|Buchanan Loaded For Friday's Opening
Night Feature at Lone Star; Gone Celebrating Heads Entry for $30,000
B.F. Phillips Jr. Handicap
(Tuesday, September 27,
2005) - Trainer John Buchanan has a formidable four-horse entry,
headed by Grade 1 winner Gone Celebrating, for Friday's $30,000
B.F. Phillips Jr. Handicap at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
The 400-yard dash for Texas-breds tops the opening night program
for Lone Star's 33-night Fall Meeting of Champions for American
Friday's first of 13 live races is 5 p.m. CT - the new nightly
post time for the Fall Meeting of Champions.
The Buchanan trainees - Gone Celebrating, Red Dog Leader, Lil Bit
Rowdy and Chipeyed Charlie - will be coupled in the wagering because
Buchanan is listed as co-owner of Red Dog Leader. They were made
the 9-5 early favorites in the field of 10.
Gone Celebrating, an earner of $362,568, will be seeking his first
victory in nearly two years. The 6-year-old Meter Me Gone gelding
hasn't won since capturing the prestigious Grade 1 Championship
at Sunland Park in December of 2003. He'll be ridden Friday by Juan
Vazquez, Lone Star's career leader in Quarter Horse wins (160) and
stakes wins (18).
Also entered was the "Sleepy" Gilbreath-trained Sarahs
Fast Man, a 4-year-old gelding who finished second in the Grade
3 All American Gold Cup earlier this month. Roy Baldillez, a two-time
local riding champ, has the mount.
Here's the complete B.F. Phillips Jr., Handicap field from the
rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line
odds): Red Dog Leader (Raul Ramirez Jr., Buchanan, 124, 9-5); Fredericksburg
(Gilbert Ortiz, Heath Taylor, 125, 5-1); Gone Celebrating (Vazquez,
Buchanan, 125, 9-5); Lil Bit Rowdy (Alex Baldillez Jr., Buchanan,
123, 9-5); Amor Lijero (Larry Payne, Christian Rubalcava, 125, 8-1);
Jack Zee Quick (Mark Page, Matt Baker, 125, 7-2); Dazzling Reflection
(Manuel Gutierrez, Alfredo Triana, 123, 20-1); Chipeyed Charlie
(Jerry Lee Yoakum, Buchanan, 125, 9-5); Sarahs Fast Man (Baldillez,
Gilbreath, 123, 3-1); and Kathys Star Quest (Rodrigo Vallejo, Roberto
Madrigal, 124, 15-1).
The B.F. Phillips Jr. will run as Friday's Race 11 at approximately
9:30 p.m. CT.
Lone Star doesn't call it the Fall Meeting of Champions for nothing.
Since 1997, 24 American Quarter Horse Association champs have raced
at Lone Star's Fall Meeting of Champions during their championships
campaigns, including World Champions Tailor Fit (1999), Streaking
Sin Tacha (2002) and Oak Tree Special (2003).
The B.F. Phillips Jr. Handicap is the first of 24 stakes races
to be run at the nine-week stand. Together, they're cumulatively
worth more than $2.7 million. The richest race of all is the $1
million Texas Classic Futurity, the state's only million-dollar
horse race, scheduled for Nov. 26.
Other major events include the Grade 1, $150,000 Dash For Cash
Derby (Oct. 21); the Grade 1, $450,000 Dash For Cash Futurity (Oct.
22); a simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships
from Belmont Park in New York (Oct. 29); and the Grade 1, $100,000
Refrigerator Handicap and Grade 1, $400,000 Texas Classic Derby
Racing will be conducted every Wednesday through Saturday at 5
p.m. until Nov. 27. The lone exception is a 1:35 p.m. matinee card
on closing day, Sunday, Nov. 27 because there will be no live racing
Nov. 23-24 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Lone Star plans to card nine live races on Wednesday and Thursday
nights with the final race scheduled around 8:30 p.m. On the busier
Friday and Saturday nights, there will be 13 live races with the
finale off around 10:30 p.m.
The popular Heineken "Party at the Park" series, featuring
live music and drink specials from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the outdoor
Courtyard of Champions, will return every Friday and Saturday through
Oct. 29. Friday's opening night music will be provided by The Cary
Richards Orchestra and The Bart Crow Band performs Saturday.
Other promotional highlights during the meet include a Breeders'
Cup Preview Party in the Post Time Pavilion from 9:30 a.m. to 11
a.m. on Oct. 22; free general admission for military and veterans
on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11; Fan Appreciation Day with prize drawings
on Nov. 26; and Pepsi Can Months in October and November. Customers
who bring a can of Pepsi to Lone Star Park's Grandstand on live
race days in October and November will receive $1 general admission
and a free large Pepsi.
Also, there will be three Charity Days where two-percent of the
on-track dollars wagered will be donated to the Grand Prairie Independent
School District (Oct. 26), Race Track Chaplaincy (Nov. 2) and Texas
A&M Equine Research Fund (Nov. 16).
General admission is just $3. Grandstand gates will open an hour
before the first live race at 4 p.m. Reserved seating is available
by calling (972) 263-PONY. Even though there's no live racing on
Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Nov. 23 and Nov. 24, Lone Star's simulcast
center, the 36,000 square-foot Post Time Pavilion, is open seven
days a week for simulcast wagering on numerous racetracks across
For more information, call (972) 263-RACE or visit the track's
DOWN THE STRETCH - The 37th Oak Tree
Meeting at Santa Anita begins Wednesday. Eight graded stakes over
the next two weekends will serve as preps for the Oct. 29 Breeders'
Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. First post from Oak Tree is
3 p.m. CT on weekdays and 2:30 p.m. CT on weekends...There's still
time to sign up for this weekend's Daily Racing Form/NTRA National
Handicapping Championship Qualifying Tournament at Lone Star Park.
Call Keith Moore at (972) 237-5006 to enter or for more details...Lone
Star will import four stakes races from Longchamp in France on Sunday,
including the historic Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The Post
Time Pavilion will open at 8:30 a.m., 35 minutes before the first
simulcast race - the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at 9:05 p.m. CT.
The Group 1 Gran Criterium is next at 9:45 a.m. CT, followed by
the 1 ½-mile Arc at 10:30 a.m. CT and the Prix du Grand Hotel
Barriere at 11:15 a.m. CT. According to European bookmakers, the
Arc betting favorites are Hurricane Run (5-2), Shawanda (3-1), Motivator
(7-2 to 9-2 range), Bago (6-1) and Scorpion (8-1 to 12-1 range).