08/21/2002 11:00PM

Statebred returns to his roots


MIAMI - Heir D'Twine, who held his own against some of the top members of the 3-year-old division earlier this season, returns to his south Florida roots for the first time on Saturday when he makes his Calder debut in the $75,000 Blazing Sword Handicap.

Despite being a Florida-bred and trained by the locally based Steve DiMauro, Heir D'Twine has yet to race in his home state. His finest hour came April 20 at Pimlico when he finished third in the Federico Tesio Stakes and just a half-length behind Preakness runner-up Magic Weisner. In his previous try, Heir D'Twine was fourth behind Mayakovsky and Saarland in Aqueduct's Grade 3 Gotham Stakes.

DiMauro decided to bring Heir D'Twine down to Florida to face a little softer opposition after he finished sixth in each of his last three starts, including Belmont's Grade 2 Peter Pan and Dwyer stakes. He has trained well for his local bow and has the running style to take advantage of what should be an honest pace.

The speed of the Blazing Sword figures to be provided by Modest Lover, Gemma's Star, and Sebastian Light.

Modest Lover has won his last two starts under allowance conditions, leading throughout on each occasion. Gemma's Star stretches out off an easy second-level allowance victory going six furlongs. Sebastian Light has finished second in each of his last two starts, the Roman Brother and Dartsum stakes, after forcing or setting the pace on both occasions.

Favoritism in the Blazing Sword may fall on the Ralph Ziadie- trained entry of Susie's Poker and Say No Maw, both of whom return against 3-year-olds after finishing second and fifth, respectively, against older horses under third-level allowance conditions 12 days ago.

Susie's Poker appears the stronger of the pair. He finished second in each of his last two starts, both against older rivals.

* Two promising 3-year-olds, Bernard's Candy and Friendly Frolic, will match strides in the 10th race at six furlongs under preliminary allowance conditions. Friendly Frolic easily defeated Bernard's Candy in the pair's first meeting but Bernard's Candy bounced back to set a 5 1/2-furlong track record of 104.20 five weeks later.

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