04/29/2008 12:00AM

Texas Mile champ on the move


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Monterey Jazz came into the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park last Saturday with several questions to be answered.

He came out of the race with the year's second-highest Beyer Speed Figure, the 118 he earned for his eight-length romp. That is 1 point off the Beyer Figure of 119 that Commentator earned at Gulfstream Park for a 14-length win in a $100,000 optional claiming race at a mile in January.

Monterey Jazz flew back to his Southern California base on Tuesday, and will be pointed next for the Grade 1, $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 26, said his trainer, Craig Dollase.

"The timing is about right," said Dollase, who trains Monterey Jazz for A and R Stables and Class Racing Stable.

Monterey Jazz ran a career race in the Texas Mile, in which he dictated the pace and won under a hand ride, covering the distance in 1:35.25. It was the second stakes win in three starts this year for Monterey Jazz, who won the Grade 2 Strub at Santa Anita in February with a Beyer of 108. For the Texas Mile, which was his first start in close to two months, he was making a rare appearance on dirt. It was also the horse's first start outside of California.

"He passed all those tests we put him through - the shipping and the dirt and back for the first time in a while," said Dollase. "He handled everything with a lot of class."

Monterey Jazz, a 4-year-old by Thunderello, was purchased as a 2-year-old in training for $85,000 at an Ocala Breeders' Sales auction in Florida in April 2006. He was appealing for a number of reasons, said Joe Masino, the manager of Class Racing Stable, which also co-owned Reraise, the champion sprinter of 1998.

"A lot of his features are somewhat similar to Reraise, his physical appearance," Masino said of Monterey Jazz. "He's a big boy. Reraise was about 16-3, 17 [hands tall], and so is this guy."

Dollase, who trained Reraise, said Monterey Jazz is a looker.

"Physically, he's a beautiful horse," he said. "He's got a nice presence to him. He's got all the qualities. He's got a real good mind. You can't really fault his conformation. He has the look about him of a real good horse, and he's sure proving it right now."

Dollase said that the long-term goal is the Breeders' Cup with Monterey Jazz, who could have several race options. The horse is a graded stakes winner on dirt, turf, and the synthetic surface at Santa Anita, which is the site of this year's Breeders' Cup.

"It's nice to know it's in our backyard," said Dollase. "He likes the track, turf or dirt, so we'll make decisions when the time comes.

Monterey Jazz is now 6 for 13.

Full sister to Gold Coyote making debut

Cafe Pacific, a full sister to multiple stakes winner Gold Coyote, will make her career debut in the sixth race Thursday night. The 4 1/2-furlong race is for 2-year-old fillies bred in Texas.

Cafe Pacific is by Gold Legend and out of the mare Coyote Cafe, whose best offspring is Gold Coyote. The colt won a pair of 2-year-old stakes last year at Lone Star to be named horse of the meet. Gold Coyote races for his breeder, Clarence Scharbauer Jr., and is trained by Bret Calhoun, the same connections behind Cafe Pacific.

The race Thursday could produce starters for the fillies division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity here June 7. The trials for the race will be May 22.

* Belton, who is nominated to the colts and geldings division of the TTA Sales Futurity, was an impressive debut winner here Saturday. He pulled away by 5 3/4 lengths in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight, earning a Beyer Figure of 79. The trials for the male TTA are May 23.