06/25/2003 11:00PM

Tam's Terms seeks fifth consecutive win


It's fitting that in Virginia, home to some of the bloodiest Civil War battles, a stakes race at Colonial Downs on Saturday may pit a brother against a brother.

Trainer Lawrence Murray and owner Sondra Bender have entered two half-brothers, the 9-year-old Buenos Dias and the 5-year-old Tam's Terms, in Saturday's $50,000 Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs. Both are out of the Naskra mare Tamanaco Day.

Those hoping for a Civil War re-enactment will likely be disappointed, however. On Thursday, Murray said he was leaning toward running only Tam's Terms, who is riding a four-race winning streak into the one-mile grass race, while picking an easier spot for Buenos Dias somewhere else down the line.

"It's the money more than anything," Murray said. "I think either one of them could win it, but it's only $10,000 for second. If it was $100,000 [for the total purse], I could see running them both, but it's really not worth it."

Whatever happens, Murray's horse or horses should be used by horseplayers. Buenos Dias is no slouch, and Tam's Terms is undefeated since being switched to the grass, with four dominating wins. In his last start, the $65,000 Henry S. Clark at one mile on the Pimlico turf on May 3, Tam's Terms won by 2 3/4 lengths under Horacio Karamanos, the gelding's rider on Saturday as well.

"He needs to run," Murray said, referring to Tam's Terms' two-month layoff. "He's kicking the barn down right now."

Filling out the exacta in the possible 12-horse field (trainer Michael Dickinson said on Thursday that he would run only Union One in the Da Hoss and scratch Pay the Preacher) gives bettors a chance for a nice score.

Move Those Chains might offer a square price. The 4-year-old has won his last two against lesser company, and some horseplayers might be scared off by the outside post. His off-the-pace running style makes the post insignificant, and he has a good tactical rider in the young but talented Ryan Fogelsonger.

French Charmer will likely be well-supported at the windows. Trained by Harry Benson, who is putting up wins at a 29 percent clip this year, French Charmer has won three of his last six races. His speed figures put him in the top flight.

Several horses appeared to be entered in the Da Hoss with the hopes it would come off the grass, including Quiet Gratitude, Jo Jo Dancer, and Cape Good Hope. Filling out the field are Better Talk Now, Coco's Madness, Notably Frosty, Sir Howard, and Elberton.