06/13/2004 11:00PM

Topango seeks fifth consecutive win


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Topango, who has never been beaten on turf, will meet older horses for the first time Wednesday night as she attempts to win her fifth straight race. The one-mile allowance feature at Lone Star Park drew a quality field of eight fillies and mares, including stakes winners Tiva's Little Sis, Cherylville Slew, and Lady Mallory.

The purse is $34,000.

Topango returned from a nine-month layoff last out and won the $50,000 Chapel Belle Stakes at Louisiana Downs on May 22. The win was her fourth straight from five career starts, with all of those victories coming on turf. Her other wins are a maiden score at Lone Star last July, and an allowance and the $100,000 La Senorita Stakes last fall at Retama Park.

John Locke, who trains Topango, said one of her assets is her turn of foot. She is a daughter of Distant View and the Green Dancer mare Verdent Hoofer.

"She has a nice quickness," said Locke. "There's been times she's willing to relax and use that quickness when she needs to."

Topango raced in seventh early in the Chapel Belle, then closed well through the stretch for a 2 1/4-length win over a quality field that included Yoursmineours, Smokey Diplomacy, and Outright Buck. Outright Buck came back to beat older rivals in an optional claimer last week at Louisiana Downs.

The race was Topango's first since she used stalking tactics to win the La Senorita on Aug. 30.

Cliff Berry, who rode Topango in her maiden win, will reunite with the filly on Wednesday night. She races for H S B Racing. Locke said that later this meet, Topango will be pointed for the $100,000 Lone Star Oaks on July 4.

The chief threats to Topango on Wednesday appear to be Tiva's Little Sis and Cherylville Slew. Tiva's Little Sis won an optional claimer at Fair Grounds on Feb. 29, and with a repeat of that effort would be tough to handle. She is trained by Steve Asmussen, who has starters in eight of the nine races on Wednesday.

Adding to the appeal of Tiva's Little Sis is her pedigree. She is a half-sister to Grade 1 turf winner Whitmore's Conn. Leading rider Eddie Martin Jr. has the mount for owner Ro Parra.

Cherylville Slew exits the Grade 3, $200,000 WinStar Distaff, where she finished fourth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by the winner, Academic Angel. Kevin Cogburn has the mount for trainer C. R. Trout.

Star Over the Bay arrives

Star Over the Bay flew into Lone Star from Southern California on Monday, arriving on the backstretch about noon. He is in town for the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup on Saturday. The 1 1/8-mile turf race will also include Warleigh, who flew into town from his Churchill Downs base on Sunday.

Warleigh is expected as the 119-pound starting highweight for the Dallas Turf Cup. In his last start, he was third in the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico. Before that, he won the $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap at Sam Houston Race Park. He is trained by Asmussen, who has won six stakes over the past three weekends at Lone Star.

Star Over the Bay is weighted at 115. He was claimed for $80,000 in his last start, an easy, four-length win in a one-mile turf race at Hollywood Park on May 16. He is trained by Mike Mitchell, who shipped to Lone Star earlier this meet and won the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile with Kela.

Others that track officials are expecting to enter the Dallas Turf Cup are Agrivating General, weighted at 117; Waupaca, 117; Mr. Livingston, 116; A To The Z, 115; and Sea Dub, 114.

* Attendance Friday night was 19,195. Aside from racing, there was a concert by Cross Canadian Ragweed at Lone Star.