05/20/2004 11:00PM

Social King rules this group on turf


Social King has done little wrong in three career starts on dirt, winning twice and finishing a narrowly beaten second. He will be a prohibitive favorite to transfer his good form to the turf in Lone Star's fourth race Sunday, an entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds at 7 1/2 furlongs.

A son of English 2000 Guineas winner King of Kings, Social King was entered for the grass in his last start, a $30,000 claimer on April 30, but a ferocious storm that came through earlier on the card resulted in the race being switched to a sloppy main track. The wet conditions did not bother Social King, who took command at the top of the stretch and held on for a half-length win.

Social King was claimed from trainer Steve Asmussen out of that race and makes his debut Sunday for trainer Dallas Keen. Eddie Martin Jr., who was aboard Social King last time, gets the return call.

Recent maiden winners Autumn Squall and Gruff figure to attract some betting support. Autumn Squall recovered from a slow start to score a 42-1 upset in a $50,000 maiden claimer over the turf at Lone Star on May 6. Gruff, the 3-2 favorite in his debut, rallied from the back of the pack to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths in a six-furlong maiden special weight on May 7.

Smilie Kermit has a good turf pedigree and might perk up trying the grass for the first time.

Injured Gonzalez out 6 to 8 weeks

Jockey Carlos Gonzalez will be out six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured right ankle suffered in a spill on Wednesday's card.

Gonzalez was leading in the stretch on Sugar Creek Girl in the fourth race, a one-mile maiden on the turf, when the filly went through the temporary rail and tossed Gonzalez. Two pins and a plate were inserted into his ankle to repair the compound fracture.

In a separate incident Wednesday, jockey Jeremy Beasley was thrown when his mount, Halory's Habit, bolted to the outside rail soon after the start of the first race. Beasely took off his mounts Thursday but was scheduled to ride Friday's card.

"He was feeling fine Thursday, but we decided to take off just to make sure," said Scott Hare, Beasley's agent.