Special Sign Wins Fourth Straight and Qualifies with Best Time in Lone Star Paint & Appaloosa Futurity Trials

(Grand Prairie, Texas - Thursday, October 21, 2010) - The Painted Pitchfork’s Special Sign, trained by Dee Keener and ridden by Ricky Ramirez, extended his current winning streak to four in a row while becoming the fastest qualifier, with a time of 17.549 seconds for 350 yards, among the 27 competitors in the Lone Star Paint & Appaloosa Futurity trials over a fast track on Thursday night at Lone Star Park.  The Grade 1, $60,000 estimated Lone Star Paint & Appaloosa Futurity, for 2-year-olds, will be run on Friday, Nov. 5.

A sorrel gelded son of Special Leader (QH), Special Sign won the second of the three trials (Race 6) after breaking well from the gate then holding off the late charge of the second fastest qualifier Roddy Mac Sorley, also trained by Keener, to win by ½-length and earn a Speed Index of 98.

Besides the top two qualifiers, Keener will have three other entries in the finals with Flashing Memories, victor in the first trial (Race 5) who finished fourth overall, Valdarama, who qualified with the sixth fastest time, and the ninth quickest qualifier Prize Jive.  With two, trainer Luis Villafranco was the only other trainer with multiple qualifiers.

Among the jockeys, Ricky Ramirez rode three qualifiers and both David Alavarez and Jesus Salazar were aboard two of the fastest 10 runners each on Thursday night.

The complete list of the top 10 qualifiers with time, jockey and trainer in parenthesis for the Lone Star Paint & Appaloosa Futurity is:

Special Sign (17.549 Ricky Ramirez Dee Keener)
Roddy Mac Sorley (17.611 Jesus Salazar Dee Keener)
Northernete (17.633 David Alvarez Robert Touchet)
Flashing Memories (17.699 Ricky Ramirez Dee Keener)
Rockin to First (17.726 David Alvarez Robert Touchet)
Valdarama (17.733 G. R. Carter, Jr. Dee Keener)
The Cock of the Walk (17.751 Kenny Muntz Luis Villafranco)
Country Marauder (17.799 Jose Alvarez Gary Jacobs)
Prize Jive (17.811 Jesus Salazar Dee Keener)
Country Strummer (17.892 Ricky Ramirez Luis Villafranco)

With a time of 17.893, Jacis Flashy Girl missed qualifying by the smallest of margins, one one-thousandth (.001) of a second.

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