Bluegrass Sara Wins Silver Spur, Champion Honors

(Saturday, July 12, 2003) - Bluegrass Sara stamped herself as the best 2-year-old filly on the grounds at Lone Star Park with a convincing six-length victory over Royal Pet in Saturday’s $75,000 Silver Spur Breeders’ Cup Stakes. Following the race, media and selected racing officials unanimously voted the three-time meet winner as Lone Star Park’s Champion 2-Year-Old Filly.

The remaining seasonal champions will be announced and honored between races on Sunday, the final day of the North Texas racetrack’s 70-date meeting.

Bluegrass Sara, owned and bred by Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt of Houston, covered six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:11.06, and paid $3 to win as the odds-on favorite. She was coupled in the wagering with stablemate Queen Trigger, who faded to fifth after pressing runner-up Royal Pet, the 3-1 second wagering choice, in the early stages of the race.

Dee’s Justice came on late and was another 2 ½ lengths behind in third. Tulisha, Queen Trigger, Pretty Deputy and Cryptos’ Best completed the order of finish. Cryptos’ Best, a Kentucky invader who was the 4-1 third choice, stumbled after the start and dumped jockey Cliff Berry. Both horse and jockey appeared to be none the worse for wear after a few anxious moments.

Bluegrass Sara was the favorite to win after a convincing two-length debut victory in May followed by a 2 ½-length triumph in the $138,200 TTA Sales Futurity on June 7. The bay daughter of 1994 Preakness and Belmont winner Tabasco Cat lacked early speed Saturday, sitting several lengths back of the pacesetters who clicked off fractions of :21.38 and :44.41. Leaving the backstretch, Bluegrass Sara rallied four-wide and surged to the lead in upper stretch to draw away.

The Texas-bred earned $45,000 for the win and improved her earnings to $138,720.

Kari Craddock deputized for suspended trainer Steve Asmussen. Asmussen’s horses were transferred to Craddock when Texas Racing Commission stewards suspended Lone Star Park’s all-time leading trainer seven days (July 7-13) for a minor medication overage. The overage for promazine, a sedative and therapeutic medication commonly used at racetracks for rambunctious horses, was discovered in Lahinch following her second-place finish on April 19. It was Asmussen’s first such violation in the last year.

“She was great,” Craddock said. “She’s fun to watch. The whole crew knows what to do (when Steve is gone).”

“I’d like to thank Mr. Heiligbrodt and Steve for giving me the opportunity to ride all these stakes winners, including Posse and Lady Tak,” said jockey Corey Lanerie. “I think the further this filly will go the better off she’ll be. She showed today she’ll relax and do anything you want with her. She doesn’t go until you ask her.”

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