||$50,000 Premiere Stakes Kicks Off Lone
Star Park's Opening Week Thursday Night at 6:35 p.m.; Concerts, Easter Egg
Hunt Slated for Weekend
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's
10th Spring Thoroughbred Season launches its much-anticipated 66-date
run Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. when 11 older Texas-breds travel one mile
in the traditional first race of the meeting - the $50,000 Premiere Stakes.
The Premiere is the first of 37 stakes cumulatively worth $3.8 million
this season. Racing highlights include five Grade III stakes events: the
$300,000 Texas Mile (April 29), $300,000 Walmac Lone Star Derby (May 13),
$400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap and $200,000 WinStar Distaff (May 29)
and $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup (June 17).
Agrivating General, the 7-year-old gelding who was a back-to-back winner
of the Premiere in 2003-04, was installed as the 2-1 morning favorite
this year. Last year, he finished third behind 15-1 longshot winner Rare
Cure, who like Agriviating General, is competing in the Premiere for an
amazing fourth straight year. No horses had ever competed in the Premiere
more than three times - a true measure of Agrivating General (a $350,085
earner) and Rare Cure's ($512,410) durability.
Trainer Danny Pish has secured Roman Chapa to ride Agrivating General
for the first time since last April. A victory by Agrivating General would
be his first since June 2004. He's finished second three times and third
four times in his last 14 starts, but an expected fast pace in the early
stages of Thursday's race should benefit his come-from-behind style.
Here's the Premiere field from the rail out (with jockeys, trainer and
morning line odds): Andanight (Omar Rodriguez, Juan Rivera, 12-1), The
Frac (Bobby Walker Jr., Joe Petalino, 12-1), Bullet Crane (R Chirinos,
Brent Davidson, 30-1), Senor Amigo (Glen Murphy, Steve Asmussen, 10-1),
Agrivating General (Roman Chapa, Danny Pish, 2-1), Corpus Sand (Quincy
Hamilton, Gerald Romero, 5-2), Rare Cure (Larry Taylor, Petalino, 6-1),
Loup Longshanks (R Eramia, Bill Pettit, 8-1), Giant Bellyache (Jeremy
Collier, Pettit, 8-1), Rhodif (Justin Shepherd, Jim Hudson, 20-1) and
Lightsnatcher (Jamie Theriot, Cole Norman, 8-1).
A total of 97 horses were entered to run on Thursday's 10-race program.
Grandstand gates will open early at 4:30 p.m. Following jockey introductions
on the main track, a presentation of the nation's colors and singing of
the "National Anthem" and "God Bless America," horses
will break from the starting gate at the regular weeknight post time of
6:35 p.m. CT (gates regularly open at 5 p.m.). Weekend and holiday action
will begin at 1:35 p.m. CT (gates at 11:30 a.m.). After opening weekend,
racing will be conducted five days a week, every Wednesday-Sunday, through
May 21. After that, racing will be held four days a week, every Thursday-Sunday.
All fans that enter Lone Star Park's admission gates before 6:15 p.m.
Thursday night will receive an entry blank for a chance to win a $250
dinner for two at Bob's Steak & Chop House if they can correctly select
the Premiere Stakes winner. The promotion kicks off a four-day week to
celebrate the track's 10th season.
There's tremendous buzz about Lone Star's two post-race country music
concerts on Friday and Saturday. Fast climbing star Chris Cagle, who recently
notched his eighth hit single with "Miss Me Baby," will take
to a specially constructed stage near the racetrack after Friday's 10th
and final race at approximately 11 p.m. Following Saturday's 11-race program,
Jason Boland & The Stragglers will perform for about an hour starting
at 6:30 p.m., followed by two-time Grammy winner Lee Ann Womack. Both
concerts are included in the $3 general admission to the races, but the
price will increase to $15 after 9 p.m. Friday and after 5 p.m. Saturday.
Live racing and music is nothing new to Lone Star. There will be other
performances between races in the outdoor Courtyard of Champions all weekend,
as well as every Friday and Saturday at the meet. The Project will perform
from 7-11 p.m. Thursday. Zane Lewis renews Lone Star's popular Friday
night "Party at the Park" tradition (with $1.75 Bud Light cans)
from 7-11 p.m. Meanwhile, Scott Whitaker and The Factory are scheduled
to perform Saturday and Sunday, respectively, from 12-4 p.m.
Sunday's nine-race Easter program is complimented by arguably the largest
Easter Egg Hunt in North Texas. More than 30,000 eggs filled with candy,
toys, Six Flags Over Texas tickets and even iPod Shuffles will be scattered
throughout the lawn area near the top of the stretch from 12-4 p.m. There
will be three hunts for children 10 and under (ages 5 and under, 6-8 and
9-10). Other festivities include bounce houses, balloon animals, pony
rides, a petting zoo, games and appearances by The Easter Bunny, Tommy
Pickles and Angelica of the Rugrats and clowns.
Also, all attendees on Saturday and Sunday will receive a free Lone Star
Park magnetic schedule, presented by Budweiser, while supplies last.
Customers will notice new state-of-the-art wagering terminals at the racetrack,
thanks to a new partnership with the tote provider AmTote. An upgraded
infield tote board that showcases additional information such as win,
place and show pools and a new information board also was recently installed.
Lone Star also has a new customer rewards program. "Star Player
Rewards" was launched in mid-January and more than 5,300 individuals
have already signed up to earn points for rewards. Members receive a discounted
$1 general admission and can earn points for discounts and special offers
through wagering as well as food and beverage and Gift Shop purchases.
They're also eligible for exclusive contests, giveaways, private parties
and e-mail communications (if desired). Points are monitored and coupons
are redeemed at five conveniently located Star Player Rewards kiosks located
in the Grandstand and Post Time Pavilion. Customers who join the free
program receive a membership card just minutes after completing an application
and presenting a valid Driver's License in person at Lone Star Park.
For more information, call (972) 263-RACE or log onto lonestarpark.com.