||Pyc Paint Your Wagon Voted Lone Star's
Horse of the Meeting
Pyc Paint Your Wagon, the eye-popping
winner of Saturday's $1 million Texas Classic Futurity, was voted Lone
Star Park at Grand Prairie's Horse of the Meeting and Champion 2-Year-Old
Male for the 2005 Fall Meeting of Champions on Sunday by select media
and racing officials.
Pyc Paint Your Wagon, owned and bred by Michael Pohl and trained by Hall
of Famer Jack Brooks, dominated Texas' richest horse race with ease under
Jacky Martin, covering 400 yards in :19.73, good for a half-length triumph
over the promising Automatically. Prior to that, the 2-year-old son of
Corona Cartel was the fastest of 120 juveniles in 13 trial races Nov.
12. At the 33-night meet which concluded Sunday, he was a perfect 2-for-2
and earned a meet-best $436,579.
Other champions were Classic Chevrolet Heartbeat of American winner and
co-Refrigerator Handicap champ Fredericksburg (Champion Older Male); Texas
Classic Derby champ First Comment (Champion 3-Year-Old Male); Rheudasil
Handicap winner and Texas Classic Derby third Si Puede (Champion 3-Year-Old
Female); Lone Star Park Distance Championship winner Friends Rare Form
(Champion Distance Horse); Kool Kue Baby Handicap winner Athena Raquel
(Champion Older Female) and Dash For Cash Futurity third Shaken Easy Dash
(Champion 2-Year-Old Female). Ima Kat Man and Romping Texas Five, a pair
of three-time winners at the meet, tied for Champion Claiming Horse honors.
Acuna, Brooks Lead Trainers, Jockeys; Maddox, Owens Tie for Leading
Jeff Acuna, who conditioned First Comment to a victory in the Grade 1
Texas Classic Derby on Friday night, clinched his first career training
title Sunday after finishing the season atop the Lone Star trainer standings
with 18 victories. Two-time local training champ Toby Keeton was second
(14 wins) and Jesse Yoakum was third (12 wins).
It was a dream meet for 41-year-old Acuna (b. Sept. 9, 1964), a full-time
trainer for the past 18 years. He has been a conditioner for First Comment's
owner/breeder J. Wes Owens for more than a decade and lives on his farm
in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Owens, who tied A.D. Maddox for Lone Star's leading owner title with
nine wins each, has been involved in horse racing for 28 years. It's his
primary business, but he also dabbles in real estate management.
"Wes and I have been together for about 15 years, and this was definitely
a dream meeting together," Acuna said. "Wes is just a great
owner; he lets the horse tell you where to run him. The Texas Classic
Derby was our biggest win together. We've always had some good horses
and done well, but Wes always told me that the 'Big One' was coming. Well,
it's here. This was just an awesome meet. It's an honor and it feels really
Meanwhile, the leading jockey honors went to "Diamond Jim"
Brooks who is apparently chugging from the Fountain of Youth. At age 54
(b. June 24, 1951), Brooks dominated his younger rivals with 47 trips
to the winner's circle, 10 more than runner-up Rodrigo Vallejo. It was
his second consecutive riding title after taking the championship at Sam
Houston Race Park this summer. Prior to that, his only other career title
came at Idaho's Les Bois Park in 1973.
Fredericksburg Wins Shake for Champions of Champions Berth
Jim and Marilyn Helzer's Fredricksburg won a shake over Vals Fortune
to earn a berth in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions on Dec.
10 at Los Alamitos in Cypress, Calif.
"I talked to Mr. Helzer after his horse won the shake and he was
very excited," said Los Alamitos Racing Secretary Ron Church, who
conducted the shake. "He's looking forward to running his horse in
the Champion of Champions."
The Helzers are no strangers to winning the world's most prestigious
race for older Quarter Horses. The Helzers campaigned the legendary Refrigerator,
the sport's all-time leading money earner and a record three-time winner
of the Champion of Champions. The stallion Fredericksburg was purchased
privately last week by his new owners.
