Southern California Shipper Awesome Gem Seeks to Surpass $2 Million Mark in LSP Handicap

(Grand Prairie, Texas - May 28, 2010) - West Point Thoroughbreds’ Awesome Gem, trained by Craig Dollase, headlines Monday’s 14th running of the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, the feature event on a Memorial Day program that includes seven stakes races with purses of more than $1 million for the 11 live races.

A seven-year-old son of Awesome Again, Awesome Gem has a race record of 34-6-12-4 with $1,917,682 in earnings. With the winner’s share of $165,000, Awesome Gem would become racing newest multi-millionaire. Regular jockey David Flores, a two-time winning rider in the Lone Star Park Handicap (Luftikus in 2000 and Dixie Dot Com in 2001), will be in for the ride.

“He ran a nice race around the bullring at Charles Town in his latest start,” said trainer Craig Dollase referring to Awesome Gem’s second-place finish in the $1 million Charles Town Classic on the six-furlong track in West Virginia. “He’s consistent and honest, and he’s been training great.”

Mythical Power, trained by Bob Baffert, returns to Lone Star Park to try to secure his third graded stakes victory around the Grand Prairie oval. Already the only horse ever to win the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby (2009) and the Grade 3 Texas Mile (April 24, 2010), Mythical Power is out to become the first horse in the history of Lone Star Park to record victories in the track’s three most prestigious races. Regular rider Martin Garcia, winning rider of the 2010 Preakness aboard Looking At Lucky, has the call.
Also of note in the Lone Star Park Handicap are Jonesboro, a winner of 14 of 47 career starts for $1,529,185 in earnings, including a runner-up finish in the 2009 Lone Star Park Handicap, and Redding Colliery, a gray son of Mineshaft who ships in from New York for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin after finishing third in the Charles Town Classic, three-quarters of a length behind Awesome Gem.

The field from the rail out, with jockey and morning line odds listed in parenthesis, consists of: Jonesboro (Cliff Berry, 15-1); Golden Yank (Shaun Bridgmohan, 15-1); Awesome Gem (David Flores, 2-1); Redding Colliery (Anna Rosie Napravnik, 3-1); Fifteen Love (Jorge Guzman, 12-1); Mythical Power (Martin Garcia, 5-2); Euroears (Jamie Theriot, 8-1); and Indy Express (Chris Landeros, 30-1).

The Lone Star Park Handicap is scheduled as race 10 on the 11-race Lone Star Million/Memorial Day program with a scheduled post time of 5:47 p.m.

Wasted Tears Out to Defend Title in Grade 3 Ouija Board

Monday’s 14th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff Handicap, for fillies and mares three-years-old and up, to be run at one mile over turf, features returning champion and multiple graded stakes winner Wasted Tears, bred, owned, and trained by Bart Evans.

While the 5-year-old bay daughter of Najran was an upset winner at $11.20-1 in the 2009 running of the Ouija Board, track oddsmaker, Rick Lee, has installed Wasted Tears as the 4-5 morning line favorite for this year’s renewal. She faces five rivals as she bids for her sixth consecutive victory, including her fourth graded stakes, and her ninth win in the last 10 races.

“I’m always worried about every horse in every race, and I don’t like to see that much early speed signed on,” said Wasted Tears owner/trainer Bart Evans. “She’s overcome a fast early pace before and she’s been training great lately.”

Bubbler, trained by current meet-leading trainer Bret Calhoun, and Love to Tell, trained by J.R. Caldwell, look like the biggest threats to Wasted Tears. The former is a winner of six of eight races, including the $50,000 Irving Distaff over the Lone Star Park turf course on April 24, for $191,622 in earnings, while the latter has won six of 25 career starts for $303,604 and finished third behind Wasted Tears in the 2009 Ouija Board.

The field from the rail out, with jockey and morning line odds listed in parenthesis, consists of: Bubbler (Eddie Martin Jr., 9-5); The Cat Who (Luis Quinonez, 15-1); Love to Tell (Aaron Gryder, 15-1); Slide On Bye (Sidney LeJeune, 8-1); Wasted Tears (Cliff Berry, 4-5); and Fortunia (Tony McNeil, 20-1).

Scheduled as Race 5 on the 11-race card, the Ouija Board Distaff is scheduled for 3:27 p.m.

2008 Lone Star Derby Champ El Gato Malo Returns as Favorite in Dallas Turf Cup

Monday’s 14th running of the $150,000 Dallas Turf Cup Handicap, for three-year-olds and up, to be run at a mile and a sixteenth over turf, features West Point Thoroughbreds’ multiple graded stakes winner El Gato Malo, trained by Craig Dollase.

A five-year-old bay son of El Corredor, El Gato Malo is making his first start at Lone Star Park since winning the 2008 Lone Star Derby (G3). A winner of six of 14 starts for $534,040, El Gato Malo was last seen racing in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last November at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California.

Also shipping in from Southern California are, Deal Breaker, trained by Mike Mitchell, and Eoin Harty trainee Glowing Praise. Deal Breaker, who will be ridden by Preakness-winning jockey Martin Garcia, is shipping back to Lone Star Park after taking the $50,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge here on April 2. Glowing Praise, who was last seen finishing third in the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park on April 25, will have Aaron Gryder in the irons.

The field from the rail out, with jockey and morning line odds listed in parenthesis, consists of: Jake Wil Gallop (Tuffy Collier, 20-1); Glowing Praise (Aaron Gryder, 7-2); Deal Breaker (Martin Garcia, 3-1); Wise River (Curt Bourque, 10-1); El Gato Malo (David Flores, 5-2); And Music Came (Bobby Walker Jr., 12-1); Favorite Jazz (Cash Asmussen, 30-1); Precious Colony (Chris Landeros, 15-1); Unbridle’s Dream (Shaun Bridgmohan, 12-1); Fifteen Love (Jorge Guzman, 8-1); and Little Wagon (Luis Quinonez, 20-1).

Scheduled as Race 9 on the 11-race program, the Dallas Turf Cup Handicap has an approximate post time of 5:19 p.m.

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