|Calhoun, 2-year-old Gold Coyote
Shine on Stars of Texas Day at Lone Star Park
7, 2007) - Two-year-old gelding Gold Coyote stole the show on
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's seventh annual Stars of Texas
Day with a jaw-dropping 10-length romp over Spark Plug in the $125,000
Staunch Avenger division of the Texas Stallion Stakes before an
estimated crowd of 8,000 on Saturday.
The 5 ½-furlong race for 2-year-old colts and geldings was
one of six stakes events for horses bred in Texas. Lone Star Park's
leading trainer Bret Calhoun, a Grand Prairie native, saddled three
of the stakes winners, including the promising juvenile Gold Coyote.
The Staunch Avenger matched two of the best 2-year-olds on the
grounds: Gold Coyote, an 11 ¾-length maiden winner, and the
Steve Asmussen-trained Namesake, who won the $95,130 TTA Sales Futurity
by 3 ¾ lengths on June 9.
On Saturday, it was all Gold Coyote, a son of Gold Legend out of
the Seeking the Gold mare Coyote Café owned and bred by Clarence
Scharbauer Jr. of Midland, Texas.
Gold Coyote, with leading rider Ramsey Zimmerman aboard, broke
fast from the gate and dueled from the inside with stablemate Five
Alarm through swift fractions of :21.43 for the first quarter mile
and :44.63 for the half. Meanwhile, Namesake was about four lengths
behind the leaders in the early stages of the race.
At the top the stretch, Gold Coyote began to draw away under strong
urging from Zimmerman, and only the margin of victory and final
time was to be decided. The teletimer stopped in 1:03.04 - a stakes
record for the sixth running of the race and the 5 ½ furlongs
at Lone Star since War Bridle's 1:02.56 on June 4, 2005.
"I took a look back at the top of the stretch and nobody
was even close except for his entrymate, and he looked like he was
out of horse," Zimmerman said. "I gave him a breather
and he just went on with it. We've had some problems getting him
away from the gate, but he was sharp from the gate today. He's a
really nice horse and I'm grateful to be riding him."
Gold Coyote, who was coupled with Five Alarm, paid $3.20, $2.40
and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite. Spark Plug, owned by Bob and Janice
McNair's Stonerside Stable, was second and returned $6.80 and $4.40.
Stormy Date was another two lengths back in third and paid $3.60.
Namesake finished sixth.
Gold Coyote improved his record to two wins in three starts. The
$75,000 winner's share of the purse increased his career earnings
to $92,040. Calhoun said his next start is expected to come in the
$70,000 Middleground Breeders' Cup Stakes on July 29, a six-furlong
test for 2-year-old colts and geldings on closing day of the 67-date
Spring Thoroughbred Season.
"This is a nice colt," Calhoun said. "This winter
we got pretty excited about him. He did everything right and he
did everything effortless. He's a rangy, scopey horse and he just
kept developing. We were surprised he had the kind of speed he has
with the build he has. I think this colt could be a good one, and
I think he'll stretch out and go farther. I don't think he's a cheap
speed horse; he's very fast and I think he can carry his speed."
Calhoun, who has been atop the Lone Star Park trainer standings
since April 27, snapped a 45-45 tie with Asmussen with a three-win
day. He also won the $50,000 Allen Bogan Memorial with 4-year-old
filly Sweet Idea and the $50,000 Harold V. Goodman Memorial Stakes
with 3-year-old gelding Austin Lights.
Asmussen, winner of eight of the last nine local training titles,
saddled 2-year-old filly Valid Lilly to a dominating 6 ½-length
victory in the Pan Zareta division of the Texas Stallion Stakes.
At day's end, Calhoun had a 48-46 advantage in the trainer standings
with 13 racing days left at the meet.
Also on the card, 6-year-old gelding Goosey Moose narrowly won
the $75,000 Assault Stakes for a third time and collected his fourth
Lone Star Park career stakes win which matched the local record
of Mocha Express and Cinemine. Meanwhile, 3-year-old filly Moneyinmywranglers
collected her fourth straight victory with a 1 ½-length score
in the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes.
Live racing at Lone Star Park continues Sunday with a 10-race program
that begins at 1:35 p.m.
GOOSEY MOOSE WINS ASSAULT STAKES FOR THE THIRD TIME
Goosey Moose, the durable 6-year-old gelding trained by Danny Pish,
won the $75,000 Assault Stakes for a record third time in the last
four years with a hard-fought nose triumph over Upstream.
Goosey Moose, under Quincy Hamilton, went straight to the front
and set a dawdling pace before stopping the clock in 1:45.16 for
1 1/16 miles. He paid $7.60, $4 and $3 as the 5-2 second betting
choice. Defending champ Dreamsandvisions, the 8-5 betting choice,
finished third, 3 ½ lengths behind the top two.
"He broke alertly and was very relaxed," Hamilton said.
"I had it all to myself down the backside and whenever I asked
him, he called upon another gear. He's a great horse to ride. He's
really gritty and he gave it everything he had today. We were just
Goosey Moose, owned by Israel Flores of Brenham, Texas, earned
$45,000 for the score and has amassed $450,060 from his nine wins
in 37 career starts. With his third Assault triumph, he equaled
Mocha Express and Cinemine's Lone Star Park record of four stakes
wins at the track. In addition to back-to-back Assaults in 2004-05,
Goosey Moose won the 2006 Gold Nugget Stakes.
