-photo by Coady Photography
Desert Darby Returns to the Winner's Circle in the $40,000 Jersey Village Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (February 21, 2004) - It was another gritty stretch duel, reminiscent of Texas Champions Day when Desert Darby and Record Assembly finished in a dead-heat in the $100,000 Star Of Texas Stakes. Once again, in tonight’s feature, the $40,000 Jersey Village Stakes, the two Thoroughbreds crossed the wire in unison, with the photo finish going to Desert Darby.

Jeremy Beasley rode the 7-year-old Texas-bred to victory for owner Ken Quirk and trainer Steve Asmussen. It was the eighth stakes win of the meeting for Beasley and the ninth career victory for Desert Darby.

"My hat’s off to Record Assembly," said Beasley. "He’s been tough all year against us. I’d like to thank Steve and the Quirks for having confidence and letting me ride this horse."

This was the second consecutive Jersey Village Stakes win for Asmussen and Beasley, who were victorious in the 2003 edition of the race with Term Sheet, owned by the Ackerley Brothers Farm of Houston.

"He’s given us a lot of confidence," added Asmussen. "He runs very tough every time and Record Assembly definitely gave him all he wanted again tonight and we were very fortunate to win the photo."

Desert Darby returned $5.80 for the win and completed the 1 1/16 mile contest over a fast track in a time of 1:44.53.
Record Assembly, a 4-year-old gelding, bred, owned and trained by Charles Hukill, has had an exceptional season at Sam Houston Race Park. Tonight was his seventh start of the 2003/2004 Thoroughbred Meeting; he has won two races, had three seconds, one third and one fourth. He stands 14 ½ hands high, but has a big heart and will to run.

"He is as hard a trying horse as you could want," said Hukill. "John rode him perfectly. Anytime I run second in a race like that I’m happy."

Hukill added that Record Assembly would get a well-deserved break before returning to action at Lone Star Park or Louisiana Downs.

John Jacinto has been the regular rider aboard Record Assembly and has a great deal of admiration for the runner.

"He made the lead easy and was just flicking his ears and cruising out there," said Jacinto. "When that other horse came to him he dug in just like he did on Texas Champions night. I thought he might have got his nose there first."
Sandburr, ridden by Roger Gomez, rallied for third.

"I had a nice trip and I brought my horse in good gear all the way around," said Gomez. "He made a move by the 5/16 pole and I felt like we were going to get something. We finished very good in that division and I was very happy with the race."

Term Sheet, the defending champion, topped $200,000 in career earnings with tonight’s fourth place. Richard King Handicap turf winner, Classoffiftyseven ran fifth and Miswaki Mac ran sixth. Leo’s Last Hurrahy kicked his stall last night and was scratched from the stakes by his trained, Bob Young .

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