11/30/2006 1:00AM

Senor Amigo a wire threat again


Senor Amigo has used his blazing turn of foot to win two major Texas-bred stakes this year, and will be favored to win a third during Saturday night's $475,000 Texas Champions Day program at Sam Houston Race Park.

Senor Amigo looks like the controlling speed in the $100,000 Star of Texas, a 1 1/16-mile race that is the featured race among the eight divisional statebred stakes on the card. The program is the richest of the meet, and other horses of note on the card include Wrenice and Mystery Classic, who are both riding significant win streaks into separate stakes Saturday.

Senor Amigo has won his last two starts, an optional claimer at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 26 and the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame for Texas-breds at Retama Park on Oct. 14. In both races he wired the field, and he looks like a huge threat to do the same in the Star of Texas.

"I just don't see anyone with enough speed to go with him early," said Steven Duke, the trainer of rival Dreamsandvisions. "There's just so many closer-types in the race, it's scary for me."

Senor Amigo won the Texas Hall of Fame off a seven-week layoff, romping by six lengths and earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 95. He comes into the Star of Texas with about six weeks between starts, which is a deliberate plan, said his trainer, Scott Blasi.

"He seems to take a little more time to recover in between races," he said. "This was pretty much by design, and hopefully he'll run his race. He likes running fresh."

Senor Amigo, who earlier this year won the $50,000 Premiere for Texas-breds on opening night at Lone Star Park, will be ridden by Justin Shepherd.

Dreamsandvisions, a two-time stakes winner this year, closed for fourth as the favorite in the Hall of Fame.

"Senor Amigo ran a great race in San Antonio, but our little horse, he hated the slop," said Duke.

The trainer plans to change tactics for the Star of Texas.

"We'll sit a little closer," he said. "We'll try to take [Senor Amigo] on a little quicker out of the second turn and see what happens. It's just the way it looks like the race is going to set up. If we don't try to sit a little closer and take him on a little sooner, he's going to be tough to run down."

Duke has given the mount to Luis Quinonez.

Others in the nine-horse field include Sandburr, Private Fight, and Agrivating General.