06/29/2005 11:00PM

Victory Lap goes for fifth straight victory


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - A clean trip for once. That is what trainer Cole Norman wants for Victory Lap, who will shoot for her fifth straight victory Saturday in the $100,000 Lone Star Oaks at Lone Star Park.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies is one of two stakes on the card. In the eighth race, 3-year-olds will square off at six furlongs in the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup.

began her streak March 2, when she won her maiden in a $45,000 claiming race at Gulfstream Park. She moved up the ladder from there, winning for a claiming price of $62,500 in her next start March 28, then an entry-level allowance at Lone Star on May 7, and the $50,000 Chapel Belle at Louisiana Downs on May 28.

Her wins in those races never came by more than three-quarters of a length, perhaps because she has not had the cleanest of trips in her races.

"She always seems to get in trouble, but she always seems to rebound from it," said Norman, who has trained Victory Lap since she moved to this region in May. "She gets the job done."

Victory Lap was forced to check three races ago, and in her last two starts hit traffic. "She got steadied last time, but it wasn't bad," said Norman. "The allowance race was worse."

Victory Lap, a stalker who races for John Pucek, will break from post 2 under Jamie Theriot. She will face seven others in the Lone Star Oaks, among them the rail-drawn Twixy.

Twixy has speed and will be making her second start back since a freshening. In her most recent outing, she was fourth in her two-turn and turf debut in an allowance at Lone Star on June 17.

"That was her first race since about the middle of Oaklawn, so I would hope she would move forward off that race," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Twixy for Don McNeill.

Kevin Cogburn has the mount on Twixy, who is a daughter of Mutakddim and Abbey's Phone, a half-sister to millionaire Mr Ross.

Alysheba: Santana Strings vs. four

Talk about horsepower. Trainer Steve Asmussen had Razor nominated to the Alysheba, and if the colt had gone in the race, he would have been tough to beat. But Asmussen will still have the probable Alysheba favorite on Saturday. His representative is Santana Strings, who will take on four others at Lone Star while Razor awaits for the Grade 3, $150,000 Jersey Shore at Monmouth Park on Monday.

Santana Strings will be shortening up in distance for the Alysheba, and the last time he raced six furlongs he was a close second to Smoke Smoke Smoke in the $143,000 Lost Code Breeders' Cup at Hawthorne. Santana Strings will get support off that effort, as well as his company lines, as he has run well against such horses as Lost in the Fog, to whom he finished a troubled second in the Sunshine Millions Dash, and Storm Surge.

Roman Chapa has the mount, while Quincy Hamilton will ride Warbridled, who in his last start won a $40,000 overnight stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs at Lone Star.

"He's done well since then," said Tommie Morgan, who trains Warbridled. "He's had two good works."

Morgan feels the additional half-furlong of the Alysheba will benefit Warbridled, who was drawing out in the overnight stakes. Warbridled owns the field's highest last-race Beyer Speed Figure, a 93.

Stormy but Crafty will return to racing with 3-year-olds for the Alysheba after finishing a big third to Rodeo's Castle last out in the $50,000 Kings Court at Louisiana Downs. Norman has given the mount to Theriot.