05/14/2008 12:00AM

Wind Water figures difficult to catch

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Wind Water, who has done most of his racing in California, was moved into this region for the sprint stakes program. His first objective of the Lone Star Park meet comes up Friday night in the $50,000 Ford Express. Wind Water will meet six others in the six-furlong race, including stakes winners Orphan Brigade and Sing Baby Sing.

Wind Water is the one to catch. He has won his last two starts wire to wire, both at Sunland Park. Wind Water captured the $50,000 Bill Thomas Memorial by 4 3/4 lengths March 15, then one start later won an allowance by three lengths April 15.

“He’s just been running lights out his last couple of races, and he’s been running fast,” said Chris Hartman, who trains Wind Water for Adam Lewis. “He’s just been a tick off the track record in his last couple of starts.”

Wind Water won the 5 1/2-furlong allowance in a blazing 1:01.80 after setting fractions of 21.20 seconds for the opening quarter and 43.60 for the half-mile. His strategy is simple for the Ford Express.

“He’s just fast,” Hartman said. “He takes it to them early and keeps trucking.”

Ken Tohill, who was the leading Thoroughbred rider at Sunland, will come in to ride Wind Water. Lewis claimed the horse for $62,500 at Del Mar last August, and after winning stakes races with him at Fairplex and Bay Meadows, he sent him to Hartman in New Mexico. To date, Wind Water has won 15 races and $609,351.

Orphan Brigade is moving back to dirt after winning a five-furlong turf allowance at Lone Star in his most recent start, May 3. The last time he ran on the main track, he won an $80,000 optional claiming race at Oaklawn in February. Orphan Brigade set the pace at six furlongs and won by a neck over Indian Chant, who last week won a $100,000 optional claiming sprint at Churchill Downs with a Beyer Speed Figure of 103. Bret Calhoun trains Orphan Brigade and has given the mount to Cliff Berry.

Sing Baby Sing is making his first start since Dec. 1, when he was second in the $75,000 Governor’s Cup at 1 1/16 miles at Remington Park. Before that race, he won the $75,000 Remington Park Sprint Championship at seven furlongs on Oct. 21. Sing Baby Sing shows some sharp works for his return, including a bullet five furlongs in 59.60 seconds here April 30. Trainer Jack Bruner has given the mount to Justin Shepherd.