05/22/2003 12:00AM

USA rematches 3-year-olds


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Lone Star Deputy and Leo's Last Hurrahy, who finished a neck apart in the $100,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge at Lone Star Park last month, will be rematched in Monday's $200,000 USA Stakes.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds is one of seven stakes on the Lone Star Million Day card. The program is led by the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap.

Lone Star Deputy and Leo's Last Hurrahy head what is expected to be a full field of 12 for the USA. Most of the race's probables, which include Commander's Affair, the third-place finisher in the Grade 3, $500,000 Lone Star Derby, are based in Texas.

Leo's Last Hurrahy was voted the state's top horse last year, when he won three stakes as a 2-year-old. But this year, he has had tough luck in most of his starts, including in his last race, when he was 11th in the Lone Star Derby.

"We thought we could be very competitive, but he displaced" his palate, said Bob Young, who trains Leo's Last Hurrahy. "He had an ulcer on his soft palate, and it's been taken care of."

A turf work Monday let Young know that Leo's Last Hurrahy is in good order for the USA.

"We were pleased with what we saw, and he scoped clean and did not displace," said Young. "He likes the grass and is doing good. He just has not had any racing luck."

Leo's Last Hurrahy had troubled trips twice this year in stakes at Fair Grounds, and he needed time to get over the ship to that track from his winter base at Sam Houston. In his first start at Lone Star, he was overtaken late by Lone Star Deputy.

"When he makes the lead, he's been waiting on horses, so we're taking the blinkers off of him," said Young.

Leo's Last Hurrahy placed in stakes in his two starts on turf.

Kevin Cogburn has the mount for Ken Murphy, who is the leading owner at Lone Star.

Others pointing for the USA include Kool Humor, a maiden winner at Keeneland who will be making his turf and two-turn debut for owner Tom Durant and trainer Ronny Werner.

"We worked him on turf, and he seemed to take to it well," said Werner. "He's got speed, and I think he'll carry it."

Kool Humor is a son of Distorted Humor, sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, and the stakes-winning mare Aly Sara. He will be ridden by Shane Sellers.

The rest of the probables are G.W.'s Skippie, Giant Bellyache, Iceanwater, Lots of Sizzle, On the Border, Ontario, River Mountain Road, and Zarb's Music.

Seven left for handicap

With the defections of Wooden Phone and Mr. John, a field of seven was probable for the Lone Star Park Handicap as of Thursday.

Those considered definite by racing officials are Bluesthestandard, the 120-pound highweight; Pass Rush, 118; Private Emblem, 115; Keats, 114; Maysville Slew, 114; Pie N Burger, 114; and Where's the Ring, 113.

* Trainer Bob Young said Miss Ritz, a five-time stakes winner, was to undergo surgery Thursday at Texas A&M University to remove a small bone chip from her knee. She will be pointed for a comeback during Texas Champions Day at Sam Houston. Miss Ritz has earned $260,673.

* They say if you don't like the weather in Texas, wait a minute and it will change. That looks like the case for the weekend forecast. After first predicting no precipitation for the immediate future, forecasters are now calling for a chance of showers Saturday and a chance of thunderstorms Sunday and Monday.