-photo by Henna Haroon/Coady Photography
Book Note Cruises in the $35,000 Conroe Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (November 29, 2003) - An impressive field of nine 3-year-olds were entered in tonight's feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $35,000 Conroe Stakes. Book Note, owned by Tom Durant of Granbury, Texas, and trained by Jack Bruner rendered an effortless performance, completing the six-furlong stakes in gate-to-wire fashion.
Ridden to victory by Kerwin Clark, the 3-year-old son of Notebook, broke alertly and never relinquished the lead, drawing off by 3 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1:09.82.

"I have to give all the credit to Jack for having this horse in such good condition," noted Clark following the victory. "He ran a great race at Retama (on October 17) and has been working solidly since he got to Houston. It was a pleasure to ride him."

The Florida-bred bay colt had been training forwardly for this stakes since he arrived at Sam Houston Race Park last month. Each of his three works leading up to this evening’s stakes were bullet works; his last five furlong prep of :58.4 was the fastest of 54 horses working on November 15.

"We thought he would run a big race tonight," commented Bruner. "He has been training super and exceeded our expectations with this effort."

Longshot Giant Bellyache, at 49-1, ridden by Jeff Burningham, rallied from last place to complete the exacta. Trained by William Pettit, Giant Bellyache ran third in the $50,000 Richard King Handicap on the Connally Turf Course on Texas Champions Day.

"It was a real rough trip," said Burningham. "I had to wait for the hole to open up; just had to wait for the hole."
Grand Steal, trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Jeremy Beasley, encountered some traffic trouble and finished fourth.

"My horse just didn’t show up tonight," commented Beasley. "He had every chance and just didn’t seem to be here."

Sent off as the post time favorite, Book Note returned $4.40, $3.80 and $3.80 across the board. The 8-4 exacta paid $208.60 and the trifecta with Leo’s Last Hurrahy, winner of the 2002 Sam Houston Texan Juvenile, returned $1,774.20. Grand Steal, Was My Case, Jaded Heat, Herve, Czech Mate and Social G Man completed the order of finish.

Bruner had made no decisions on the next start for Book Note.

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