Better Talk Now and Quest Star Lead the Field in the $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf at SHRP

(April 7, 2004)- The field is set for the $200,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf, the richest race of the 2003/2004 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting. The tenth running of this prestigious turf race at a distance of one-and one-eighth miles will take place on Saturday, April 10.
Better Talk Now, winner of the Grade 2 Knickerbocker Handicap at Aqueduct, was installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite in the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf. Trained by Graham Motion, the 5-year-old son of Talkin Man, has won six turf races in his career, but will be making his first start since November 1. He was shipped in from Kentucky on Tuesday evening after working six furlongs (1:16) over the fast main track at Keeneland, his final prep for the stakes.

Quest Star, trained by Elliott Walden, drew post position number 2 and will be ridden by Hall of Famer, Pat Day. The 5-year-old son of Broad Brush won the Grade 2 Pan American at Gulfstream Park on March 20. Day will pilot Shadowland in the $750,000 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on Saturday afternoon and take a charter flight to Houston for the Connally.

Bill Mott has shipped in Del Mar Show, who ran second to Better Talk Now in the Knickerbocker. The Irish-bred 7-year-old has run three times since that stakes and will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez on Saturday evening.

In addition to Day and Velasquez, riders Rene Douglas and Louisiana-based jockeys Gerard Melancon and E.J. Perrodin are named on mounts in the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf. Perrodin won the Connally aboard Candid Glen in 2001, 2002 and 2003 for trainer Andrew Leggio.

In addition to the $200,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf Race, which is set as the seventh race on the Saturday card, Sam Houston Race Park will also feature two additional stakes. The $40,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes attracted a field of eleven fillies and mares at one mile and a sixteenth on the Connally Turf Course and the $40,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup, with seven sprinters, to be contested at five furlongs.

The first 3,000 fans will receive a Connally Breeders' Cup Turf t-shirt and fans here and across the country are invited to enter the $2,500 Connally Breeders’Cup Online Handicapping Contest. The former first lady of Texas, Nellie Connally, will be at Sam Houston to sign her new book From Love Field: Our Final Hours with President John F. Kennedy on Saturday, April 10th. Mrs. Connally will autograph copies of her book and be presented with a special 85th birthday cake.

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