|Texas Champions Day This Sunday Featuring Seven Stakes Will Mark the Return of Fans to the Races at Lone Star Park
Grand Prairie, Texas (Satuday, June 13, 2020) - Lone Star Park is proud to host Texas Champions Day this Sunday, June 14. The seven stakes races, which feature Texas-bred horses, were originally scheduled to run at Sam Houston Race Park last March but had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of nine races are carded beginning at 3:05 p.m.
The featured stakes include the $75,000 Yellow Rose; $75,000 Spirit of Texas; $75,000 Richard King Turf Stakes; $75,000 Groovy Stakes; $75,000 Bara Lass; $75,000 San Jacinto Turf and the $75,000 Star of Texas. Fans ready to venture out are all invited to attend. Admission is free.
A Field of Six Fillies are set in the Six Furlong $75,000 Yellow Rose
Defending Champion Shes Our Fastest returns hoping to grab a second consecutive win. She hasn't raced since the first scheduling, but that doesn't seem to worry the five-year-old daughter of Oratory's connections.
"She's a great mare, and she's ready to race anytime. Any day of the week," said J.J. Gelner, son and assistant to trainer Scott Gelner.
It doesn't appear she will mind the switch of venue either. She's won over the Lone Star surface twice, including the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes last July. Her most recent outing was a win in Delta Downs' Owner Appreciation Distaff on February 28. Installed as the 6-5 favorite, she'll have 2019 Lone Star Park Champion Jockey Iram Diego aboard for owners Mark Norman and Norman Stables LLC.
The capable Ima Discreet Lady, trained by Karl Broberg, should be fine with the venue change, as well. The four-year-old filly by Discreet Cat won the opening night edition of the $50,000 Bluebonnet Stakes here last year. Jockey David Cabrera, who is currently just one win off the leader in the standings, will ride for owners Raymond Todd White & Duane Coker.
Defending Champ Direct Dial Returns in the $75,000 Spirit of Texas
One of the top two contenders is W. S. Farish's Direct Dial. He hasn't won since last year's edition of this race at Sam Houston, so he'll need to be on his game Sunday. The five-year-old son of Too Much Bling has been training well, and with his top connections of current leading rider Stewart Elliott and Hall of Fame Trainer Steve Asmussen, he should do well.
The one Direct Dial will have to watch out for is Imma Bling. Another offspring by top Texas sire Too Much Bling. Trainer Karl Broberg said he had this race in mind when he claimed the seven-year-old gelding for $50,000 at Oaklawn Park. Jockey David Cabrera will be aboard.
Nine Will Compete in the First of the Turf Stakes, the $75,000 Richard King at a Mile and a Sixteenth
James Wessel's defending champion Redatory is "ready to go for a repeat," said trainer Allen Dupuy. "I was happy when DeShawn called and wanted to ride him here."
The five-year-old son of Oratory won the Houston Turf Stakes in February, his last out. He also likes the Lone Star turf course, as he proved by winning last year's Assault Stakes by three lengths.
Another sharp contender is Carolyn Barnett & Becky Harding's Sunlit Song. The five-year-old by My Golden Song has defeated Redatory before, but not since an allowance race here at Lone Star Park last year. Sunlit Song is trained by Mindy Willis and will be ridden by Lindey Wade.
The Six Furlong, $75,000 Groovy Stakes Drew a Field of Nine Contenders
The 2-1 morning line favorite, Gold Pilot, hails from the barn of top local trainer Bret Calhoun. A three-year-old son of My Golden Song, Gold Pilot has won his last two starts. The most recent was the Jims Orbit Stakes at Sam Houston in February. He competed twice at Lone Star last year for his owners Wayne Sanders & Larry Hirsh, just missing by a head in his first out in a maiden special weight, followed by a fourth place finish in the Texas Stallion Stakes Staunch Avenger. He is much improved for this upcoming race. Jockey Davis Cabrera is named to ride.
Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen has two three-year-old colts in by leading Texas Sire Too Much Bling that could easily get the win. Good Judgement, owned by Michael P. Lyons, Clark O. Brewster & Montgomery Lair is very capable. After breaking his maiden here last year, he placed in the Texas Stallion Stakes, Staunch Avenger Division, then went to Oaklawn earlier and scored a four length victory in a $40,000 claimer. In February, he placed in the Jim's Orbit at Houston, and he won an allowance here last month. Top rider Stewart Elliott will be aboard.
Bubba Bling, also owned by his trainer, has yet to win this year in a pair of outs. He did get up for third in the Jim's Orbit in February after winning the Texas Stallion Stakes last September at Retama Park. He has posted some nice works recently, with a bullet of 1:01.2 for five furlongs June 1. Asmussen has named Jermaine Bridgmohan to ride.
The $75,000 Bara Lass has Several Evenly Matched Three-Year-Old Fillies
Michael Grossman's Always Inthe Munny, trained by Mindy Willis, comes off of an impressive eight length allowance win at Will Rogers Downs May 12. The speedy daughter of Munnings has posted two bullet workouts since that win, and shipping in for the mount is DeShawn Parker.
GFB Racing LLC & Danny Pish's Gee She Sparkles, also trained by Pish, ran a perfect two-for-two here last year. She won her debut by a whopping 10 1/2 lengths and then was a winner by 5 1/4 lengths in the $100,000 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity Filly Division. She will be ridden by Danny Sorenson.
It's My Money, by Early Flyer, won her debut here last year in the Texas Stallion Stakes Pan Zareta Division. She later won the Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama on September 11. Her two most recent starts were the Two Altazano and an allowance at Sam Houston, where she placed in each. It's My Money is owned by Don Leach and Andrew Moran. She is trained by George Bryant and will be ridden by Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez.
The Second of the Two Turf Stakes is the $75,000 San Jacinto at a Mile and a Sixteenth
Ian Yarnot's Corluna, trained by Sarah Delany, was the runner-up in the 2019 edition of the San Jacinto at Sam Houston. The five-year-old mare by Unbridled's Heart won't have to contend with last year's champion, Texas Belle, since the reigning champion who would have been favored did not enter back in this re-scheduled event. Her trainer, Mindy Willis, retired the seeven-year-old mare after the original date was cancelled.
Too Much Irish, owned by Lane M. Hutchins & Danny Pish and trained by Pish, has two fourth place finishes in her most recent starts: the Fiesta Mile at Retama Park last September and the Miss Houston in February at Sam Houston Race Park.
The One Mile, $75,000 Star of Texas Stakes is the Final on the Texas Champions Day Card
Kenai Bob, a four-year-old son of Shackleford, has raced three times this year. The earliest of the three was a victory at Sam Houston against Texas-breds. He then tried the turf but did not take to the surface, finishing eighth. In his most recent start, he finished second in an open allowance at Will Rogers Downs. He is owned by Michael Grossman and trained by Mindy Willis. DeShawn Parker is named to ride.
He's So Zazzy, trained by William Martin, and Kats Second Silver, trained by Karl Broberg, are also top contenders in this final stakes on the card.