|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
"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
"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."