Mystery Classic
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Martin Bags Record 23rd Stakes Win Before 20,000 at Lone Star Park

(July 4, 2007) - Mystery Classic shot through an opening along the inside rail and ran down pacesetter Orphan Brigade to win Wednesday night's $50,000 Lone Star Park Turf Sprint Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Because of a midday thunderstorm, the five-furlong sprint was transferred from the turf to the main track, which was labeled "muddy."

Mystery Classic, a 4-year-old gelded son of Mystery Storm, was clocked in :56.73 under Eddie Martin Jr. The victory gave Martin his record 23rd stakes win at Lone Star Park, which snapped a tie with Corey Lanerie.

Breaking from post No. 4 in the field of seven older horses, Mystery Classic showed good speed early, but Martin opted to drop back of the early leaders, K D King and Orphan Brigade, who ran the first quarter mile in :21.46 and :44.56, respectively.

"I think the winning move was when I cut the corner," said Martin, 43. "[At the top of the stretch], it parted like the Red Sea for me down on the rail and off he went."

Mystery Classic paid $5.60, $3.40 and $2.40 as the 9-5 second betting choice. Orphan Brigade, the 8-5 choice, returned $3 and $2.40. Toga Too rallied for third and paid $2.40. K D King, Greggo, Cee's the Point and Joe Move completed the order of finish. Daring Child was a late scratch.

Martin, the 2004 local riding champ, returned to Lone Star Park six days earlier after spending the last two years in Kentucky and New York. He was a late replacement for veteran jockey Bobby Walker Jr., who fractured his right collarbone when his mount stumbled badly at the start of Sunday's first race.

"Bobby deserves a lot of the credit because he brought this horse along and taught him how to rate," said winning trainer Bob Schultz, who also conditions third-place finisher Toga Too. "I'm sorry Bobby got hurt last Sunday. He wasn't here to ride, but he sure deserves a lot of the credit."

Mystery Classic, who collected his third career stakes win, earned $30,000 and jumped his career earnings to $162,510. The 4-year-old gelding has now won eight of his 13 starts for owner/breeder John Pierce.

The victory came before a crowd conservatively estimated at 20,000. For the second night in a row, Lone Star Park staged nine live races followed by post-race fireworks. On Tuesday, total attendance was 16,047. A final attendance number for Wednesday will be available Thursday afternoon.

Live racing at Lone Star Park continues Thursday night with a nine-race program that begins at 6:35 p.m. CT.

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