07/10/2008 12:00AM

Sandburr's new challenger


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - If the 3-year-old C E P A's Forum wants to take control of the Texas-bred route division Saturday in the $100,000 Assault, he has to knock off the 9-year-old Sandburr.

"It's the young gun shooting for the old guy," said Bret Calhoun, who trains C E P A's Forum.

The Assault, for Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles, is one of six restricted stakes worth $500,000 at Lone Star Park on Saturday. The stakes winners Wrenice and Gold Coyote also will start on the annual Stars of Texas Day program.

Sandburr is "the chairman" of the dirt route division at Lone Star, Calhoun said. The horse has won his last four starts in two-turn dirt stakes for Texas-breds, beginning with the December 2006 running of the $100,000 Star of Texas at Sam Houston and continuing up to the $50,000 Premier at Lone Star in his last start April 10.

"Hopefully, he can keep it going," said Michael Stidham, who trains Sandburr.

C E P A's Forum turned in a flashy first-level allowance win here June 14. He stalked the pace and then drew out to a 7 1/4-length win at a mile, and the Beyer Speed Figure of 97 he earned is the best last-race number in the field Saturday.

"He seems to be on the improve," Calhoun said. "I thought that last race was the best race of his life. He did it the right way."

Richard Eramia has the mount.

Sandburr was given a few weeks off at a local farm following the Premier, Stidham said. The horse was a three-quarter-length winner of the one-mile race and earned a 89 Beyer.

Sandburr will break from the rail Saturday.

"If there's no real pace, he can lay up kind of in a stalking spot," Stidham said. "If there's a lot of pace, he can sit back further and run at the end."

Cliff Berry has the mount on Sandburr, with whom he is 4 for 4.

Two turns for Wrenice

Wrenice will be making a rare start around two turns in the $50,000 Allen Bogan Memorial for fillies and mares. She comes into the one-mile race off a turf sprint allowance win. Trainer Randy Mayfield thought about keeping her sprinting in the Hallowed Dreams next Saturday at Louisiana Downs, but he believes the Bogan best suits Wrenice now.

"The main reason is, I just don't want to haul her in this heat," he said. "I'd rather walk out of my stall and go over there and run."

Wrenice has banked most of her $432,726 in earnings in sprint stakes. But she won going a mile in a division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes. She will break from post 8 under Curt Bourque.

"I'm hoping somebody will run and gun, and we can kind of just relax off of them a little bit," Mayfield said.

Asmussen strong in Stallion Stakes

Trainer Steve Asmussen has the probable favorites in each of the two divisions of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds. He will send out the Heiligbrodt Racing entry of Belton and Justwill in the colts division, and Tiffany Royal in the fillies division. Tiffany Royal looks strong off a maiden special weight romp at Churchill, for which she earned a 83 Beyer.

* Gold Coyote moves back to the 3-year-old ranks for the $50,000 Harold V. Goodman at 6 1/2 furlongs after defeating older statebred sprinters in the $50,000 Carter McGregor here June 14.

"He's probably doing better than he ever has," Calhoun said.

* Formal Flyer, who has won her last two starts, cuts back to one turn to stick with straight 3-year-olds in the $50,000 Valor Farm. The six-furlong race is for statebred fillies, and Quincy Hamilton will be aboard for trainer Danny Pish.