Lone Star Deputy Shoots Through On Rail To Win Grand Prairie Turf Challenge

(April 5, 2003)- Lone Star Deputy waited patiently behind horses in the stretch, found a small opening on the rail inside the final eighth of a mile and powered home to win Saturday’s $100,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge at Lone Star Park. The 3-year-old colt, owned by Bobby Beck’s Coast to Coast Racing, defeated 2002 Texas-bred Horse of the Year Leo’s Last Hurrahy by a neck in front of 8,603 fans and ran one mile on a firm turf course in 1:39.70.

Eddie Martin Jr., the hottest jockey through the first three days of the Lone Star Park meeting, rode the winner for trainer Bret Calhoun, a Grand Prairie, Texas native.

Lone Star Deputy, sent postward as the 4-1 third wagering choice, collected his second win in six starts and paid $10.20 to win.

“It was a huge effort,” Calhoun said.

Lone Star Deputy, a son of Silver Deputy out of the Green Dancer mare Starlight Way, settled comfortably in mid-pack during the early stages while tracking pacesetters Commander’s Affair and Call Me Lefty through leisurely fractions of :24.88 and :49.12.

“The horse broke great, about a length on the lead, and I knew right then I’d be in great shape,” Martin said. “I just let him fall back and had a ground saving trip.”

Lone Star Deputy ranged up on the turn for home, but was blocked from the quarter pole to inside the eighth pole by the two tiring leaders. Once a hole emerged as Commander’s Affair drifted out, the Kentucky-bred darted through to prevail in the final strides.

“I was a little concerned turning for home because I really didn’t have anywhere to go,” Martin said. “Those final yards home were beautiful.”

The $60,000 winner’s share of the purse boosted Lone Star Deputy’s earnings to $104,770.

Leo’s Last Hurrahy, winless in four starts this year, finished a neck in front of Commander’s Affair. Gentlemen J J, Iceanwater, Giant Bellyache, Call Me Lefty, 2-1 favorite Marsh and Toratora completed the order of finish.

Calhoun, who also trains Commander’s Affair and Iceanwater, put Lone Star Deputy on turf two starts back, which resulted in a win followed by a third.

“He got good on the grass in New Orleans,” said Calhoun, who collected his second Lone Star Park stakes win. “He probably should have won his last out, but it was on a yielding turf course and he didn’t handle it that well. We were pretty confident coming into today. But going into the turn, he had nowhere to go and the pace in front of us wasn’t that fast. Eddie did a helluva job and got through on the rail.”

“We’re really excited about this colt,” Beck said. “This is one that we liked from Day One. We almost gave up on him at one time, but thanks to [jockey] Robby Albarado, a good friend of mine, he said, ‘This colt can really run, don’t give up on him and try him on the turf.’ Fortunately, Robby couldn’t make a race a few races back and Eddie got on him. I knew I had the best jockey in the race, I knew I had the best trainer in the race and we thought we had the best horse. It turned out that way.”

Martin, back at Lone Star Park after riding in Kentucky the past three seasons, topped the Lone Star Park jockey standings with seven wins through the first three days.

Calhoun, who ranked 11th nationally in races won at the start of the week, saddled his fourth winner. He, too, is the early leader among all local trainers.

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