09/18/2008 12:00AM

'Turnleft' a bargain buy


Turnleftatthelight makes a couple of key moves for the $50,000 Chick Lang Jr. Memorial at Retama Park. He returns to racing with straight 3-year-olds, and he stretches out to the distance of his last win in the 7 1/2-furlong turf race. In all, nine will start in the Lang, which also drew stakes winners Lee's Spirit and Lone Star Special.

Turnleftatthelight is looking for his first stakes win. He has bullied his way up the class ladder since last year at Retama, when he once raced for a maiden claiming price of $7,500. This spring, Turnleftatthelight ran second to Real Appeal in the $75,000 Alysheba at Lone Star Park, then won a turf allowance over older horses at the track in a 7 1/2-furlong race on July 11.

"He's been a lot of fun," said Shannon Hastings, who trains Turnleftatthelight. "We bought him in a sale for $5,000 as a yearling. He was small. But you can't gauge what's inside of them. He's got a big heart."

Turnleftatthelight, a three-time winner who has earned $49,230, will be ridden by Sidney LeJeune.

Lee's Spirit won the $150,000 A.L. Erwin for Louisiana-breds in his most recent start, Sept. 6. The race was originally scheduled for turf, but was moved to the main track because of wet weather. Lee's Spirit is also a stakes winner on turf, having taken the $50,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge at Lone Star in April.