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 Park.

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 p.m. CT.

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 Antonio.

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