|World's Shortest Stakes Race Guaranteed
to be Twice as Good Saturday Night at Lone Star Park
November 3, 2005) - The world's shortest stakes race - Lone
Star Park's $15,000 Gridiron Gallop at 100 yards for American Quarter
Horses - will be twice as good in 2006. Because of an overflow of
entries, racing officials at the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack
opted to split the popular race into two divisions when it's staged
for the sixth year on Saturday night.
The Gridiron Gallop is one of five stakes races on Lone Star's
13-race card that begins at 5 p.m. CT. The others are the $20,000
JEH Stallion Station Handicap - a 550-yard test for 3-year-olds
and up - and two divisions of the $15,000-added Mandolynn Hill Farm
Stallion Stakes for Arabians at seven furlongs.
Twenty horses will dash 100 yards Saturday. Apollo by Em, a winner
in four of 11 starts and third last time in the Burnett Handicap
on Oct. 15, is the 2-to-1 morning line favorite in the first division
of 10 three-year-olds and up. The second division includes Shake
Em White, the 3-to-1 early choice who won the race in 2003 and prevailed
in a 250-yard allowance last Friday.
Traditionally, the Gridiron Gallop has been run in just a little
more than six seconds. The stakes and track record of :06.41 was
set during the inaugural 1999 running by The Pies On Me.
The demanding 550-yard JEH Stallion Station Handicap (Race 12 at
9:57 p.m. CT) lured a field of eight, including multiple stakes
winner Magic Jess Perry from the Leslie Padilla barn. The 5-year-old
gelding who won three consecutive stakes at Manor Downs and Retama
Park - including the 550-yard Tower of the Americas Handicap in
May - is the 5-to-2 morning line favorite.
Trainer Greg Ketter has both favorites for the Mandolynn Hill Farm
Stallion Stakes. AF Guenivere is the 9-to-5 choice in the fillies
heat (Race 5 at 6:48 p.m. CT), while Nordik Star, at 9-to-5, heads
the colts and geldings division. Amanda Crandall, Cathleen Garner
and Edwin Maldanado-Alicea, a trio of jockeys often seen during
Lone Star's Spring Thoroughbred Season, have mounts in the Arabian
On Friday night, the James Limbaugh-trained You R My Sunshine,
a 4-year-old filly, is the mild 3-1 favorite in the 10-horse Olympia
Joe Lone Star Paint and Appaloosa Handicap, a 400-yard race with
a $10,000-added purse.
MBNA America Challenge Championships Simulcast Saturday
Saturday's 13-race live program at Lone Star Park also will feature
a simulcast of the 13th MBNA America Challenge Championships - six
championships events for American Quarter Horses, including five
Grade 1 races and seven undercard stakes totaling $1.1 million -
from Los Alamitos in Cypress, Calif.
The centerpiece is the Grade 1, $300,000 MBNA America Challenge
Championship for 3-year-olds and up at 440 yards (Race 9 at 11:42
p.m. CT). Catchmeinyourdreams, the winner of back-to-back graded
stakes including the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship, was made
the even-money favorite in the field of 10 that includes Heath Taylor's
MBNA America Texas Challenge hero Fast Talkin Val (3-to-1), 440-yard
world record holder (:20.68) A Long Goodbye (9-to-2) and defending
champ SLM Snowman (6-to-1).
Lds Dash For Dylan (7-to-5) and Tell Em Im Gone (2-to-1) headline
the Grade 1, $175,000 Bayer Derby Challenge Championship for 3-year-olds
at 400 yards (Race 10 at 12:06 a.m. CT). Joe Kirk Fulton's Hez Habit
Forming (20-to-1), fourth in the Dash For Cash Derby, is also in
Trainer Paul Jones' undefeated Snowbound Sapphire (5-to-2) will
break from the outside in post No. 10 in the Grade 1, $150,000 Ford
Juvenile Challenge Championship for 2-year-olds at 350 yards (Race
8 at 11:18 p.m. CT).
Durable 6-year-old mare Mini Rock, who has finished among the top
three in 27 of 32 starts, will try to avenge an uncharacteristic
fifth last time out when she starts as the even-money choice in
the Grade 1, $100,000 John Deere Distaff Challenge Championship
for fillies and mares at 400 yards (Race 7 at 10:54 p.m. CT).
Undefeated in six trips at 870 yards, Prankster Cf, a 4-year-old
gelding by 1997 Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, is
heavily favored (2-to-5) in the Grade 1, $100,000 MD Barns Distance
Challenge Championship (Race 11 at 12:30 a.m. CT).
Delta Force Magic (5-to-2), another Taylor trainee, tops the entries
for the $75,000 Professional Choice Claiming Challenge Championship,
a 350-yard test for 3-year-olds and up (Race 6 at 10:30 p.m. CT).
Los Al's third race is named in honor of Lone Star Park, host of
the next MBNA America Challenge Championships on Oct. 28, 2006.
It will mark the fourth time Lone Star has hosted Quarter Horse
racing's premier night of racing.
Lone Star's first live race Saturday is 5 p.m. CT and the first
of 13 simulcasts from Los Alamitos is 8:30 p.m. CT.
DOWN THE STRETCH - No one had all six
winners on Thursday's Pick 6 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, creating
a giant two-day pot of $366,827 for Friday...There will be two special
Election Day simulcasts on Tuesday. New York's Aqueduct will begin
racing at 11:30 a.m. CT and Kentucky's Churchill Downs will start
at 11:40 a.m. CT. Lone Star's Post Time Pavilion will open for simulcast
wagering that day at 10:30 a.m.