Candid Glen Makes History Winning the $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf SHRP for the Third Time

(February 15, 2003)- Heavy rain fell on Friday evening and Saturday morning in Houston but the skies cleared, the turf course was firm, and nobody rained on the parade of defending champion, Candid Glen. For the third year in a row, the Kentucky-bred turf specialist reigned supreme, capturing the ninth edition of the $200,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf Race.

The victory was sweet for owner, Dr. Glen Warren of Jackson, Mississippi, and trainer Andrew Leggio Jr. Unlike last year’s win in which they had to anxiously wait out a steward’s inquiry, Candid Glen cleanly split runners at the eighth-pole and drew off to win by 1 ½ lengths. Regular rider, E. J. Perrodin kept him a little closer to the pace, but his patented late kick was very much in evidence as he surged to the wire in a final time of 1:53.21. The 6-year-old bay son of El Gran Senor out of the mare, Candid Moments proved that he is truly a "horse for the course", with a perfect three-for-three record on the Connally Turf Course. Sent off as the fifth betting choice in a full field of eleven, Candid Glen earned $133,800, which boosts his lifetime bankroll to $805,130.

"I did not have to wait to see if I won this year," quipped Perrodin following the race. "The trip was great. He is a great little horse and does so good and gives you his heart. He likes this turf; it fits that big foot of his."

Candid Glen shipped into Houston following a disappointing effort in the $150,000 Fair Grounds Breeders’ Cup Handicap. Trainer Leggio instructed Perrodin to stay a little closer to the leaders, and he remained in fourth behind the early pacesetters as they completed the first quarter in :25.78 and the half-mile in 50.51. Candid Glen split Dynaameaux and the fast-closing Red Mountain in the final furlong; Red Mountain, from the barn of Hal Wiggins, who was the trainer of Chorwon, who won the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf in 1998 and 1999, placed second.

"We wanted to have him a little closer to the pace because we knew everything was going to come from behind," said Leggio. "We wanted to keep him in the middle of the pack; I did not think he would be that close but we were pleased that he was."

Dr. Warren and his wife, Gayle, were in the winner’s circle to celebrate Candid Glen’s remarkable win and history-making threepeat.

"It is a thrill that we could hardly believe," said Warren. "We had hoped but knew it would be difficult to win this race three years in a row. We set history tonight and we are very thankful for that. We are thankful for the generosity we have received at Sam Houston Race Park. I was happy to see the rain today because we wanted to see the yielding turf; that is what this horse likes."

Trainer Danny Pish, currently second in the standings at Sam Houston Race Park, was thrilled to have Dynameaux as a contender in the richest race of the 2002/2003 Thoroughbred meeting.

"I thought the horse ran a game race," said Pish. "He just got beat. He hung in and I thought Roman ran a perfect race. No gripes. The best we could do was third tonight against the horses, next time we may win. It's tough, bittersweet kind of deal but you have to be happy with your horse's performance, but you have to be disappointed when you're that close to winning and you don't win. That is just horseracing. I'm proud of my horse."

Candid Glen paid $19.60 to win, $9.20 to place and $5.00 to show. The 1-9 exacta returned $274.80 and the trifecta returned $1,921.00. The complete order of finish included Freefourinternet, Skate Away, Even the Score, No Net Needed, Runaway Choice, Green Fee, Time to Dyne and Maysville Slew. Rasby was an early scratch.

Testify Repeats in Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup

Testify, a 6-year-old noted turf sprinter, won his second $50,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup on Saturday evening. The Kentucky-bred son of Pembroke is owned by the Robert Mitchell Trust and trained by Randy Morse. In commanding fashion, Testify drew clear in the field of nine runners, covering the five furlong distance in a time of :59.11 under jockey Roman Chapa. Tonight’s victory marked the second consecutive win for Chapa in the Sam Houston Turf Sprint as last year he guided Boots On Sunday to victory.

"He wanted to go early and when I did let him go it was a real nice trip," commented Chapa. "I was a little worried about the rain but he handled it real well."