SWEET IDEA DICTATES, PULLS AWAY IN $50,000 ALLEN BOGAN
Barnett Stables' Sweet Idea controlled the pace and ran away to
a 7 ¼-length romp in the $50,000 Allen Bogan Jr. Memorial
Stakes for older Texas-bred females at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie,
Sweet Idea, with a final time of 1:38.27 for one mile, gave leading
trainer Bret Calhoun and jockey Cliff Berry their second stakes
winner together on the day. For Berry, it was his 2,999th career
Thoroughbred victory (note: Berry has 3,108 career wins: 2,999 Thoroughbreds,
100 Quarter Horse and nine Mixed victories).
"She broke very well and that gave her the advantage to set
slow early fractions (:24.25 for the first quarter mile, :48.16
for the half and 1:13.29 for three-quarters), and she was able to
kick on at the top of the stretch," Berry said. "If Sweet
Appeal (another starter with early speed who tracked in second only
to fade to fifth) had come out and pressed us along the backstretch
it would have hurt our chances a lot."
Sweet Idea paid $3.80, $2.40 and $2.40 as the 4-5 fan's choice.
This was Sweet Idea's fourth career stakes win and sixth trip to
the winner's circle in 20 starts. The 4-year-old daughter of Langfuhr
padded her earnings to $194,090, thanks to the $30,000 first prize.
"It's been real up-and-down with her," Calhoun said.
"We took some tough losses with her as a three-year-old when
she got beat a couple of heads in some big races (the $100,000 Stonerside
Stakes and $60,000 Lone Star Oaks). Mentally, she was immature back
then; she was washing out bad on me. If she behaved back then the
way she does now, she probably would have won a couple of those
bigger races. But she's back in top form now. They let us get away
with pretty soft fractions, and when you let her do that, she's
VALID LILLY EASIEST OF WINNERS IN FILLIES DIVISION OF $125,000
TEXAS STALLION STAKES
The Steve Asmussen-trained Valid Lilly was the easiest of winners
in the Pan Zareta Division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes,
as she drew off to win the 5 ½-furlong sprint by 6 ½
lengths over Classie Balloo. Fiesty Lula was another nose back in
Valid Lilly, a $41,000 purchase at the 2006 Texas Summer Yearling
Sale by Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt of Houston, stopped the clock
in 1:04.76 under regular rider Luis Quinonez. She paid $2.80, $2.40
and $2.10 as the odds-on 2-5 choice in the field of seven 2-year-old
This was her first stakes win. Previously, she was runner-up to
Mailey's Cat in the $93,530 TTA Sales Futurity on June 9.
"She's a nice filly," Quinonez said. "I'm telling
you, she's a real runner. We were going a little further today so
I didn't want to move too early. She controlled the pace (:21.70
for the first quarter mile and :45.51 for the half) and turning
for home she switched leads and got into gear. I just looked back
and saw where the competition was. She handled everything well and
Overall, Valid Lilly, a daughter of Valid Expectations, has won
three of her four starts. Her career earnings now tally $118,906
after bagging the $75,000 first prize.
Just moments after Valid Lilly prevailed, Asmussen, who was at
Churchill Downs in Kentucky on Saturday, won his fourth race of
the day at the Louisville racetrack when 2-year-old colt Kodiak
Kowboy won the Grade III, $100,000 Bashford Manor Stakes. He also
won the Grade III, $100,000 Debutante Stakes with 2-year-old filly
Rated Fiesty, who is owned and bred by the Heiligbrodts. The four
victories at Churchill gave the 41-year-old Arlington resident 45
wins at the Churchill Downs meet, which breaks Dale Romans' 2006
single season record of 43. Closing day at Churchill is Sunday.
AUSTIN LIGHTS SHINES IN $50,000 HAROLD V. GOODMAN MEMORIAL
In the $50,000 Harold V. Goodman Memorial Stakes, Austin Lights
wore down stablemate Be a Resident then held off a late bid by 7-5
favorite Datrick to win the 6 ½-furlong sprint for 3-year-old
Texas-breds by two lengths.
Austin Lights, who gave jockey Cliff Berry his 2,998th career Thoroughbred
win, was clocked in 1:16.73 and paid $5.80, $2.60 and $2.60 as the
9-5 second betting choice.
"He was relaxed early on, and when I asked him to go he did,"
Berry said. "He's fast. Be a Resident ran well; he didn't come
back to me as quick as I thought he would."
It was the Hadif gelding's third win in 10 starts and first stakes
triumph. The $30,000 winner's share of the purse jumped his bankroll
to $120,464 for owners/breeders Alan Booge and Michael Dudding.
Austin Lights is conditioned by Lone Star Park's leading trainer
Bret Calhoun. The Grand Prairie native also won the 2004 Goodman
with Canadian River.
"We were high on this colt as a two-year-old, and we were
actually a little disappointed in him because we thought he'd win
a few more races last year, but he just couldn't put it all together
at the right time," Calhoun said. "He always looked like
the best horse in the morning, but he didn't always show it in the
afternoon. He finally put it all together at Fair Grounds this winter
and we had a lot of confidence with him coming into the Lone Star
MONEYINMYWRANGLERS WINS $50,000 VALOR FARM STAKES
Moneyinmywranglers collected her fourth consecutive win and first
stakes victory when she wore down pacesetter Foolish Girl to win
the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes by 1 ½ lengths.
Ridden by Richard Eramia, Moneyinmywranglers covered six furlongs
in 1:11.23 and paid $2.60, $2.40 and $2.10 as the heavy 1-5 favorite
in the field of five 3-year-old fillies.
This was the fifth win in eight starts for the chestnut daughter
of Proud Halo. The $30,000 winner's share of the purse jumped her
earnings to $80,160 for owners Ray Whitely of Alvin, Texas and Sharon
Barker of Pearland, Texas. Barker, 58, also is Moneyinmywranglers'
"She just seems to really like this track," Barker said,
"She's blossomed, matured and done well. I'm so proud of her,
and I'm so proud of my whole team."