Jonesboro Gets Up Just in Time to Win Texas Mile at LSP

(April 25, 2009) - Michael Langford’s Jonesboro, named after Langford’s hometown of Jonesboro, Arkansas, trained by Randy Morse, wore down a stubborn opponent in King Dan to win the 13th running of the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile, for 3-year-olds and upward, over a fast track at Lone Star Park on Saturday.

With Lone Star Park’s all-time leading rider Cliff Berry in the saddle, Jonesboro showed a sharp first step out of the gate before settling in approximately five lengths off of the early lead set by race favorite Halo Najib. After being pushed toward the middle of the track around the first turn, he waited behind early fractions of 23.28 and 45.83 before building momentum around the second turn and produced a determined stretch run to freeze the teletimer in 1:36.94 for the one-mile journey. It was a half-length back to King Dan in second and another two-and-one-quarter lengths behind to Encaustic in third.

“Randy told me to try to get him out good and that it was up to me from there,” said winning jockey Cliff Berry. “Those other horses pushed him out a little bit going into the first turn, but he’s a tough old horse and he just kept trying. He ran great. He dug in the whole way.”

With the win, Jonesboro improved his career mark to 13 wins from 38 starts and the $180,000 winner’s share of the purse, pushed Jonesboro past the one million dollar mark in career earnings to $1,123,575.

"He’s earned it the hard way. This is actually the biggest race he’s ever won and for him to reach this milestone here in Texas, it’s special. I’m from Texas," said winning trainer Randy Morse.

“It’s been special,” added winning owner Michael Langford. “Randy has done a great job with him. We thought from day one he was a good horse and we’ve been trying for this. We wanted it to happen and it happened here. I want to say that Lone Star Park has been terrific. This is such a nice place and we have enjoyed being here so much.”

Jonesboro paid $6.40, $3.40, $2.60, runner-up King Dan returned $6.80, $5.20, and Encaustic paid $5.20 for show. Halo Najib, Por Que, King Darius and Catmantoo completed the order of finish.

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