05/27/2005 11:00PM

Top Commander tough on any surface


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Top Commander has one of this year's highest Beyer Speed Figures for a sprinter on dirt, but he's a monster on turf, too, and should start as the shortest-priced favorite on the Lone Star Million Day card Monday at Lone Star Park.

Aside from the main events, the Lone Star Park Handicap and the WinStar Distaff, there are four other stakes Monday.

is the 121-pound highweight in the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint, to be run at five furlongs. The race is his first start since his powerful front-running win in the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 14. He earned a 111 Beyer in the six-furlong race.

But his talent is not confined to one surface. Top Commander set a turf course record at Louisiana Downs last July when he covered five furlongs in 54.96 seconds. He set fractions of 20.62 for the opening quarter and 42.92 for the half-mile mark. With that kind of speed, he can dominate the pace in the Beck.

"He's that quick, but if another horse was in front of him, it wouldn't bother me," said Cole Norman, who trains Top Commander. "We don't have to be on the lead, as long as we're in the race. The main thing is, I just want to break; don't send him, don't take him back, just let him run his race."

Jamie Theriot will ride Top Commander. The Beck is Top Commander's springboard to the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar.

Stonerside: Invaders vs. True Tails

A handful of invaders will take on regional bolt of lightning True Tails in the $150,000 Stonerside for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs. Among her rivals are Kentucky shippers Forever Brilliant and Hot Attraction, and California invader R Fast Lady.

has won her last two starts by a combined 14 lengths, her latest victory a wire-to-wire win in the Wafare Farms over six furlongs at Lone Star on April 30. She covered the distance in 1:08.76, and was flattered when the runner-up from that race, Ketchmewhereyoucan, returned to win the Dixie Miss at Louisiana Downs.

For the Stonerside, one question facing True Tails is the distance. She will be racing beyond six furlongs for the first time.

"I think she will go seven furlongs because she won so impressively the last couple of times, not just by a length or so, but just drawing away," said Theriot, who will ride True Tails. "I think if I can get her to relax the first quarter - I figure if we go 22 and change - that they're going to really have to run to beat her. Every time she runs, she relaxes more and more."

Norman trains True Tails for Marie Troncone.

Pin Oak: Locals vs. Dubleo

Dubleo is the class of the $200,000 Pin Oak Stud USA, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds that drew a nice assortment of locals, including recent turf stakes winner Jazzy Gallop.

has won five stakes on grass, among his wins the Grade 2 Summer at Woodbine and the Grade 3 Generous at Hollywood Park. He invades from Belmont for trainer Todd Pletcher.

"He's trained very well, and I feel like he should like the turf course there," said Pletcher. "He's been a very consistent horse. He tries hard every time, and we look for him to do the same again."

Dubleo figures to sit just off the pace under Jerry Bailey.

Valid Expectations: Repeat for 'Savor'?

If the fleet Top Commander is not the heaviest favorite on the card, it will be . She is the one to beat in the $100,000 Valid Expectations, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares that she won last year in a track-record time of 1:07.82.

Savorthetime comes into this year's running sharp, with two stakes wins in three starts in 2005. Roman Chapa has the mount for leading trainer Steve Asmussen.