photo by Christy Smith/Coady Photography
No Fees Returns to the Winner's Circle in the $14,750 Miss Houston Stakes at SHRP

(Saturday, May 15, 2004) - No Fees, kept her winning streak intact as she won her sixth consecutive race this evening, the $14,750 Miss Houston Stakes.

Owned by John Buchanan and Bobby D. Cox, the diminutive gray filly was remarkable last summer, winning five races in 2003 including the American Airlines Juvenile Challenge (G2) at Retama Park and the 2003 TQHA Sale Futurity (RG1) last July. She suffered a slab fracture qualifying for the Sam Houston Futurity and underwent successful surgery on August 26.

Buchanan felt confident that the gray daughter of Runaway Winner was fit and ready to return to action.

No Fees was part of a three-horse entry and once she found her stride, she drew off and held off the fast-closing Too Specially Fancy by a neck. She covered the 350-yards over a fast track, in a time of :17.921.

"This is great," said Buchanan in the winner's circle following the race. "We've been wanting to run her, but didn't want to be greedy and bring her back before she was ready. She's a very sound little filly and she wants to run. It looks like she's quite a bit faster than she was last year; to me she looked awfully good tonight."

"She's not very big, but she's got a real big heart," stated rider Larry Payne, who rode No Fees for the first time tonight.

"I think she's the best horse I've ever owned," said Cox.

"She's never lost a race and if she hadn't gotten hurt, who knows what she would have done last year. We'll probably keep her in Texas; John will decide where she make her next start."

First Raise bled as a 2-year-old, so last June, Hopkins turned her out and she has come back as a sound 3-year-old. She won an allowance race at Sam Houston Race Park on July 3 and returned to the racetrack tonight and was impressive in her stakes effort.

Too Specially Fancy, with Jose Vega aboard, ran a solid race for owner Rudy I. Munoz.

"She broke good and had the lead early but that little filly just took off," commented Vega. "My filly was coming on again at the end."

No Fees paid $2.80 for the win. Corona Seis, Holdem R. Foldem, Jess an Illusion, Naturally Cute, Shez Fozy Brown, Hempen Chick and Quick Moon Rising completed the order of finish. Lets Roll Cat was an early scratch.

Brimmerton Fastest Qualifier in Trials for the Bayer Legend Texas Derby Challenge

Bobby D. Cox and John Buchanan had another reason to celebrate tonight as Brimmerton was the fastest qualifier in trials for the $59,940 Bayer Legend Texas Derby Challenge. The Texas-bred son of First Down Dash, ridden by Larry D. Payne, crossed the wire of the 400-yard trial in a time of :20.035.

"He's a horse that always had talent, but just had some bad luck last year," said Buchanan. "He's a big, strong horse and ran a great trial race tonight."

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