Retama Park Ready for 2003 American Quarter Horse Meet

(Wednesday, April 30, 2003) - Maturing like a fine Texas Hill Country Merlot (you do know the Lone Star state now produces a palate pleasing vintage), Retama Park opens for live racing Friday night. First post is 6:45 p.m. The South Texas oval has become a comfortable fit for fans and horsemen as the track begins racing on the eve of the Kentucky Derby.

“This is one of my favorite places to race,” said top trainer John Buchanan. “The folks at Retama, the race office, administration, track surface and the weather this time of year, make it a very enjoyable place to race. Most of the staff has been here since I started racing when the track opened in 1995. So, I know almost everyone by their first names,” Buchanan added. Overnight purses remain the same as 2002 at $60,000 per night.

Opening night's feature is the $12,500 Ariat Stakes for Texas bred three-year-olds. On Saturday night, 120 of the fastest two-year-olds in Texas will line up in 12 heats of the American Airlines Juvenile Challenge Trials. The ten fastest qualifiers are eligible for the $125,000 finals May 17 with top finishers pointing towards the $400,000 Retama Park Futurity closing weekend.

One of the fastest juveniles is Kpax. John Buchanan's two-year-old colt has generated quite a buzz in the barn area. Kpax won both its training races at Retama Park with ease and in quick times. Saturday night's trial heat will be Kpax's first career start.

Retama Park's 2003 American Quarter Horse meet runs 24 nights, with live racing Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Post times are 6:45 p.m., with Sunday night's first post at 5:30 p.m. For more information call 210-651-7052.

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