|Arizonians Strike Twice in Texas Classic Derby Trials; Speed Transformed, Gus the Greek Fastest of All at LSP
(Friday, November 16, 2007) - Arizonian owners John Lee
and Lincoln Sherwood made their first starts at Lone Star Park memorable
ones as their 3-year-olds Speed Transformed and Gus the Greek ran
the two fastest times in trial races for the Grade 1 Texas Classic
Derby on Friday night at the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack.
Speed Transformed ran 440 yards in :21.429 in the final last of
four trials for 3-year-old American Quarter Horses, while Gus the
Greek was clocked in :21.471 one race earlier. The 10 fastest times
advanced to the Dec. 1 final, which will be worth a record $395,477
with $175,987 awarded to the winner.
"We're more than happy with what we got done tonight,"
Lee said. "You take the wins as they come and we're just happy
to be here."
Both Speed Transformed and Gus the Greek are Texas-bred sons of
Relagate out of Dash for Desinty mares who were ridden by Freddie
Martinez, trained by Wes Giles and bred by Gus Barakis' Scarlett
Hill Farm of Weatherford, Texas.
"They're bred to run on late and Gus has done a good job teaching
them to rate," Sherwood said. "Wes Giles is sure doing
his part too."
Speed Transformed, a colt out of Dash Master Miss, won for the
third time in eight career starts. As a 2-year-old, he finished
second to Separate Bet in the $20,000 Rainbow Invitational Stakes
at Ruidoso Downs.
Gus the Greek, a gelding out of Miss Ryon Dash, won for only the
second time in 16 starts, but qualified to his third Derby this
year. Previously, he was fourth in the Grade 1, $504,692 All American
Derby at Ruidoso and Grade 2, $139,110 West Texas Derby at Sunland
In addition to Speed Transformed and Gus the Greek, the finalists
are Grade 2 Manor Downs Derby winner Miss Kips Streakin (:21.488,
ridden by Santos Carrizales, trained by Jose Ramos, owned by Gerardo
Medina Luna, Race 10); Sam Houston Derby fifth Reba Cleata (:21.544,
Edgar Baca, Steve Garrison, G.P. Jerry Hernandez, Race 11); Ruidoso
Derby champ Remember Me Rose (:21.586, Rodrigo Vallejo, Judd Kearl,
Azoom LP, Race 8); Sam Houston Derby runner-up Happy Streaker (:21.687,
Abdel Torres, Alex Villarreal, Miguel Chapa, Race 8); Grade 2 Remington
Park Derby winner First Carolina (:21.723, G.R. Carter Jr., Heath
Taylor, Weetona Stanley and W.E. Smith, Race 10); All American Derby
and Retama Park Derby third Hiclass La Jolla (:21.755, Juan Vazquez,
John Buchanan, Robert and Karen Nunnally, Race 11); Grade 2 Hobbs
American Derby third Vital Winner (:21.800, Carroll Lewis, Bradley
Bolen, Debra Gotovac and Charles Wright, Race 10); and Dash For
Cash Derby third Sassys Tuffy (:21.819, J.J. Gonzales II, "Sleepy"
Gilbreath, Dawn Ivey, Race 11).
Lee and Sherwood, along with co-owner Herman Mineer, hope to parlay
their good fortune in Saturday night's Texas Classic Futurity trials
with Wild Six.
Two-year-olds take the spotlight on the 11-race program, which
features nine trials (Races 3-11) for the Grade 1, $1,069,297 Texas
Classic Futurity - the richest annual horse race in Texas. The first
live race is 6:35 p.m. CT and the first trial is scheduled for 7:29
Rainbow and West Texas Futurity champ Wild Six, the flashy filly
who won the first six starts of her career before a disappointing
sixth in the All American Futurity, tops the 90 entrants with $526,403
in earnings. Also entered are Grade 1 winners Miss Blue Chew, the
Remington Park Futurity champ, and Retama Park and Manor Downs Futurity
winner Swingin Jess.
Grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m., but the track's simulcast facility,
the Post Time Pavilion, will open at 10:10 a.m. Top horse races
around the country on Saturday include the a trio of Grade III events:
Churchill Downs' $150,000 Cardinal Handicap (fillies & mares
at 1 1/8 miles on turf); Golden Gate's $150,000 All American Handicap
(3-year-olds & up at 1 1/8 miles); and Aqueduct's $100,000 Stuyvesant
Handicap (3-year-olds & up at 1 1/8 miles). Saturday also is
closing night for the Thoroughbred action at Retama Park in San