|The Drifter Draws Off to Easy Win in the 11th Running of the Texas Stallion Stakes - Staunch Avenger Division on Stars of Texas Day at Lone Star Park
(Grand Prairie, Texas - July 7, 2012) - Charles W. Fletcher's The Drifter drew off to win by seven lengths today in the 11th running of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes, Staunch Avenger division, for colts and geldings.
Trained by Cody Autrey since the passing last May of trainer Gilbert Ciavaglia, the two-year-old son of Seeking a Home disputed the pace early racing three wide on the turn, and drawing off in the final furlong under strong urging posting fractions of 22.32 45.58. Gyrate, who was no match for the winner, earned place. Estrickator battled briefly with the winner in upper stretch, but weakened holding on for show. The final time for the five and one-half furlong contest was 1:03.78.
"Well Cody thought I would be left sitting about third," said jockey, Cliff Berry. "He broke a little tardy, I goosed him a little and he shot right up there. He was there easy, so I just sat still on him and was about three wide. I asked him on the stretch and he came running."
The Drifter, now a perfect two-for-two, earned the winners share of $45,000 for today's victory increasing his lifetime earnings to $57,000. Wagers returned $4.60, $2.80 and $2.20. Runner up, Gyrate returned $5.40 and $3.20 with Estrickator returning $3.40 for show wagers. Validated Blarney, Worldventurer and Kiss My Abbie completed the order of finish.
Coyote Legend Becoming One in an All-Out Assault
Coyote Legend, owned and bred by Clarence Scharbauer Jr., and trained by Bret Calhoun, was a game winner in the 15th running of the $50,000 Assault Stakes for Texas-bred 3-year-olds and upward, over a fast main track Saturday.
Ridden by Lone Star Park’s all-time leading rider, Cliff Berry, the dark bay or brown son of Gold Legend was a winner from gate to wire today setting early fractions of 24.23 and 48.16. Drawing clear on the far turn, he was put into a drive by Safe Range in upper stretch, but responded well to that threat and held on gamely under good handling. The final time was 1:24.28 for the one-mile distance. Safe Range, while a brief threat, was turned away and was a clear second. Cool Hand Val was best of the rest finishing third.
"He's named right," said winning rider Cliff Berry. "He's a legend in my mind. Mostly, he likes to be in front, so I ride him away from there [gate] about every time I ride him and he'll settle about third or fourth if I need him to, but he'd rather be on the lead I think."
This was Coyote Legend's third year to run in the Assault Stakes and second victory. While finishing third last year (2011) he won the race the year before (2010).
With the win, Coyote Legend improved his record to 14 wins from 26 starts and increased his career earnings to $584,602.
Coyote Legend paid $3.00, $2.40, $2.10, runner-up Safe Range returned 3.80, $3.00, and Cool Hand Val paid $4.20 for show. Skip a Smile, Daddy Ben, Fly the Red Eye and Cougar Hollow completed the order of finish.
Platinum Song Tops the Charts in the Texas Stallion Stakes - Pan Zareta Division
In the 11th running of the Pan Zareta Division of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes, for two-year-old fillies, Scott Brown's Platinum Song, trained by Danny Pish, was a winner by a neck over the Steve Asmussen-trained Falling Star.
With Glen Murphy aboard, the grey daughter of My Golden Song, spotted the field about two lengths when she broke in the air out of the gate, but when urged she rallied outside, and closed well to get up late. Falling Star gained the lead at the top of the stretch, edged clear to lead to the final sixteenth, but couldn’t hold on and had to settle for place. Favorite, Thibodaux set the pace under pressure, but lost the advantage and tired holding on for third. The final time for the five and one-half furlong distance over a sealed fast main track was 1:05.32.
"The only strategy was to hope that she breaks you know, that's all in her hands, the jockey can't do a whole lot there," said winning trainer, Danny Pish. "Luckily she broke slightly better than she has in the past, only slightly, but that’s all it took, and it made the difference."
Giving Pish his first win in the Texas Stallion Stakes, Pan Zareta Division, Platinum Song recorded her first career win in her third start and increased her earnings to $51,486.
Platinum Song paid $21.40, $7.60, $3.00; runner-up Falling Star returned $3.60, $2.40, and Thibodaux paid $2.20 for show. Wahine Bling, Switchen Er Up, One Eyed Shook and Three Card Lil completed the order of finish.
Early M Gets to the Wire First in Valor Farm Stakes
Kathy Stephens and Frank Nieschwietz's Early M, trained by Ralph E. Arnold, Jr., just held on for the win in the 15th running of the six-furlong $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes for Texas-bred fillies, 3-year-olds and up, over a sealed fast main track at Lone Star Park Saturday.
With Jose Medina astride, the five-year-old chestnut daughter of Early Flyer showed good speed chasing the pace through fractions of 21.92 and 44.89. Dixie Dust was closing in strongly, but just missed having to settle for second best. Pace setter, Youcannotbeserious lost the lead near the furlong marker and was just able to get the show.
Claimed in June for an $8,000 tag, and another $10,000 to get into this race, trainer Ralph E. Arnold, Jr. said, "I just seen where Karl [Broberg] had the horse running pretty good, and when I claim a horse I usually try to get one that's in good form. You find very little wrong with them when they're running that good."
"We outrun a really good group of horses today," added Arnold. "I feel really fortunate. It was a hard race to pick, I think you seen by the tote board, and any one of these horses was definitely capable of winning the race. It was just our day."
Early M improved her career record to seven wins from 20 starts, and with the $30,000 winner's share of the purse, she increased her lifetime earnings to $102,080.
Wagers on Early M returned $53.60, $22.20 and $8.60, the highest win payoff in the history of the Valor Farm Stakes; Dixie Dust returned $23.40 and $11.60, also a record return for place; Youcannotbeserious paid $3.40 to show. Shewantsaprenup, Circustown Rose, Joy"s Paradise, Roundabout Lass, Nurse Goodnight, She Has Bling, Donegal Gold and Loose Play completed the order of finish.
Lone Star Music Series Shines Despite Looming Storm
Nashville recording artist Billy Currington drew 12,440 fans in a weather-threatening Texas storm to close out the 2012 Lone Star Music Series in a rousing fashion. Over 124,000 Texas music fans attended the 2012 Lone Star Music series.