03/17/2005 1:00AM

Shippers threat in Tejano Run


At certain times during the long winter at Turfway Park, it seems the same horses keep showing up in the same race categories. That has held partly true again this year at the Florence, Ky., track, although, happily enough, that monotonous refrain will come to an abrupt end once the Lane's End Stakes rolls around.

The Lane's End, the annual Turfway showcase, will be run a week from Saturday, and as if on cue, a couple of horses who have spent the winter in warmer climates have returned north a little early. Perfect Cut, who wintered at Palm Beach Downs with Rusty Arnold, and Thermostat, who has been in New Orleans with Becky Maker, are two of the seven horses scheduled to run this Saturday in the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes, the last Turfway stakes before Lane's End day.

Perfect Cut and Thermostat join a lineup that otherwise consists of a familiar cast of older horses who stayed home for the winter. Foremost among that group is Bonus Pack, the 7-year-old gelding who captured the last race in this category, the Feb. 19 Dust Commander. With leading trainer Greg Foley and leading jockey Dean Sarvis on his side, and off his sharp two-length triumph, Bonus Pack is the logical favorite to register a repeat Saturday.

Nonetheless, Perfect Cut and Thermostat are intriguing newcomers in the 1 1/16-mile Tejano Run.

, who will be ridden by Bill Troilo, was soundly beaten in his only start this year. Nevertheless, the 5-year-old has posted some nice workouts since then, and if he can run back to his final two races of last year, he could take some serious beating.

, with Willie Martinez in from Oaklawn Park to ride, is less proven, but the 4-year-old gelding also ended his 2004 campaign with several solid performances, and after also finishing out of the money in his lone start this year, a much better effort could be on tap.

The rest of the Tejano Run field is Regal Reproach, Grey Beard, and the Bernie Flint-trained entry of Paging and Discreet Hero.