|Ronas Wind Dancer Takes Classic Chevrolet Heartbeat of America Handicap on Opening Night of Lone Star Park's 32-Day Fall Meeting
(Friday, October 5, 2007) - Nine-year-old gelding Ronas
Wind Dancer kicked home strongly down the center of the racetrack
to beat 2-1 favorite Hesa Lil Bit High by a head in Friday night's
$30,000 Classic Chevrolet Heartbeat of America Handicap.
The victory in the restricted Grade 3 event came before a large
crowd of 5,569 on opening night of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's
32-date Fall Meeting of Champions for American Quarter Horses.
Owned and bred by Sheri Rosinski, Ronas Wind Dancer ran 350 yards
in :18.032. Russel Hadley rode the winner for trainer Jesse Yoakum,
who also saddled Turfinator to win the 2002 Classic Chevrolet Heartbeat
of America Handicap.
Ronas Wind Dancer paid $13.60 to win as the 5-1 third betting choice
in a field of 10 older Texas-breds.
This is the first time this year that he out-finished Hesa Lil
Bit High. The two finished in a dead heat for second in the $50,500
Barmaster Sprint Stakes at Sam Houston in July. The month before,
Hesa Lil Bit High finished second in the $24,750 Stephen F. Austin
Stakes while Ronas Wind Dancer was third.
Ronas Wind Dancer, a son of Ronas Ryon out of the Easy Dozen mare
Plain But Fast, collected his 13th career win and second lifetime
stakes triumph. The $17,100 winner's share of the purse jumped his
earnings to $161,415 in 50 career starts.
Lone Star's final attendance was the largest opening night crowd
since 2002 and a 35.8% increase from the 4,101 last in 2006.
Live racing continues Saturday at 6:35 p.m. CT with an 11-race
program, topped by the 11th running of the Grade 1, $100,000 Refrigerator
Handicap. The winner of the 440-yard classic will earn a berth in
the $1 million Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Dec. 15.
The program also will showcase marathoners in the $17,500 Red River
Handicap over 870 yards.
Lone Star Park's Post Time Pavilion will open at 10:25 a.m. CT
for simulcast wagering. Major graded stakes races across the country
Saturday include the Thoroughbred Club of America (Keeneland Race
5 at 2:35 p.m. CT); Phoenix (Keeneland Race 6); Champagne (Belmont
Race 7 at 3:30 p.m. CT); First Lady (Keeneland Race 7 at 3:45 p.m.
CT); Frizette (Belmont Park Race 8 at 4:02 p.m. CT); Lane's End
Breeders' Futurity (Keeneland Race 8 at 4:15 p.m. CT); Jamaica Handicap
(Belmont Park Race 9 at 4:34 p.m. CT); Safely Kept (Laurel Park
Race 10 at 4:37 p.m. CT); Shadwell Turf Mile (Keeneland Race 9 at
4:45 p.m. CT); Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (Santa
Anita Race 9 at 6:47 p.m. CT); and Indiana Derby (Hoosier Park Race
9 at 8:50 p.m. CT).
On Sunday, Lone Star Park will open early at 8:30 a.m. for a simulcast
of four races from France's Longchamp, headed by the Group 1, $2.8
million Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Longchamp Race 6 at 9:40 a.m.
CT). Other top races on Sunday include the Jerome Handicap (Belmont
Park Race 9 at 4:12 p.m. CT); Juddmonte Spinster (Keeneland Race
9 at 4:15 p.m. CT); Lady's Secret Handicap (Santa Anita Race 5 at
4:30 p.m. CT); Oak Tree Mile (Santa Anita Race 6 at 5 p.m. CT);
and Ancient Title Handicap (Santa Anita Race 7 at 5:30 p.m. CT).