Team Cox, Buchanan, Vazquez Qualify Three to $1 Million Texas Classic Futurity at LSP

(November 19, 2006) - Two weeks from now, owner Bobby Cox, trainer John Buchanan and jockey Juan Vazquez can only hope to duplicate the success they had Saturday night at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Before a crowd of 4,504, the trio qualified three American Quarter Horses to Texas’ richest race – the $1,053,912 Texas Classic Futurity, set for closing night of the meeting on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Their 2-year-olds Ivory James and Riddick were the two fastest of 58 juveniles that attempted to qualify to the lucrative final. Dash For Cash Futurity champ Dont Let Down also advanced, as did the Buchanan-trained City Class, who is owned by Johanna Howell Bullard.

“This was an unbelievable night,” said Cox, the Peaster, Texas resident who’s the chairman of Schlotzsky’s restaurants. “Hopefully, they’ll all come back and run good.”

Cox owns Riddick and Dont Let Down by himself and Ivory James in partnership with Sylvia Pittman.

The 10 fastest times in six trials races (Races 7-12) advanced to the Dec. 2 final. The complete list of qualifiers: Ivory James (:19.796); Riddick (:19.811); Valiant Hero (:19.853); City Class (:19.986); Dont Let Down (:19.912); First Prize Perry (:19.937); First Freeze (:19.976); Iam Little Strawfly (:20.006); Fantasies Royal (:20.025); and Jess Katen (:20.045).

The qualifiers were comprised of the top four finishers in Race 7 and the top two in Races 8, 10 and 11. No horses from Races 9 or 12 advanced.

Dont Let Down, who followed his third place finish in the All American Futurity with a half-length victory in the Grade 1, $426,375 Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star on Oct. 28, will attempt to become the first horse to complete a Dash For Cash-Texas Classic Futurity double. The Buchanan-trained Pivotal Decision came closest to the feat in 2000 when he finished a neck back of champion Eyesa Special in the Texas Classic.


Jockey Roy Baldillez was transported to Methodist Hospital in Dallas late Saturday night after the jockey appeared to injury his ribs in a starting gate mishap during the ninth race – a trial for the $1 million Texas Classic Futurity.

The injury occurred when his mount JW Showmethemoney reared in stall seven prior to the start of the 400-yard race. Baldillez did ride the race, however, and the 2-year-old, sent off at odds of 8-1, broke a bit slow and finished eighth.

Baldillez, Lone Star’s leading rider in 1999 and 2002, began the night with 16 winners, which ranked fourth in this year’s standings through 25 days of the 32-date meeting.


The race to become Lone Star Park’s leading jockey, trainer and owner is tight and a photo finish is expected. With six racing dates left on the season, three jockeys are separated by two wins, and two trainers are four apart for the top spot.

Defending riding champ ”Diamond” Jim Brooks will enter the second-to-last week of racing with a 24-23 lead over Jeff Williams. Fidencio Hernandez is third with two wins.

Leading trainer John Buchanan separated himself from Judd Kearl on Saturday night with four wins on the 12-race card. Kearl had one winner and trails Buchanan 18-14.

A.D. Maddox, who led all owners last year with nine winners, begins the week with an 8-6 lead over Bobby Cox, who won two races Saturday (he also had another victory in partnership with Sylvia Pittman).

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