A shake was needed after Fredricksburg and Vals Fortune finished in a
dead-heat for first in the 440-yard Refrigerator Handicap at Lone Star
Park on Friday night. The Refrigerator awards its winner a berth into
the Champion of Champions. Since there was a dead-heat, Champion of Champions
rules state that a shake had conducted. If the winner of the shake opts
to bypass the Champion of Champions, that berth will go to Texas Chatterbox,
who posted the sixth fastest time in the Z. Wayne Griffin Director's Trials.
As it stands, here's the Champion of Champions field: Apollitical Time,
Apollos Favorite, Catchmeinyourdreams, DM Shicago, Fredricksburg, Lds
Dash For Dylan, Like Frankie And Me, Ocean Runaway, Righteous Brother
Try Putting a Horse Under the Tree This Christmas
Can't decide what to buy friends and family for Christmas? How about
a racehorse? Two horse sales are scheduled at Lone Star Park in Grand
Prairie, Texas before the Christmas holiday.
On Saturday, Dec. 3 at noon, the Eclipse Sale Company will stage its
first Eclipse Fall Mixed Sale, featuring more than 150 American Quarter
Horses, Thoroughbreds and Paint horses, ranging from weanlings to broodmares
to stallions and horses of racing age.
A week later on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m., Fasig-Tipton will conduct
the final North American Thoroughbred sale of the year with a catalogue
of 277 for the Texas Mixed Sale, mainly comprised of broodmares, weanlings
Horses featured at the Texas Mixed Sale include daughters of sires such
as Black Tie Affair, Carson City, Deputy Minister, Notebook, Riverman,
Runaway Groom, Silver Deputy, Time for a Change and Tom Rolfe. The covering
sires are an equally qualified list of stallions and include Congaree,
Ecton Park, Magic Cat and Valid Expectations. Weanlings and yearlings
will be offered by nationally-noted sires Grindstone, Honour and Glory,
Lost Soldier, Langfuhr, Millennium Wind, Richter Scale and Talk Is Money.
There is also strong representation from Southwest stallions such as Afternoon
Deelites, Captain Countdown, Exciting Story, Gold Legend, Magic Cat, Open
Forum, Seneca Jones, Storm Day, Time Bandit, Touch Tone and Valid Expectations.
Early entries to the Eclipse Fall Mixed Sale include horses by mares
bred to such stallions as Chicks Beduino, Streakin Six, Takin On The Cash,
Leaving Memories, Southern Cartel, Feature Mr Jess, This Snow Is Royal,
Truxton King, Rare Form, Magic Dozen, Splash Bac, Raise A Secret, Strawfly
Special, Heza Fast Man, Invisible Injun, Fishers Dash, Sixarun, Easily
Smashed, Royal Sovereign, Easy Winning Jet, Texas Hero, First Down Dash,
Mr Eye Opener, Reckless Dash, Dash Thru Traffic, Toast To Dash and Seperatist.
Live Racing Returns to Lone Star Park Thursday, April 13, 2006
Live horse racing will return to Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie and
North Texas on Thursday, April 13, 2006 for the 10th annual Spring Thoroughbred
Season, a 66-date season over 15 weeks through July 23.
The Spring Thoroughbred Season will feature live racing five days a week
for the first six weeks of the meeting (Wednesday through Sunday through
May 20), then just four days a week for the remainder of the meeting (Thursday
through Sunday starting May 25). There will be special holiday racing
on Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day), Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4 (Independence
Day). Because of those holiday programs, there will be no live racing
on Thursday, June 1 and Thursday, July 6.
The ninth Fall Meeting of Champions for American Quarter Horses will
be a 32-date meeting from Friday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Dec. 2. Racing
will be staged for nine weeks every Wednesday through Saturday night.
There will be no live racing on Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Thursday, Nov.
23 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.