Wudantunoit, part of an entry from trainer John Locke ran second under John Jacinto and Ski Bum, from the barn of Paul Duhon, completed the trifecta.

Testify, the post time favorite, paid $5.60 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.40 to show. The 3-1 exacta returned 16.20 and the trifecta paid $133.40. The complete order of finish included Proven Cure, Rahy's Secret, My Friend Don, Three Jack, Front Nine and Just a Raise. Blazing Count and Kristys Excellent were early scratches.

Presumed Innocent Triumphs in Jersey Lilly Stakes

The $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes for fillies and mares going one mile-and-a-sixteenth of the Saturday evening card. The winner was Presumed Innocent, owned by McKee Stables, Inc of Kentucky and trained Charles Simon. Jockey Shane Sellers guided the 6-year-old mare to an opening on the rail for her first win since last July at Monmouth Park. She crossed the wire in 1:46.14 at odds of 7-1.

"There were a lot of factors in her win tonight," said Simon. "Shane getting here on time, for one. He rode her perfect. We had a hard time getting her to take back on the longer races and we ran her in sprint races and she came from behind in those races; it seemed to be more suited to her style of running. She was purchased in January in Keeneland and this was her first start for the new owner, Ron McKee. He was kind enough to send her back to me. The plan was to win a stake with her and breed her but maybe we can talk the owner out of it and we can run her a little bit more."

Presumed Innocent paid $15.80 to win, $8.40 to place and $5.80 to show. The 2-9 exacta returned $214.40 and the trifecta paid $1,159.40. The complete order of finish included Sound of Gold, Distant Valley, Pleasant State, He Sits He Sips, Attico, Very Geri, Golden Rhythm, Old Money and Rochelle. Philantha and Ifyouprefersilver were scratched from the stakes.

Morgan’s Charges Win Both Divisions of Texas Stallion Stakes

Trainer Tommie Morgan had an evening to remember winning both divisions of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes. The series is underwritten by the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) and was designed as an incentive for offspring of Texas-based stallions.

Morgan’s star Call Me Lefty was an eight-length winner in the colt’s division. The 3-year-old gelding owned and bred by the Christine S. Moore Family Limited Partnership of Fredericksburg, Texas, has now won four of his eight lifetime starts, picking up his second Texas Stallion stakes win of the meeting. Ridden once again by John Jacinto, Call Me Lefty drew off and completed the mile and one sixteenth contest in a time of 1:48.15. Call Me Lefty earned $45,000 for tonight’s win, increasing his career bankroll to $194,000.

"He is just a runner; that is all you can say about the horse," stated Morgan. "He gives 110% every time he runs and he does it easy, like it is effortless for him."

Call Me Lefty paid $2.40 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show. The 1-7 exacta returned $5.00 and the trifecta paid $24.80. The complete order of finish included Seneca Rock, Crab Creek, Herve, Wellgetem, Haute Move, Hasit and By Himself.

In the fillies division, it was Lady Mallory ridden confidently by Felipe Valdez, winning by over five lengths. Morgan made an equipment change, removing her blinkers and the 3-year-old daughter of Leo Castelli responded nicely.

"The move she made around the last turn was a complete surprise to me," said Valdez. "I didn't know that she had the ability to make such a move or speed she showed tonight. Every time I would ask a little from her, she would take off. I felt a little slump around the turn and I had to check a bit, but she really pulled through. She is a nice filly."

Lady Mallory, also sent off as the post time favorite, paid $4.00 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. The 4-3 exacta returned $14.00 and the trifecta paid $147.60. The complete order of finish included Hay Allison, Stephenes Baby, Showmetothevilla, Forever Naevus and Vermont Breeze.

Total attendance for the exciting night of racing was 8,236 which surpassed last year’s Connally Breeders' Cup Turf night attendance of 7,842. Total live handle was also up with $3,355,424 wagered on the ten races on-track and at simulcast outlets across the country. The figure was a marked increase from the 2002 Connally handle of $2,891,276.

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