10/09/2002 11:00PM

Stallion Stakes to sort out divisions


DALLAS - In the colts and geldings division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes on Saturday night at Retama Park, some sort of pecking order should be established with a number of the state's top 2-year-olds entered in the six-furlong race, including Action Tonight, Leo's Last Hurrahy, Screen Pass, and Father Martin.

The race is one of seven restricted stakes on a card designed to celebrate inductions into the Texas Hall of Fame.

Action Tonight was just edged in his comeback from a two-month layoff last out when he rallied for second, beaten a neck by Screen Pass, in the $65,000 Friendship.

"For whatever the reason, he seemed a little disinterested in his last race until the very end when he made up his mind and decided 'I'm gonna win this,' " said Danny Pish, who trains Action Tonight. "He made a big charge, but was unable to get to [Screen Pass].

"This time, I've drilled him a little sharper for the race, and I'm hoping that makes the difference."

Roman Chapa will ride Action Tonight while Gerard Melancon has the call on Leo's Last Hurrahy, who gets back to the main track after finishing a troubled second as the favorite last out in the $100,000 El Joven.

"He should have no excuses," said trainer Bob Young, who this summer won a division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity with Leo's Last Hurrahy.

Parting turns back

Parting, who was overtaken late in the Grade 3, $100,000 Arlington Lassie at a mile in her last start, turns back in distance to six furlongs for the $125,000 fillies division of the Texas Stallion Stakes.

Parting seems due to win a stakes soon. Before the Lassie, she had placed in three other stakes, running second in the $90,000 Friendship, third in the $100,000 Silver Spur, and second in a June division of the Texas Stallion Stakes.

Trainer Cindy Navarre have given the mount to Guy Smith.

Boots on Sunday back in Longhorn

Boots on Sunday returns from a brief freshening for the $30,000 Longhorn Handicap. He will spot his rivals from 6 to 11 pounds in the six-furlong race in his first start since finishing fourth in the Folklore on Aug. 18.

"He was a little flat the last time I ran him at Louisiana Downs, and I brought him home and gave him 30 days off," said Pish, who trains Boots on Sunday. "I turned him out in a small paddock for an hour everyday and let him be a horse."

* With her confidence soaring, Eagle Lake comes into the $30,000 Fiesta Mile in search of her third straight win. But her success has not scared off the competition, as the turf race for fillies and mares drew a full field of 12.

Eagle Lake won a two-turn optional claimer by more than seven lengths in her last start, and before that rallied from just off the pace to win a five-furlong turf sprint. Melancon rides for trainer Cole Norman.

* Miss Ritz is the one to beat in the $30,000 Selma over five furlongs on turf if she goes in the race for 3-year-old fillies. She is also cross-entered in the Fiesta Mile.

A multiple stakes winner at 2, Miss Ritz has stepped up her game even more this year, winning all of her races but one. "She's just really matured into a nice horse," said Young.

* Front Nine, who possesses good speed, will have to overcome post No. 10 to win the $30,000 Tejas. The five-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds also drew Fitzroyal, impressive winner last out of a division of the Texas Stallion Stakes, and Son of a Lue, who will try off-the-pace tactics, said Pish.

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