Sandburr Defends Title in Lone Star Opener

(April 10, 2008) - Feel The Thunder Stables 9-year-old gelding Sandburr reported home first in the 12th running of the $50,000 Premiere Stakes on opening night at Lone Star Park. As the 8-5 favorite, Sandburr repelled a late challenge from Sandra Duke's Dreamsandvisions to claim his second straight victory in the traditional first race of the Lone Star Park season. In winning consecutive runnings of the Premiere, Sandburr became only the second back-to-back winner following Agrivating General who won the race in both 2003 and 2004.

Cliff Berry, who was aboard Sandburr for his victory in the 2007 Premiere Stakes, was astride the Michael Stidham-trained son of Sandpit once again as he covered the mile over a fast main track in 1:39.07 after fractions of 23.85, 47.67, 1:13.03 and 1:25.86.

Dreamsandvisions finished a half-length back of the winner and it was another length back to Crook's Stinger in third.

This year's win was much tougher than the 3 ½ length margin Sandburr won by a year ago against Goosey Moose, who finished sixth in this year's event.

"He broke good and that old horse knows what he has to do," Berry said. "He had me in good position early on and he felt good when he made the lead at the top of the stretch. That other horse (runner-up Dreamsandvisions) came to him, but he knows what he's out there for and he knows how to respond."

In winning the Premiere, Sandburr paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.80. Dreamsandvisions returned $6.40 and $2.40. Crook's Stinger paid $10.00 for show.

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