Fall Meeting of Champions Returns to LSP on October 4

(Tuesday, August 27, 2002) - Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie will stage 36 stakes events, including six Grade 1 events which comprise the 10th annual MBNA America Challenge Championships, during its 2002 Fall Meeting of Champions for American Quarter Horses. The 33-night meeting will run Friday, October 4, through Saturday, November 30.

Racing will be conducted four nights a week, Wednesday through Saturday, for nine weeks at the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack. The first live race will be 6:35 p.m., with the exception of Saturday, October 26 (Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day) when live racing will begin 1 1/2 hours early at 5 p.m. In addition, there will be no live racing on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 28).

Lone Star Park's Fall Meeting of Champions is one of the most popular American Quarter Horse race meetings in the country, thanks to annual lucrative purses. This year will be no exception as the stakes menu is expected to total nearly $3.5 million.

Once again, the richest race of the season will be decided on closing day. The estimated $1 million Texas Classic Futurity, a 400-yard dash for 2-year-olds, is the richest horse race in Texas and one of a dozen Grade 1 races at the meeting.

Other Grade 1 events on the calendar include the estimated $450,000 Dash For Cash Futurity for 2-year-olds at 400 yards (Saturday, October 19), the estimated $400,000 Texas Classic Derby for 3-year-olds at 440 yards (Friday, November 29) and the estimated $150,000 Dash For Cash Derby for 3-year-olds at 400 yards (Friday, October 18).

The remaining Grade 1 events for American Quarter Horses comprise the MBNA America Challenge Championships, American Quarter Horse Racing's equivalent to Thoroughbred racing's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Lone Star Park will host the MBNAs for the third time in five years on Saturday, November 2. Showcased on the stellar night of racing will be the $300,000 MBNA America for 3-year-olds and up at the classic distance of 440 yards, the $175,000 Bayer Legend Derby for 3-year-olds at 400 yards, the $150,000 American Airlines Juvenile for 2-year-olds at 350 yards, the $75,000 Ford Distaff for fillies and mares at 400 yards and the $75,000 MCI WorldCom for 3-year-olds and up at the marathon distance of 870 yards.

In addition, there are Grade 1 races for Paint Horses and Appaloosas. The estimated $100,000 Graham Paint Futurity for 2-year-old Paint Horses at 350 yards will be run Friday, October 25. The $10,000 Olympia Joe Lone Star Paint and Appaloosa Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 400 yards will be held Saturday, October 26 - one of five stakes to be run that night following a simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships from Arlington Park in Chicago.

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