||Team Baffert and Smith Return with Danzing Candy for the $200,000 Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap This Sunday at Lone Star Park
Grand Prairie, Texas (Thursday, May 25, 2017) - The featured ninth race Sunday, May 28, is the $200,000 Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a sixteenth. Five have drawn in for the 2017 edition. There is a $25,000 guaranteed late $0.50 Pick 4 wager beginning with race 7, which includes the Lone Star Park Handicap as the third leg and ends with race 10, the final race on the card.
The Grade 3 handicap has attracted a return visit by National Museum of Racing Hall of Famer's trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith, but this time with a different horse. Smith will ride the Baffert-trained Danzing Candy, winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe last year at Santa Anita, in which he beat the likes of Mor Spirit and Exaggerator. The four-year-old colt by Twirling Candy out of Talking and Singing by Songandaprayer is seeking to add a second graded stakes to his career stats in Sunday's handicap.
Danzing Candy is the 7-5 morning line favorite and will be breaking from the inside post. He has earned a total of $344,800 from a record of 9-4-1-1. A win here would give Baffert his third Lone Star Park Handicap victory. He won previous editions in 2007 with Bob & John and in 2002 with Congaree.
Keene Thoroughbreds' Texas-bred Texas Chrome is the second morning line choice at 9-5. He and opponent Danzing Candy will both carry high-weight of 121 pounds. Texas Chrome returns fresh from a second place finish behind Mor Spirit three weeks ago in the Sexton Mile (Gr. III). Trained by J. R. Caldwell, the four-year-old colt by Grasshopper out of Margarita Mistress by Naevus has drawn the outside. He is a multiple graded stakes winner with victories in the Super Derby (Gr. III) at Louisiana Downs and the Oklahoma Derby (Gr. III) at Remington Park, both in 2016. His career record is 16-8-2-3, which has produced earnings of $887,962. Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. has the mount, and a win would be his second Lone Star Park Handicap. He won previously aboard Master Rick in 2013.
Shotgun Kowboy, owned and trained by C .R. Trout, returns from a fourth place finish in the Sexton Mile. The five-year-old gelded son of Kodiak Kowboy out of Shotgun Jane by Siphon has one graded stakes victory, the 2015 edition of the Oklahoma Derby (Gr. III). He has been assigned 4-1 on the morning line and will break from post position four. Luis Quinonez will ride.
The remaining two are from the stable of Steve Asmussen, also a National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame trainer and Lone Star Park's all-time leader. In post three at 5-1 is Clark Brewster's Neck 'n Neck. The eight-year-old horse by Flower Alley out of Bootery by Storm Boot is the veteran of the field. He is a multiple graded stakes winner with career earnings of over $1.1 million. His last visit to the winner's circle was in 2015 at Parx in the Greenwood Cup Stakes (Gr. III). In his 10 starts since, he was runner-up five times and three times third. In his most recent start, he placed four lengths behind winner American Dubai last month in the Sunland Park Handicap. Jockey Richard Eramia has been named to ride. A win by Neck 'n Neck would be the second Lone Star Park Handicap victory each for both trainer and jockey. Asmussen won the handicap in 2013 with Master Rick, and Eramia won the 2014 edition aboard Grand Contender.
The longest shot in the field at 20-1 is Carouse. The five-year-old gelded son of Curlin out of Party Chatter by Pleasant Colony was claimed for $10,000 at Keeneland last month by owner/trainer Steve Asmussen. Current Lone Star Park leading rider Iram Diego guided Carouse to a win here at the Grand Prairie track two weeks ago in an optional claiming allowance. Diego will have the mount on Carouse again in this.
Gates open Sunday, May 28, at 1:30 p.m. First race post time is 2:35 p.m. General Admission is just $5 and General Parking is always free. Post time for the Lone Star Park Handicap is approximately 6:40 p.m. CDT.