Closing Week, Texas Classics On Deck; Streakin Carl Wins

(Saturday, November 23, 2002) - Seven graded stakes winners, headed by $484-399-earner and fastest qualifier Eye Opening Special, will compete in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. The lucrative 400-yard race – the richest race ever run in Texas horseracing history – highlights the Fall Meeting of Champions closing night program.

In addition to the Texas Classic Futurity, seven additional stakes win be run closing week. The Hipódromo de las Américas and Joe B. Turner Memorial, a pair of $15,000 stakes for 2-year-olds at 400 yards, top Wednesday night’s action. The Grade 1, $ 315,000 Texas Classic Derby for 3-year-olds at 440 yards, a $25,000 Derby consolation and the Grade 2, $50,000 Refrigerator Handicap, a 440-yard test for 3-year-olds and up, headline Friday night’s program. The closing night program will also have a $50,000 Futurity first consolation and a $25,000 second consolation.

The first live on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night is 6:35 p.m. There is no live racing on Thanksgiving Day, but Lone Star Park’s Post Time Pavilion will be open for simulcast wagering, including opening day at Fair Grounds.

Saturday’s Texas Classic Futurity field: West Texas Futurity winner Eye Opening Episode; LQHBA Sale Futurity champ Jess Maid Magic; Northlands Futurity hero Capones Vault; American Airlines East Challenge winner First Place Win; Heritage Place Futurity champ Fast First Prize; Red Dog Leader, victorious in the Dash For Cash Futurity consolation; Lazy E Futurity winner Chicks Cartel; Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Futurity champ Apollos Ten Bears; four-race winner Miss Ashante; and IB Business, who collected her first win in the Texas Classic Futurity trials.

For reserved seats, call (972) 263-PONY or log onto Lone Star Park’s phone lines are open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (credit card orders only).

Streakin Carl Powerful in Distance Championship Under Hamilton

Under the handling of surprise leading rider John Hamiliton, 6-year-old Streakin Karl rallied strong in the stretch to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $20,000 Lone Star Park Distance Championship in Grand Prairie, Texas. The 6-year-old son of Streakin La Jolla ran 870 yards in :45.27 to easily beat Wasting No Cash by 1 ½ lengths. Six Little Injuns, the 6-5 favorite, was pulled up at the quarter pole after suffering a catastrophic leg injury.

At the start of the season, Hamilton had only six Lone Star Park career victories. This season is a different story as the 38-year-old Baytown, Texas native tops the local standings with just three nights remaining at the meeting. He also rode eighth race winner First Down Roc and finished the night with 25 wins for the season. Gilbert Ortiz is next with 24 wins, followed by Randy Wilson (23), Alvin Brossette (22), Roy Baldillez (21), Mark Page (20), Juan Vazquez (20) and Larry Payne (19) in the tightest race for the riding title in track history.
Hamilton’s victory on Streakin Carl, the 5-1 third wagering choice, was his first Lone Star Park stakes win.

“I thought the race set up really well for him,” Hamilton said. “There was a lot of speed and some horses that have trouble manipulating the turn. I thought I’d tuck in behind them and squeeze on through.

“Away from [the starting gate], I was sitting in a better position than I thought I’d be. It looked like we’d be in trouble when we turned up the lane, but I stepped on the gas and he took off. It worked out just like we planned.”

Hamilton, a former Midwest Thoroughbred jockey in the early 1990s, rode Streakin Carl for owner David Lee Vance of Decatur, Miss. and trainer Danny Eldridge. Both Vance and Eldridge collected their first local stakes wins, as well.

“[Eldridge] is my big stable in Louisiana,” Hamilton said. “He’s a real good guy. He stuck with me when I couldn’t ride a covered wagon.”

The Lone Star Park Distance Championship was Streakin Karl’s second 870-yard stakes win of the year. In August, the Louisiana-bred captured the $19,000 Rio Grande Handicap at Sam Houston Race Park. Overall, it was his seventh win in 31 starts. The $12,200 winner’s share padded his earnings to $87,283.

Streakin Karl paid $13.40 to win. Runner-up Wasting No Cash, at odds of 6-1, finished two lengths ahead of third-place finisher No Sucha Gentleman, an early pace factor at 2-1.

Doctor Streakin (the inaugural 1997 race winner) and Looking Reckless completed the order of finish. Classy Shot Glass and Get Solid were scratched.

Six Little Injuns, sent postward as the favorite after a win in the Red River Handicap early in the meet and a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 MCI Challenge Championship on Nov. 2, had to be euthanized after suffering a serious leg injury on the turn for home. Owned by the Thompson Dunlap Partnership and trained by Larry Kopycinski, the 5-year-old gelding won 10 races and $121, 100 in 31 starts.

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