03/29/2007 12:00AM

Sir Five Star returns a hero


In December, Sir Five Star finished a close second in an allowance race at Sunland Park before winning the Riley Allison Futurity there. He went to Oaklawn and flourished, winning the Mountain Valley there Feb. 24 by 8 1/2 lengths, and now he's back at Sunland in the $50,000 Daylight Sprint Stakes. The six-furlong event has lured a field of nine 3-year-olds, including the very talented Game of Skill and 15-1 New Mexico Breeders Derby upsetter Genes Boy.

But on paper the race goes through Sir Five Star. Owned by Gus King and trained by Steve Asmussen, Sir Five Star has won 5 of 12 and has earned more than $204,000. In the Mountain Valley he pressed a brisk pace, took over into the lane, and blasted clear to win at 12-1. He earned a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure. Glen Murphy rides the Sir Five Star, the likely favorite.

Game of Skill invaded Sunland from Southern California for new trainer Chris Hartman and whipped maidens by nine lengths Jan. 23. The win earned him a start in the Borderland Derby here Feb. 17. He made a very wide move on the first turn and stayed wide, ending up third. He tried the WinStar Derby here March 18, but after stalking the pace he retreated to seventh and last, beaten over 29 lengths. The drop in class and return to a sprint may be what the doctor ordered. Leading rider Ken Tohill keeps the call.

Genes Boy seems to have turned the corner. Also trained by Hartman, Genes Boy didn't seem to be going anywhere last fall and into the winter. Then he won allowance sprint in the mud here Jan. 30 and followed that up with a rallying half-length victory in the New Mexico Breeders Derby here March 18. Tohill was up for those two victories but ends up sticking with stablemate Game of Skill here. James Gonzalez 2nd has the call.

Turf Paradise: Trio looks to double up

Trio blasted home to beat maidens by 12 on the Turf Paradise turf Feb. 25, and she takes a big step up in Saturday's $45,000 Scottsdale Handicap there. Eight 3-year-olds fillies will go in the Scottsdale, run at about a mile on turf.

Trio, owned by Stuart Tsujimoto and trained by Molly Pearson, didn't appear to be going anywhere to start her career. She perked up on Keeneland's synthetic main track last fall, finishing second against maiden claimers, but then ran fourth at Turfway in December. Later that month at Tampa, she opened up a clear lead in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race and finished third. Then she came here.

Trio stalked the pace going a mile on the turf Feb. 25, then surged to the lead and just kept going. The runner-up, Miss Fast Dancer, came right back to win. Kristina Kenny, who rode Trio for the first time that day, has the return call.

Famous Gal comes off a strong win in the Cactus Cup here March 11. Trained by Joe Johnson, she has won 3 of 6 but all have been dirt sprints, so she faces a new surface and distance. She is by a solid turf sire in Western Fame and worked on this turf course March 27. Juan Rivera rides.

Staten Island is likely the best 3-year-old dirt filly on the circuit, but she is making her first start on turf. She is coming off a second in the Sun Devil and a victory in the Arizona Oaks. Her sire, In Excess, is a strong turf sire and was a graded stakes winner on the turf. Sandi Gann rides.

Point Me the Way and Cool All Over, one-two finishers in a mile turf allowance race here March 19, also are entered.