10/04/2001 12:00AM

Tex.-breds meet in Hall Of Fame Stakes


Gold Nugget and Lights on Broadway, considered two of the best older Texas-breds in training, are expected to meet for the first time Saturday night in the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes at Retama Park. The 1 1/16-mile turf race is one of seven statebred stakes that will make up the meet's richest card, a $300,000 program designed to celebrate inductions into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Gold Nugget is the state's reigning horse of the year, and is the one to beat because of his record on turf. He has won almost $500,000 on the grass, and is taking the same trail to this year's Hall of Fame that he did when he won the inaugural running in 1999.

"Two years ago when he won this race, I ran him in the Retama Turf Cup at the start of the meet, then waited for the Hall of Fame," said trainer Randy Mayfield. "His best races are when he has a month to six weeks between starts."

Gold Nugget, who has not raced since finishing second in the $50,000 Retama Turf Cup on Aug. 11, will be reunited with jockey Bobby Walker Jr.

Lights on Broadway, who captured Texas's richest statebred race in June with his win in the $150,000 Assault at Lone Star Park, has made his mark on dirt, but has placed twice in four starts on the turf. A son of Majestic Light, his cause is furthered by his pedigree, and the fact that he is in sharp form, having run first or second in his last five starts. Steve Bourque has the mount for trainer C.W. "Bubba" Cascio, who has also cross-entered Lights on Broadway in the $35,000 Longhorn Handicap.

Boots on Sunday, who in his last start was fourth in the $100,000 Arlington Sprint Handicap, returns to his home track as the highweight for the Longhorn. The six-furlong race has drawn nine, including Triple Card, who is cross-entered in the $25,000 Tejas. Boots on Sunday seems to be on top of his game, having won two of his last three races, including the $35,000 Straus Memorial by 1 1/2 lengths over Lights on Broadway.

Triple Card, who has never lost at six furlongs in five starts at the distance, defeated Boots on Sunday in May when he won the $50,000 Carter McGregor over six furlongs at Lone Star in track-record time. If he does not go in the Longhorn, he will the one to beat in the Tejas, a five-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds that has also drawn last year's Friendship Stakes winner, Wild Again Again.

The $25,000 Selma, which matches 3-year-old fillies at five furlongs on turf, has drawn a trio of stakes-winning sprinters. Miss Photogenic is 5 for 6 this year; Little Angel is 3 for 5; and Eagle Lake comes into the race on the heels of a 17-length romp in the fillies division of the Texas Stallion Stakes.

In the two offerings for 2-year-olds, Angela'stoughwater heads the $25,000 Riverside, and Devious Bebe tops the $25,000 Honeymoon, while Peruvian Waltz meets a well-matched field of fillies and mares in the $35,000 Fiesta Turf Mile.