World's Shortest Stakes Race Guaranteed to be Twice as Good Saturday Night at Lone Star Park

(Thursday, 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 races.

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 Night

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 the field.

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.

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