05/24/2005 11:00PM

Valentine Dancer invading WinStar


Valentine Dancer will make a rare start outside of California on Monday in the Grade 3, $200,000 WinStar Distaff at Lone Star Park, and the last time she traveled for a race, the results were huge. Valentine Dancer raced out of state for the first time in January, when she flew to Gulfstream Park and captured the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf.

She will invade Texas on Saturday with a planeload of horses coming from California to race in the six stakes that will make up the annual Lone Star Million Day on Monday.

Valentine Dancer is co-highweighted at 120 pounds in the WinStar, and she comes into the race following a three-quarter-length victory in the $150,000 Fran's Valentine at Hollywood Park on April 24. She shows a series of strong works for her trip to Texas.

"She's doing fabulous," said Craig Lewis, who trains Valentine Dancer. "The race sets up real good for her timewise, and we found out that she ships real well by reason of the fact that we sent her to Florida earlier in the year and she won the Sunshine Millions there."

It was the second straight Filly and Mare Turf win for Valentine Dancer, who captured the race in 2004 when it was held at Santa Anita. This year, she has won 2 of 4 starts, and her success has pushed her over the $1 million mark in earnings, making her the first homebred millionaire for owners Al and Sandee Kirkwood.

Jon Court has been the regular rider on Valentine Dancer, and he will be aboard Monday, said Lewis. So far this meet, the Southern California-based Court has won two stakes from two starts at Lone Star, taking the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Derby with the Kirkwood-owned Southern Africa and the $75,000 Ford Express with Rodeo's Castle.

Valentine Dancer has always been a consistent performer, with 8 wins from 22 career starts. But this year she seems to have stepped up her game even further, finishing first, second, or third in four stakes starts this year for earnings of $403,120.

"She's very gifted, and she's doing very, very well, and hopefully it will continue," said Lewis. "If she performs well in this race and comes out of it in good order, we're tentatively thinking about running her next in the Royal Heroine at Hollywood Park on July 3."

There were 10 probables for the WinStar as of Wednesday. Officials also expect Katdogawn, co-highweighted at 120; Janeian, Marwood, My Misty Princess, Paz Ciudadana, and Queena Corrina, all at 117; Tara's Touch, 116; Voz de Colegiala, 115; and Bonnie J., 114.

Jerry Bailey has the mount on Katdogawn.

Big Beyer for Moody Goose

Moody Goose, a half-brother to former top Texas-bred sprinter Boots on Sunday, can scoot. He won his debut by 11 3/4 lengths last Friday night, covering six furlongs in 1:08.06. For his effort, he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 103. Leading up to the race, Moody Goose had turned in some strong works at Lone Star.

"I expected a good race and that's what I got," said Danny Pish, who trains Moody Goose.

Pish said on Sunday that if Moody Goose is not sold in the interim, there is an outside chance he could make his next start in the $40,000 Nevill/Kyocera, a 5 1/2-furlong overnight stakes for 3-year-olds on June 4. The race, however, comes back quick, said Pish.

Boots on Sunday, a multiple stakes winner of more than $400,000, is now retired and working as a stable pony at a training center that Pish has near San Antonio. For fun, Pish sometimes takes him to rope cattle.

"It's like golf to a cowboy, roping steers," said Pish.

* Real Dandy, who finished third in the Lone Star Derby, will probably make his next start in the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 18, said his trainer, Steve Asmussen.

* Unrivalled and Joyful Tune are among the top contenders in Friday's ninth race, a five-furlong turf allowance with an optional claiming price of $50,000.