|Bold Bucephalus Scores Big in Graham
(Saturday, October 25, 2003) -
Bold Bucephalus, part of a favored entry from owners Charles Trochta
and Sam Hester, turned in a powerhouse performance on Saturday night,
taking the Grade 1, $100,000 Graham Paint Futurity by one measured
length in front of a Breeders’ Cup day crowd of 8,717 at Lone
Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
“He slipped a little bit in the trial,” jockey Larry
Payne said. “So I knew if he stood up there and got a good
go at them, he’d be real tough on the end.”
This time, Bold Bucephalus got away on top from Post No. 9 and
never looked back, though he did appear to lose focus after clearing
the field in midstretch.
“I tapped him one time and he went right back to work for
me and just drew off from them,” Payne said.
Bold Bucephalus finished in a tailwind-aided time of :17.84, three-hundredths
of a second off the stakes record.
Bold Bucephalus became the fifth winner of this race sired by Texas
Hero. The win was especially sweet for Hester, who bred and trains
“This baby, we raised him,” Hester said. “We
owned his mother [Bold Aldebaran], a Quarter [Horse] mare. I always
thought Texas Hero was a great horse. I tried to outrun him one
time with a mare we have.”
The Graham Paint Futurity is restricted to progeny of breeder Herbert
Graham’s five stallions. Nine of this year’s 10 finalists
were sired by Texas Hero.
Bold Bucephalus paid $4.60 on a $2 win bet and earned the winner’s
share of $52,091 in his first stakes appearance.
The other nine horses in the field all finished within one length
of each other. Tushkas Texan pulled out the second-place finish,
a neck ahead of Friona. The final order was completed by Town Painter,
Ima Texas Rebel, Snafols Hero, Nee O Got See, Diamonds N Jets, fastest
qualifier Shero and Ima Solid Hero.
Earlier on the card, odds-on favorite Gone Celebrating finished
strong to take the Restricted Grade 3 Classic Chevrolet Heartbeat
of America Handicap by a neck over classy veteran Turfinator. With
Juan Vazquez in the saddle for trainer John Buchanan, the 4-year-old
won his fourth consecutive stakes, covering the 350 yards in a swift
Gone Celebrating broke alertly and rated just behind the early
leaders before hitting his best stride late in the race.
“The first three hundred yards I thought we were going to
have a hard time catching [Turfinator], but my horse made another
gear,” Vazquez said.
Buchanan likewise was impressed with the way his horse finished.
“He ran a picture-perfect race,” the trainer said.
“He started to draw out on the end. He just likes to win and
he’s gotten really good at it. Our horse is really on top
of his game right now and he doesn’t make many mistakes. He
just likes what he’s doing.”
Past Lone Star Park stakes winner Turfinator, a 7-year-old gelding,
was overlooked by bettors at 11-1 and nearly pulled off the upset,
but could not quite hold off his younger rival. It was another neck
back to second choice Midnitraintogeorgia in third, followed by
Hesa Lil Bit High, Gotabenuts, Hesa Royal Remedy and Randys Pop
The $15,250 winner’s share of the $25,000 purse raised Gone
Celebrating’s earnings to $147,514. A $2 win ticket on Bobby
Cox’s gelding returned $3.80.
Gone Celebrating will run next in the Grade 2 Refrigerator Handicap
on Nov. 28.
In the evening’s first race, Seek N Destroy cruised to a
monster 7 ¾-length win in the $15,000 Grand Prairie Classic
at 870 yards.
“I knew he had some speed; he showed that last time,”
jockey Danny Lavergne said. “The first jump we kind of slipped
a little bit, but he recovered real well. He just did what he does
The 3-year-old gelding led at every call and, with the aid of a
strong tailwind, stopped the timer in a stakes-record :44.85, less
than 3/5 of a second off the track record of :44.27 set by the legendary
Sign of Lanty in 2000. Go Easy Snow finished second, a neck ahead
of longshot Scramblin Man.
Trained by James Gerhards, the victorious post time favorite returned
$4.60 on a $2 win bet. The $8,550 winner’s share of the purse
increased Seek N Destroy’s earnings to $34,666.