09/05/2006 11:00PM

Tartan Star cuts back to a mile


Tartan Star, beaten a neck by Langara Lass in the 1 1/16-mile Sonoma here Aug. 12, shortens up to a mile and faces just four rivals in the fourth running of the Filly Sales Stakes on Friday evening. Each of the 3-year-old fillies in the $50,000 stakes will carry 119 pounds, and Tartan Star stands out as the class of the field.

Tartan Star won the juvenile version of Filly Sales Stakes last year under a superb ride from Stephan Heiler and defeated eventual 2-year-old champion and horse of the year Kaylee's Magic in the process. There are no rivals of that caliber this time around, and Heiler, who will break the favorite from the inside post, will be able to use her tactical speed to press the speedy Nashwaak Dancer in the early going.

Tracy takes two juvenile stakes

Leading trainer Greg Tracy continued his domination of 2-year-old stakes with a pair of victories during Labor Day weekend. Tracy sent out Miss Sassy Sue ($13.30) to a 2 1/4-length victory in the Bird of Pay last Saturday. Miss Sassy Sue was three wide through the early stages of the 6 1/2-furlong stakes but responded under Rickey Walcott, drawing off in 1:20.20.

Walcott and Tracy teamed up again on Monday with favored Freetoleave ($3.20), in the Birdcatcher at 6 1/2 furlongs. Freetoleave, who won the Edmonton Juvenile a month earlier, was well back in the early stages but responded with an explosive reunbefore cruising home in 1:18 under a hand ride.