Two Former Champions and 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf Winner, Better Talk Now, Nominated for the $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf

Houston, Texas (April 1, 2005) - The final weekend of the 2004/2005 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred Meeting will be highlighted with the running of the richest stakes of the season, the $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Race on Saturday, April 9.

The mile-and-an-eighth contest will celebrate its eleventh running and the Saturday evening card will feature two additional stakes races, the $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes and the $50,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint. Sam Houston Race Park racing secretary Eric Johnston was pleased with the 54 nominations for the premier turf race.

"The Connally Breeders' Cup Turf continues to attract some of the finest turf horses in the country," said Johnston. "We are thrilled with the nomination of 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf champion, Better Talk Now as well as past Connally Breeders' Cup Turf winners, Candid Glen and Warleigh."

Two former champions are expected to run, including three-time Connally Breeders' Cup Turf winner, Candid Glen. The 8-year-old Kentucky-bred turf specialist has won 11 of his 43 career starts for owner Dr. Glen Warren, including the 2001, 2002 and 2003 editions of the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf. A suspensory injury prevented him from competing last year, but he returned to the racetrack last December and won a seven-furlong race on the main track.

Over 3 ½ inches of rain pummeled the north Houston racetrack last April, but that did not derail the efforts of Warleigh, who won in gate-to-wire fashion for trainer Steve Asmussen. The 7-year-old son of Lord At War captured the $50,000 Mardi Gras Handicap at Fair Grounds on February 8 and has bankrolled $639,262 for owner Ro Parra. Asmussen has also nominated Dynareign, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred sired by Dynaformer, who will be making his first start over the Connally Turf course.

"Let it rain," commented Asmussen about next Saturday's weather. "The wetter the better for Warleigh."

The connections of Better Talk Now are hoping for clear weather and a firm turf course as last year's yielding turf course was not his cup of tea.

Trainer Graham Motion and owners, Bushwood Stables, have fond memories of Texas as Better Talk Now won the $2,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf last October at Lone Star Park.

Yet another strong contender is Rapid Proof, a 5-year-old gelding owner by Dolphus Morrison and trained by Hal Wiggins. The dark bay had an excellent meet at Fair Grounds culminating with his victory in the Grade 2 Mervin H Muniz Memorial Handicap on March 19. Sent off at 31-1, Rapid Proof defeated a solid field of turf horses and gave Wiggins the first graded stakes win of his career. Returning to Houston to compete in the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf should bring back pleasant memories for Wiggins who won the 1998 and 1999 editions of the premier turf race with Chorwon. The gray son of Breeders' Cup Turf winner, Cozzene, set a new turf track record of 1:47.65 in 1999.

The draw for the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf and the accompanying stakes will take place on Wednesday, April 6. Post time for the Saturday, April 9 card at Sam Houston Race Park is 7:00 p.m.(CST) and the northwest Houston racetrack will also host the $2,500 Connally Online Handicapping Contest. A complete set of rules may be found on the Sam Houston Race Park web site,

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