Brooks, Martin Team to Win $1 Million Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park

(Saturday, November 26, 2005) - American Quarter Horse racing's legendary duo of trainer Jack Brooks and jockey Jacky Martin struck again Saturday night at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas when Pyc Paint Your Wagon hit his best stride shortly after the start and easily held 2-1 favorite Automatically at bay to win the $1 million Texas Classic Futurity by a half-length in front of 4,108.

Pyc Paint Your Wagon, a 2-year-old Corona Cartel colt, zipped 400 yards in :19.73 into a 5 mph headwind to win Texas' richest horse race. He paid $8.40 to win as the 3-1 second betting choice in the field of 10.

Perhaps more importantly, he earned the hefty $434,479 first prize for owner and breeder Michael Pohl. Overall he's won three of eight starts and $606,021.

Earlier this year, Pyc Paint Your Wagon won the Lazy E Futurity and finished second to Leading Spirit in the Rainbow Futurity. The Texas-bred entered Saturday's race as the fastest qualifier after 13 trial races on Nov. 12 to determine the 10 finalists. His final time that night was an impressive :19.804 in the evening's final heat.

"He really ran a perfect race tonight," Martin said. "In his first two steps, he didn't step away like he's capable of - like he did in the trials. After 30 or 40 yards, he must have opened up two lengths on the rest of them because I couldn't see any other horses around us for a long time. About 100 yards before the wire, we finally saw [Automatically]. I never even pushed the horse tonight; I just let him run all on his own."

Hall of Fame trainer Brooks, who'll turn 70 on Dec. 7, praised his runner after the eye-catching

"I think he compares with some of the better horses I've had over the years and I've had a bunch of World Champions," said Brooks, who has won record eight All American Futurities over four decades. "The way he looks, he could come back next year and be a really great Derby horse."

Brooks became the first trainer to score a second Texas Classic Futurity win. In 2000, he and Martin teamed with future champion Eyesa Special. Martin also won the race in 1998 aboard Fast Debonair and is the only three-time winner of the race in 13 runnings.

This year's victory was especially meaningful for the 51-year-old jockey, whose wife April suddenly passed away Oct. 28. "I was needing this win," Martin. "This win will do me wonders...I've been in kind of a bad state of affairs for the last month."

Earlier on the card, Lou Phillips' Shazoomer won the $80,788 Texas Classic Futurity Consolation by a nose over Copacorona Special. Mjp Loop was third. Trained by Janet Van Bebber, Shazoomer ran 400 yards in :20.25 under jockey Alvin "Bubba" Brossette and paid $9.80 to win. It was the 2-year-old Shazoom gelding's third win in eight starts. The $21,544 winner's share of the purse boosted his earnings to $62,560.

Sunday's Closing Day Program Begins at 1:35 p.m. CT

Sunday's special closing day matinee program at Lone Star Park begins at 1:35 p.m. CT. Grandstand gates will open at 12 p.m.

The 13-race program for American Quarter Horses features a pair of $15,000 stakes for 2-year-olds at 400 yards, the Hipodromo de las Americas (colts and geldings) and Joe B. Turner Memorial (fillies).

DOWN THE STRETCH - The winner of Friday's Refrigerator Handicap traditionally receives an invitation to the prestigious Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Dec. 10. Because there was a dead heat for first between Vals Fortune and Fredericksburg, Los Alamitos officials will soon conduct a shake to determine which horse gets the bid, according to Los Alamitos' Orlando Gutierrez. The loser of the shake is out of the race. Should the winner of the shake decline the invitation, the spot will go to the sixth-fastest qualifier in last Saturday's Z. Wayne Griffin Director's Trials, Texas Chatterbox, winner of the John Deere Distance Challenge. Already qualified to the Champion of Champions are Apollitical Time, Apollos Favorite, Catchmeinyourdreams, DM Shicago, Like Frankie And Me, Lds Dash For Dylan, Ocean Runaway, Righteous Brother and Whosleavingwho...Jockey Danny Lavergne, who fell hard to the ground after his mount Crystas Only Toole ducked in sharply during Friday's sixth race, suffered a broken left wrist from the incident, according to assistant clerk of scales Chuck Tynan...Sunday's special closing day matinee 13-race program that begins at 1:35 p.m. CT includes a pair of $15,000 stakes for 2-year-olds at 400 yards, There's a Pick 6 carryover Sunday at Aqueduct of $52,148 on Races...Congratulations to the Lone Star Park employees who were voted to the racetrack's 2005 Fall Meeting of Champions All-Star Team: Peggy Babcock (Mutuels); Chris Beam (Accounting); Mark Bruns (Building Engineering); Jerry Crim (Mutuels); Mary Sue Davis (Gift Shop); Bill Green (Racing Information); Alex Haskell (Food & Beverage); Trisha McDonald (Human Resources); Lorenzo Mascorro (Building Engineering); Eduardo Ontiveros (Security); Roman Silva (Food & Beverage); and Brandyce Tennison (Accounting). They'll be honored in the winner's circle immediately after Sunday's second race...Blankets worn by participants in the Texas Classics on Friday and Saturday were sponsored by Jones Bloodstock Insurance Agency.

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