|High Strike Zone Wins $300,000
Texas Mile at Lone Star Park
(April 30, 2005)-
High Strike Zone wore down pacesetter Yessirgeneralsir inside the
final furlong of Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile (Gr. III) and defeated
California invader Supah Blitz, the even-money favorite, by 1 ¼
lengths in front of 13,329 fans at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie,
The 5-year-old Smart Strike gelding owned by Donald Erickson of
Albuquerque, N.M. ran one mile on a fast track in 1:35.34, the third-fastest
clocking in nine editions of the Texas Mile. He paid $17.40 to win
as the fourth betting choice in the field of six older horses.
The race began as expected with Yessirgeneralsir setting rapid
fractions - :21.65 for the first quarter mile, :44.24 for the half
and 1:09.74 for six furlongs. All three splits were the fastest
in Texas Mile history.
"Our game plan was to lay off the speed and let him come running,"
said High Strike Zone's jockey Ricky Faul. "He did what we
wanted him to do today."
On the turn for home, High Strike Zone moved into contention from
the outside as Supah Blitz attempted to tackle the leader from the
inside. With the quick pace having an affect on Yessirgeneralsir,
High Strike Zone edged clear under Faul's left-handed whip, while
Supah Blitz struggled down on the inside part of the racetrack to
get up for second. Twilight Road, runner-up in the Grade III Skip
Away Handicap last time out, rallied belatedly for third.
Yessirgeneralsir, Snorter and Toratora completed the order of finish.
"I got stuck down on the inside and the track is a little
bit deep down there for him," Supah Blitz's jockey Victor Espinoza
said. "And one mile is just a little bit short for him. He
prefers more distance."
"I'm real proud of him and the entire team at the barn,"
Faul said of the winner. "I'd been waiting for this day all
meet. [Trainer] Amos [Laborde] and I talked about this race down
at Delta Downs and we were really looking forward to this race."
The $185,000 winner's share of the purse boosted High Strike Zone's
career earnings to $386,160. It was his seventh victory in 24 starts
and third stakes triumph. Last fall, he won the $50,000 Marshland
Stakes at Delta Downs. In March, he prevailed in the $50,000 Delta
Mile, also at Delta Downs.