Gold Coyote
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Goosey Moose (inside)
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Sweet Idea
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Valid Lilly
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Austin Lights
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Calhoun, 2-year-old Gold Coyote Shine on Stars of Texas Day at Lone Star Park

(July 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, 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 the best."

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.


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, Texas.

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 gone."


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 third.

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 fillies.

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 won easy."

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.


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 meet."


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' trainer.

"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."

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