07/26/2001 11:00PM

Saturday Stakes


Gateful of Ohio-breds go in George Lewis

NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - A full field of 14 Ohio-bred 3-year-olds and up, including a stable coupling and a two-horse betting field, is scheduled to run over 1 1/8 miles Sunday at Thistledown in the 22nd running of the $50,000 George Lewis Memorial Handicap.

The lineup is very competitive, headed by Leave Me Out, Majestic Dinner, and Fax a Freddy. Majestic Dinner will race coupled with Fervent Affair.

Leave Me Out, a multiple stakes-winning sprinter, has stretched out in distance in his last two starts, and has been effective. Leave Me Out just missed catching Fax a Freddy in his last trip to the post, in the mile-and-one-sixteenth Gendelman Handicap on the grass at River Downs and, before that, a fast-closing third at Mountaineer in the one-mile-and-70-yards Slipton Fell Handicap.

If he retains his form for Sunday's race he will to hard to deal with. Under the allowance conditions of the race, he will carry 113 pounds; regular rider Scott Saito returns in the saddle.

Majestic Dinner is a proven middle-distance stakes winner who prepped for the race with a convincing 2 3/4-length victory in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Thistledown on July 8. He has the speed to be tactically placed and should prove to be the horse to beat. Ricardo Feliciano will ride for his uncle, trainer Miguel Feliciano, and will carry 116 pounds. Fax a Freddy, the Ohio-bred 3-year-old champion last year, held on to beat Leave Me Out in the Gendelman Stakes and was second behind Majestic Dinner on July 8. He is another horse who likes to run on or near the lead, and will be a major factor. His regular rider, William Troilo, will ride as usual for trainer William Napier. The weight assignment is 116 pounds.

- Chuck Scaravilli

Bugs by Yawl: eight straight?

Bugs by Yawl, a Quarter Horse based locally at Sam Houston Race Park, goes for his eighth consecutive win Sunday in the $10,000 Alamo Overnight Stakes. A field of 11 was entered for the 350-yard race, including Grade 2 winner Bens Coasting, who makes his first start since November.

Bugs by Yawl has reeled off seven consecutive wins, his most recent a one-length victory in the $26,000 Professional Choice Challenge July 22. He wheels back in a week for the Alamo, but the short turnaround is of little concern

"He's come back like he hadn't even run," co-owner Bubba Smith said.

Smith and partner Bill Fowler claimed Bugs by Yawl for $7,500 last September, largely because he is by Mr Jess Perry. "I like Mr Jess Perrys because they've got a lot of heart, and they seem to hold together," Smith said. "They're not heavy on the ground; they just float."

Smith has no long-term goals with Bugs by Yawl, who with a win in the Alamo would move closer to tying the record for consecutive wins by a Quarter Horse, which stands at 14.

- Mary Rampellini