04/17/2003 11:00PM

Texas and turf for Drexel Monorail


Drexel Monorail has come a long way, baby. The filly, who has been racing at Aqueduct in New York, will race in Texas for the first time Sunday in the featured ninth race at Lone Star Park.

The one-mile optional claiming race on turf for fillies and mares drew a field of six, none of which were entered for the claiming price of $50,000. The purse is $33,000.

Drexel Monorail will be making her first start on turf and her first around two turns Sunday. In her most recent start, she finished fourth in a six-furlong allowance race at Aqueduct March 27. Previously, she finished third in Aqueduct's $50,000 Safely Kept.

Drexel Monorail, who makes her first start for trainer Donnie Von Hemel, last week worked five furlongs in 1:00.20.

Drexel Monorail is a full sister to Grade 3 winner Champali, whose best races have been at two turns.

Drexel Monorail also gets pedigree support for the move to turf, and hails from a barn that gets an above average number of winners with horses stretching out. Don Pettinger has the mount for owner Craig Singer.

Von Hemel also entered Queena Corrina, whose last two wins have come at one mile on turf.

Ten early probables for Mile

Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile, which is the first major stakes of the Lone Star meet, is shaping up as an interesting race. As of Friday, 10 horses were considered probable for the Grade 3 race by Lone Star assistant racing secretary Jeanette Hughes.

They are Bluesthestandard, Bonapaw, Booklet, Compendium, Maysville Slew, Night Patrol, Oak Hall, Private Emblem, Seainsky, and 2002 Lone Star Derby winner Wiseman's Ferry.

Possibles are Wooden Phone, winner of the Grade 2 San Pasqual at Santa Anita in January, and Balto Star.

Bluesthestandard has won his last four starts, including the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita. Booklet was fourth last time out in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap.

Steve Asmussen trains both Private Emblem and Compendium, who won an allowance prep race April 4.

Crowned King likely for derby

The Grade 3, $500,000 Lone Star Derby, which in the past had shared a card with the Texas Mile, will be run May 10 this year, and among those pointing for the race are Crowned King, who won the $125,000 Rebel at Oaklawn at 36-1.

In his most recent start, he finished a troubled fifth behind Sir Cherokee in the Grade 2, $500,000 Arkansas Derby April 12.

"We got trapped at the three-eighths pole, and I think we could have run third," said Billy McKeever Jr., who co-owns and trains Crowned King. "I'm going to look at all the options, but right now am leaning toward the Lone Star Derby.

"He came back excellent. He came out of this race better than he did the last one."

Comic Truth, who finished sixth in the Arkansas Derby, is getting a break and will be shortened up in distance for his next start, which could come in the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup at seven furlongs at Lone Star July 5, said trainer Cole Norman.

* Norman, fresh from winning his third consecutive Oaklawn training title, won four races Thursday night at Lone Star to move into second place in the standings behind Asmussen, 13 wins to 9.