|Faxamillion Wins the $35,000 Spring
Stakes at SHRP
(March 22, 2003)- Faxamillion
returned to the winner’s circle tonight at Sam Houston Race
Park defeating a field of eight accredited Texas-breds in the $35,000
Spring Stakes. This was the second stakes victory at the northwest
Houston racetrack, as last March he captured the $30,000 Spindletop
Stakes, also run at the distance of seven furlongs.
Owned and bred by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Faxamillion is trained
by Sam Houston Race Park leading trainer, Steve Asmussen and was
ridden to victory by Jeremy Beasley. Faxamillion broke well and
tracked the early leaders until Beasley asked him to run heading
into the final turn. The 4-year-old son of Islefaxyou responded
gamely, taking the lead at the top of the stretch and holding off
the late-running Front Nine. Faxamillion crossed the wire of the
seven furlong contest in a time of 1:24.08, winning by one length.
"It’s especially a pleasure to have a horse like Fax
because he’s homebred," said Bill Heiligbrodt, a noted
Thoroughbred owner and breeder who resides in Houston. "Shawn
(assistant trainer Talbot) has done a wonderful job of keeping him
on his toes as Steve and his whole group always does."
"It set up perfect," said Beasley. "I let the speed
go in front of us and when I called upon him, he delivered for me.
I couldn’t have asked for a better type of race. It’s
always exciting riding for the Heiligbrodt family and the wonderful
job that the Asmussen crew has done with this horse."
Front Nine, owned and bred by Ed Few, rallied valiantly to take
a run at Faxamillion, but could not quite get there. Trained by
Tommie Morgan, Front Nine was making a return to the main track
following his last effort, an eighth place finish in the $50,000
Sam Houston Turf Sprint on February 15. Felipe Valdez, who had four
winners on the Friday night card, was in the irons.
"The trainer told me this horse does not like to be on the
inside, so I had to go too wide," explained Valdez. "I
wish I could have saved more ground."
Social Expense ran third under rider Buck Harris. Trained by Danny
Pish, who had three wins on the Saturday night card, the 7-year-old
gelding was seeking his first stakes victory.
"He is fun to ride," said Harris. "He doesn't look
like he can go that fast, but he does it easy. He dug in when those
two went by, but he couldn't stay with them. He didn't give up though
and held off the rest of the field."
Faxamillion, sent off as the favorite, returned $5.00, $2.60 and
$2.20 across the board. The 4-2 exacta paid $17.40 and the 4-2-8
trifecta returned $69.60. The complete order of finish included
Cool Bid, White Hall Express, Solingen, A’leuring Star and
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Sam Houston Race Park on
Thursday, March 27 and will conclude on Sunday, March 30.