06/23/2008 11:00PM

Wrenice targets Turf Amazon


Wrenice has long been one of the Southwest's best dirt sprinters, but Saturday in an allowance sprint at Lone Star Park she opened up a new world of options when she won on turf for the first time. Now, trainer Randy Mayfield is plotting a campaign to get her to the $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap for fillies and mares at five furlongs on turf at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 27.

"How we do it, we don't know yet," said Mayfield, who trains Wrenice, a seven-time stakes winner of more than $400,000, for Stewart Hamblen. "We're working on it."

Wrenice has three next-race options in the region. Mayfield said he would nominate her to the $50,000 Lone Star Park Turf Sprint on July 5, a five-furlong race in which she would face males. Mayfield said his other options are the $50,000 Allen Bogan Memorial, a one-mile race for Texas-bred for fillies and mares at Lone Star on July 12, or the $75,000 Hallowed Dreams Breeders' Cup at 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt at Louisiana Downs on July 19. From there, the $50,000 Adena Springs Matchmaker Turf Sprint at Remington Park on Aug. 23 could serve as Wrenice's final bridge to the Turf Amazon.

"It's a little hot, so I don't want to really [ship] that far right now," Mayfield said, "then we'll roll with her."

Wrenice had made one other start on turf prior to her win Saturday, finishing fourth in the $45,000 Selma for 3-year-olds fillies at Retama Park last October. She stumbled badly at the start of that five-furlong race, which was restricted to Texas-breds. Saturday, she broke well, rated nicely off the pace, and won by 2 1/2 lengths under Anthony Lovato. Wrenice covered five furlongs in a quick 55.80 seconds and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 84.

Peppers Pride back to work Thursday

Peppers Pride, who has won all 16 of her starts to share North America's modern mark for consecutive wins with Cigar, Citation, Hallowed Dreams, and Mister Frisky, is scheduled to work Thursday at Ruidoso Downs, according to trainer Joel Marr.

Peppers Pride was freshened after winning her 16th race on April 26 at SunRay Park in Farmington, N.M. Her bid for a 17th consecutive win could come July 27 at Ruidoso in the $50,000 Lincoln Handicap for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares at six furlongs.

"That's a possibility, but not a definite," Marr said.

Marr said an alternate game plan would be for Peppers Pride to run in either October or November at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M. She won the Lincoln last year and is a multiple stakes winner at Zia.

Marr said Peppers Pride enjoyed her freshening following the $75,000 Foutz Distaff at SunRay. She was stabled at a training center facility outside of Sunland Park, which is near El Paso, Texas.

"She got to relax, stay out in the sun some," Marr said. "She's doing good."

Peppers Pride has been settled in at Ruidoso for the about three weeks, Marr said. A 5-year-old mare, she has earned $861,665 for her breeder, Joe Allen.

Tortuga Flats waiting for Matchmaker

Tortuga Flats, who improved her turf record to 9 for 10 with a gutsy head win over Emma Grace in an allowance at Lone Star on Sunday, is scheduled to make her next start on the Louisiana Downs Champions Day program, trainer Ralph Irwin said. She is being pointed for the $100,000 Walmac Farm Matchmaker for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf on Aug. 2.

Tortuga Flats is a multiple stakes winner on dirt, but began racing on turf on a regular basis in May 2007. Her preference for the surface became evident after a work on the grass, Irwin said.

"The first time she worked over it, you just knew," he said. "She's just two different horses."

Tortuga Flats has won 14 of 22 starts for John Balensiefen and has earned $456,940. Tortuga Straits, her half-brother who is 7 for 12 with earnings of $420,200, won an Evangeline Downs allowance earlier this month with a career-best Beyer of 95. He is being pointed for the $100,000 Junius Delahoussaye Memorial Sprint at Evangeline on July 4, Irwin said.

Quarter Horses return to Sam Houston

Sam Houston will open its Quarter Horse meet Thursday night, and the season will run through Sept. 13. The track will race on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The stakes schedule is highlighted by the Grade 1, $300,000-estimated Sam Houston Futurity for Quarter Horses Sept. 5.

Sam Houston also will feature a series of concerts during the meet. They will be held in the infield area. The first concerts feature country artists Robert Earl Keen on Friday and John Michael Montgomery on Saturday.