Eight Straight for Si Puede; Filly Advances to Nov. 25 Texas Classic Derby at Lone Star Park

(Friday, November 11, 2005) - Si Puede defeated Dash For Cash Derby winner Mighty Invictus by three-quarters of a length Friday night at Lone Star Park for her eighth consecutive victory, and qualified to the Grade 1, $332,869 Texas Classic Derby on Nov. 25.

Four 440-yard trials races for the Derby were held Friday and 3-year-olds with the 10 fastest times advanced to the final, which features a $148,127 first prize. Jim Crouch's Heza Native Man posted the fastest time with a clocking of :21.589, but Si Puede stole the show.

Under jockey Jose Vega in the final heat, the Sam Houston Derby and Rheudasil Handicap winner broke alertly from post No. 3 and kicked well clear of her eight rivals in the early stages of the race. She drifted to the middle of the racetrack, well clear of any rival, and held off the late run by Mighty Invictus. Her time of :21.728 ranked third among the 33 three-year-olds.

"She's one in a million," said Dave Correll, who trains the 3-year-old filly for owner-breeder Lukin Gilliand of San Antonio. "You can a long time for one like her. You've got to take advantage of one like her when you get 'em."

Si Puede, who paid $4 to win, has now won 11 of 16 starts and $173,440.

The complete list of qualifiers (with time): Heza Native Man (:21.589); First Comment (:21.682); Si Puede (:21.728); Suprisingly Special (:21.758); Astrikingresemblance (:21.800); Streakin South Tong (:21.840); Winners Award (:21.879); Mighty Invictus (:21.891); Sizzlin Red Corona (:21.934); and Net Sum Gain (:22.001).

Earlier on the program, Sarahs Fast Man rolled 400 yards in :19.97 and defeated Rustys Flyer by a neck in the Grade 3, $20,000 6666 Ranch Handicap. Sir Chickaroid was third.

Sarahs Fast Man, a 4-year-old Heza Fast Man gelding, paid $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favorite in the field of six 3-year-olds and up.

"I knew that if he got a clean break, he'd be real tough," said Roy Baldilliez, who rode the winner for trainer "Sleepy" Gilbreath and owners Darrell and Kenneth Powell. "He did just that. About halfway home, the other two had about a half-length on us. He's just so big it takes him a few strides to really get moving. But he really kicked on from there and ran a super race."

It was the second win of the Lone Star meet for Sarahs Fast Man and fifth overall in 16 career starts. The $12,600 winner's share of the purse boosted the Texas-bred's earnings to $76,365. Earlier in the year, he also was victorious in the Grade 3 Higheasterjet Handicap at New Mexico's Ruidoso Downs.

Thirteen trial races for the $1 million-estimated Texas Classic Futurity highlight Saturday's live racing at Lone Star. The final - annually the richest horse race in Texas - is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 26 on closing weekend.

Heading the trial entries is Grade 1, $310,700 Dash For Cash Futurity champ All American Winner, who goes postward in Race 5. In the Dash For Cash, All American Winner - a bargain $3,700 yearling buy for owners Jason Eberle and Rosendo Guzman of Donna, Texas - dashed 400 yards in :19.78 for his sixth win from 11 starts and second Grade 1 victory of the year.

Also entered in the trials are Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity winner Eyesa Shaker (Race 2); restricted Grade 1 TQHA Sale Futurity and Grade 2 Manor Downs Futurity winner Silver Gol (Race 11); Grade 2 Valley Junction Futurity hero JA Fast Lady (Race 7); restricted Grade 2 Lazy E Futurity winner PYC Paint Your Wagon (Race 13); All American Futurity third Brindis Por Cayenne (Race 4); All American Futurity eighth Jess a Classy Lad (Race 3); All American Futurity 10th Vodka On Ice (Race 7); and undefeated Automatically, a perfect 2-for-2 from the Heath Taylor barn (Race 2).

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