|Valiant Lil Lady Becomes First Filly Ever to Win the Grade 1, $1 Million Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park
(Grand Prairie, Texas - Saturday, November 10, 2012) - Valiant Lil Lady, trained by Judd Kearl and owned by Bryon Gardner of New Waverly, Texas, became the first filly to win the Grade 1, $1,00,000 Texas Classic Futurity in its 20 year history Saturday night at Lone Star Park.
With Cody Jensen in the irons, the Texas-bred filly (Valiant Hero-Rustys Lil Lady by Fredricksburg) was sharp from the gate and stayed strong to the finish covering the 400-yard distance in 19.616 seconds over a fast track, earning a speed index of 93. Big Boi finished a head behind in second, and it was another half-length back to the other Judd Kearl trainee, Pyc Kant Katch Me.
In taking home the top prize in the richest race in Texas horse racing, Valiant Lil Lady earned $432,533 to increase her career earnings to $485,163 and improved her race record to four wins from five starts.
Valiant Lil Lady paid $6.80, $4.80 and $2.60, Big Boi returned $10.80 and $7.80, and Pyc Kant Katch Me paid $4.80 to show. Cruisin Finish, Ronnie James, One Fast Wagon, Lethal Fortune, A Will and Away, Eyegotitgoinon and First Prize Shaunda completed the order of finish.
The Long Knife Upsets Favorite, All-Time Richest Ochoa in 20th Running of Grade 1, Texas Classic Derby
The Lone Knife owned by Steve Denny and trained by Dwayne "Sleepy" Gilbreath, put in a solid effort to upset all-time richest racing American Quarter Horse, Ochoa, also trained by Gilbreath, winning the 20th running of the Grade 1, $377,219 Texas Classic Derby over a fast track at Lone Star Park Saturday night.
Ridden by Ramon Sanchez, Texas-bred (Tac It Like a Man – Oodles of Cash by Hooked On Cash) broke sharp, dueled with second place finisher, Sarah Must and prevailed by three-quarters of a length completing the 440-yard assignment in 21.552 seconds earning a Speed Index of 92. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Texasindependencegal in third.
With the win, The Long Knife improved his record to three wins from 10 starts, and the $167,866 winner’s share of the purse increased his career earnings to $357,176.
The Long Knife paid $61.20, $19.40 and $10.20, runner-up Sarah Must returned $13.00, $10.80, and Texasindependencegal paid $7.80 for show. Linda Tee Fire, Ochoa, Lethal Volt, Haulin Candy Salt, A Toss Up and Separate Cartel completed the order of finish. Runaway Wagon was scratched from the race.
Sassmaster Takes First Running of $80,459
Texas Classic Juvenile Stakes
Macedonio Lozano's Texas-bred Sassmaster (Tr Dasher – Catch You Know Now by Separatist) broke alertly and sped gamely to cross the wire a head in front of Ivory Owl Saturday night in the first running of the $80,459 Texas Classic Juvenile Stakes.
Trained by Eusevio Huitron and ridden by Francisco Ramirez, Jr., Sassmaster completed the 400 yards in 19.741 seconds over a fast track earning a speed index of 92 and paid $8.40, $4.80, $3.60. Second place finisher, Ivory Owl returned $14.80 and $7.40. Tayte Me Down returned $3.20 for show.
There were two disqualifications in the race, both for interference at the start, Don't Tell Lila was placed from 6th to 9th and One Bald Eagle from 8th to 10th. Racey Winner, Rooms by the Hour, Malcom Quinn, Blaze Carver, Ivory Coast Girl, Don't Tel Lila and One Bald Eagle completed the final order of finish.
End of Meeting Awards
With seven wins, owner A.D. Maddox claimed his seventh owner's title. There was a tie for second place with four wins each between five different owners.
Trainer Trey Wood held off a fast closing Judd Kearl with a final count of 20 victories to 18, to claim his fourth straight training title at the 2012 Fall Meeting of Champions.
Leading rider for the fifth straight year was Ricky Ramirez with 28 wins. Luis Vivanco finished second with 25, and Ricardo Aguirre was third with 22.
Live racing at Lone Star Park will resume with the 2013 Spring Thoroughbred Season, which begins on Thursday, April 11, 2013.