-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Maileys Cat
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Namesake, Maileys Cat Win TTA Sales Futurities at Lone Star

(June 9, 2007) - Will Farish's Namesake, ridden by Jaime Theriot and trained by Steve Asmussen, broke quick from the starting gate and survived a steward's inquiry and jockey's claim of foul to win Saturday's $95,130 colts and geldings division of the TTA Sales Futurity by 3 ¾ lengths over 6-5 favorite Kinetic Motion.

One race earlier, the crowd of 10,254 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas watched Maileys Cat inch past pacesetter Valid Lilly to take the $93,530 fillies division as even-money favorite Miss Missile checked in fourth after a troubled trip.

Namesake ran five furlongs in :57.93 and paid $7, $3.40 and $2.20 as part of an entry that was sent postward as the 5-2 second betting choice. Kinetic Motion, who veered out badly at the start from the outside post position in the field of 10, returned $2.80 and $2.40. Stormy Date, who was troubled at the seven-sixteenths pole, was another length back in third and paid $3.40.

Approaching the turn, Namesake had a slight lead while four wide when Righteous Brother, along the inside, tried to squeeze through a space on the rail occupied by longshot Bill Jr. with Stormy Date on his right hip. When the hole didn't materialize, Righteous Brother was forced to check and Stormy Date was bumped. Stormy Date's rider Ramsey Zimmerman lodged a claim of foul against the top two finishers, but it was denied.

"There wasn't sufficient evidence to warrant a disqualification," said Texas Racing Commission steward Rick Brasher.

Said Theriot, who flew in from Kentucky to ride Namesake: "My horse broke very well and we all got caught in tight going into the turn, but I thought I was on the best horse in the race. When I called on him, he gave me a lot of run down the lane."

The victory was Namesake's first win. Previously, he ran third in a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs, then finished third in his May 25 futurity trial over a "sloppy" surface. "We had high hopes for him when he came in from Kentucky and I don't think he showed his full potential racing over the mud in the trials, but he showed us today," said Asmussen's chief Lone Star Park assistant Darren Fleming.

Namesake, a $44,000 Texas-bred son of Valid Expectations purchased at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearling Sale, earned $57,078 for the win. It was Asmussen's second victory in the race. He also won the 2004 colts and geldings division with Next Bandit.

Meanwhile, Maileys Cat, owned by Turf Express Inc. (Mark Cornett et al) and Bobby Beck, gave trainer Bret Calhoun a second victory in the fillies division by stopping the teletimer in :58.35 under Zimmerman.

"She was stuck down on the inside and was in a real tight spot," said Calhoun, who also won the 2002 fillies division with Jazz Lady. "I was worried she'd never get in the clear, but when she did, she really kicked on. I almost gave up on her."

Maileys Cat, who beat Valid Lilly by a half-length, paid $5.80, $3.80 and $2.60 as the 9-5 second choice. Valid Lilly returned $5.40 and $3.20. Longshot Shedoesrock was another 1 ¼ lengths behind in third and paid $6.20. Like Namesake, Maileys Cat won for the first time. She was second in her May 24 trial, which was her career debut.

The Kentucky-bred daughter of Van Nistelrooy, a $70,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Texas Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale on April 3, earned $56,118 for the win.

Much-ballyhooed favorite Miss Missile bumped a rival at the start and was boxed down on the inside around the turn. When she finally got room to run, she lacked the needed rally.

"[Jockey] Justin [Shepherd] said she had a pretty rough trip down there," Miss Missile's owner/trainer Charlie Smith said. "The good thing is that it looks like she came out of the race okay."

Live racing at Lone Star Park resumes Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:35 p.m. CT. Sunday is Senior Citizen's Day where all patrons age 62 and up will receive free general admission with proof of identification.

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