06/26/2005 11:00PM

Von Hemel set to attack variety of holiday stakes

Lone Star Park
Queena Corrina, under Don Pettinger, wins in her first attempt sprinting on turf in last Saturday's five-furlong Miller Lite Stakes.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainer Donnie Von Hemel won the $50,000 Miller Lite last Saturday at Lone Star Park with Queena Corrina, and will try to keep rolling over the July 4 holiday weekend. He has two horses, City Code and Twixy, for Lone Star's $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup and $100,000 Lone Star Oaks this Saturday.

But his action will not be limited to Texas.

Von Hemel has Crypotgraph set to go in the Grade 2, $300,000 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Prairie Meadows in Iowa on Saturday; Waupaca for the $50,000 Independence Handicap at Louisiana Downs on Monday; and Tickin' Okie for the $35,000-added Boomer Stakes at Fair Meadows in Tulsa, Okla., which is also on Saturday.

"Fourth of July weekend, everybody's running stakes, and you just hope you have horses that can run in them," said Von Hemel.

Cryptograph should be one of the top choices in the Cornhusker after finishing a nose back in second last out in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap. Waupaca could go favored in the Independence, while City Code, Twixy, and Tickin' Okie are all nice fits in their stakes Saturday.

As for Queena Corrina, she opened up a new slate of options with her win in the Miller Lite. The race was her first start in a turf sprint, and she closed with a rush to capture the five-furlong race with authority under Don Pettinger.

"I think between Remington, Louisiana Downs, and Retama, we'll ship around for turf stakes," said Von Hemel. "This gives us another spot to look at distance-wise."

Among the upcoming turf races Queena Corrina could run in are the $40,000 Adena Springs Matchmaker at five furlongs at Remington on Aug. 5; the $50,000 Sangue Handicap at 7 1/2 furlongs at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 15; and the $40,000 Ricks Memorial at one mile at Remington on Sept. 5.

The Miller Lite was Queena Corrina's second stakes win at the Lone Star meet. She won the Irving Distaff at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf in April.

Victory Lap likely for Oaks

Victory Lap, who won her fourth straight race last month when she captured the $50,000 Chapel Belle at Louisiana Downs, is one of the early probables for the Lone Star Oaks, said Mike Shamburg, stakes coordinator at Lone Star. Others he is expecting for the race include Ready to Live, Stormin Gold, and Twixy.

The Oaks will be run over 1 1/16 miles on turf, and will share a card with the Alysheba, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds. Shamburg said the early Alysheba probables are City Code, Logan's Draw, Munificence, and War Bridle. He said Razor is possible for the race. In his last start, Razor won the $100,000 Matt Winn at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen.

A horse whisperer at Lone Star

Chris Cox, a renowned horseman who conducts clinics on working with all breeds of horses, was at Lone Star last week to work with an unraced 3-year-old named Sly Stag. Cox worked with the horse in the starting gate, and the session was taped and will be shown on an upcoming episode of Cox's new weekly television program, "Chris Cox Horsemanship," on RFD-TV. The airdate is scheduled to be sometime in August, said Joe Astling, who trains Sly Stag.

Sly Stag had experienced some difficulties when schooling in the starting gate. The horse would load, but became a handful when it was time to close him up in the gate. Astling is a friend of Cox's father, and contacted Chris Cox about working with Sly Stag.

"He wanted to do something at the racetrack with a Thoroughbred, and I thought this might be a good candidate," said Astling. "When he got through with him, he was a completely different horse."

Cox worked two hours with Sly Stag, who will probably make his debut at Retama Park. Cox was raised in Australia, and gives clinics at his farm in Weatherford, Texas.

* Lone Star will race six straight days this week, from Wednesday night through Monday. There is a special first-race post of 5 p.m. Central on Sunday. Following the races there will be a fireworks program. First post on Monday is 1:35 p.m. Following the extended raceweek, racing at Lone Star will resume on Friday, July 8.

* Explosive Green, who has won two of his last three starts, appears to be the one to catch Wednesday night in the featured eighth race, a one-mile turf allowance that carries an optional claiming price of $50,000. Luis Quinonez comes in from Louisiana Downs to ride for trainer Cody Autrey. Others in the competitive field are Cajole, who edged Explosive Green when the two last met on June 11, Wagon Road, Mr. Joe C, Kool Humor, and Notable Okie.

* Roman Chapa, who is the second-leading rider at Lone Star, began a 10-day suspension for a May 26 riding infraction on Tuesday. His suspension will run through July 7.

* Jockey Casey Lambert won four races Saturday.