery Classic began his stakes streak last summer, when he won the $50,000 Lone Star Sprint Handicap on July 4. He proceeded to capture the $51,000 Brother Brown and $50,000 Taliaferro Memorial at Remington Park; the $45,000 Straus Memorial at Retama; and the $50,000 Spirit of Texas at Sam Houston, on Dec. 1.

Mystery Classic was also the Texas-bred horse of the year for 2007. He is a 5-year-old gelding by Mystery Storm and he races for his breeder, John L. Pierce II.

Lee's Spirit eyes Louisiana stakes

Lee's Spirit keeps expanding his resume. A Louisiana-bred stakes winner on dirt, he tried two turns, turf, and open company for the first time last weekend at Lone Star and was a neck winner of the $50,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge. He earned a career-best Beyer of 81.

"I thought he ran a powerful race on the grass," said Schultz. "It was the first time he'd ever run on it."

Schultz said one reason he ran Lee's Spirit on turf was because there were limited options on dirt. He said another was pedigree, as Lee's Spirit has some turf influences in his family tree.

Schultz said Lee's Spirit will probably run next in the $50,000 Free Spirit's Joy, a six-furlong race for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds on the opening-day card at Louisiana Downs on May 17.

* Trackerman, a sharp maiden winner at Fair Grounds in his last start March 23, will meet winners for the first time in the featured eighth race. The first-level allowance for 3-year-olds will be run at a mile on turf. Quincy Hamilton will ride Trackerman for trainer Pat Mouton.