Multiple Stakes Winner D Fine Okie Controls Pace, Leads Way in Lone Star Feature

(July 14, 2007) - D Fine Okie controlled the pace and rolled to a 2 ¼-length victory over My Three Sisters in Saturday's $35,000 allowance feature at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. The victory came before a crowd of 12,101.

Richter Family Trust's D Fine Okie ran 1 1/16 miles on "firm" turf in 1:41.26 under veteran jockey Don Pettinger. She paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10 as the odds-on 1-5 favorite in the field of six fillies and mares.

In her previous start on June 23 at Louisiana Downs, the 5-year-old mare won the $50,000 River Cities Stakes by 3 ½ lengths for her fifth career stakes triumph.

My Three Sisters rallied for second and returned $2.80 and $2.40. Twinspot was another length back in third and paid $3.80.

The $21,000 winner's share of the purse jumped D Fine Okie's earnings to $361,765. The Oklahoma-bred, conditioned by Donnie K. Von Hemel, has now won 12 of her 30 career starts.

Also on the 11-race program, Steve Asmussen and Bret Calhoun - engaged in a battle to be leading trainer - each won two races. Asmussen, Lone Star's top trainer in eight of the last nine seasons, will begin Sunday with a 57-54 lead over Grand Prairie native Calhoun.

One of Calhoun's wins came in the second race with Tricky Storm, the 8-year-old gelding who won his fifth in a row and 18th win in 43 career starts.

Live racing continues Sunday with a 10-race program that begins at 1:35 p.m. CT.


Texas-bred Valid Lil remained unbeaten in four career starts - all at Lone Star Park this season - with a convincing 2 ½-length triumph in Friday night's ninth race, a 6 ½-furlong first-level allowance/optional claiming event against open company. In turn, the 4-year-old filly joined 3-year-old filly Moneyinmywranglers as the only horses to have won four races at the meet.

"We pretty much maximized her conditions here; we let her run through her conditions and developed her," trainer Bret Calhoun said. "She's been special, no doubt about it. She's a massive filly and there's a lot to her. She seems to be a pushbutton-type horse, at least that's how (jockey) Ramsey (Zimmerman) describes her.

"Every race has been a little bit different for her. She was on the inside [Friday] and the speed was outside of her. She had her ears pricked and it didn't bother her. He let her [reins] out a notch and the race was over; he never asked her that much down the lane."

Calhoun said he would consider the $50,000 Adena Springs Matchmaker Turf Sprint at Remington Park, an open five-furlong turf sprint on Aug 4 for Valid Lil's next start. Also on the agenda is a stakes event at Retama Park in October.

"I'm in a tough spot right now trying to find a race for her," Calhoun said. "I really don't want to switch surfaces on her after being four-for-four on the dirt. There's a race at Retama in October, but we've got to find some places to run her in between now and then. It's getting to the point now that we're going to have to run her in stakes."

CALHOUN HONORED - Grand Prairie native Bret Calhoun was honored by Lone Star Park after Saturday's third race in recognition of his 1,000th career win Thursday at Louisiana Downs. The milestone came with 2-year-old filly Timely Reflection. "Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected [1,000 career wins] and to have a track in my own backyard," Calhoun said. "One thousand wins are a lot. People not in the business might not realize it, but it's hard to win every day, every race. It's just tough to win. The key has been good owners, good help and fast horses. Every win is gratifying, from the $5,000 claimers all the way up to the stakes horses. The stakes horses are a little more gratifying because you have dreams that horses like (Texas Stallion Stakes winner) Gold Coyote will come along and go on to bigger and better races. I'm a little undecided where Gold Coyote will run next, but I think you will all see him run next in the Middleground here on closing day (July 29)." Calhoun, 43, saddled his first winner, Ramjet, on April 1, 1994 at the now defunct Trinity Meadows.

$1 MILLION RACE HIGHLIGHTS SUNDAY SIMULCASTS - Sunday's simulcasts are highlighted the Grade II, $1 million Delaware Handicap, a 1 ¼-mile test for fillies and mares at Delaware Park. Also, Sunday is closing day at Hollywood Park with the Grade II, $150,000 Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap, a 1 ½-mile turf test for older horses, as the feature. There also will be a mandatory payout of the track's Pick 6 pool. In New York, Belmont Park's featured event is the Grade II, $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap, a 1 3/8-mile grass event for older horses.

LONE STAR JOCKEYS PLAN HOSPITAL VISIT - Members of the Lone Star Park jockey colony will visit patients of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas on Tuesday (July 17) at 2:30 p.m.

ONLY NINE RACING DATES LEFT - After Saturday, there are only nine racing dates left at the 2007 Spring Thoroughbred Season. The first of 10 live races Sunday is 1:35 p.m. CT. Closing day is Sunday, July 29.

SENIOR CITIZEN'S DAY - Sunday is Senior Citizen's Day where all patrons age 62 and up will receive free general admission with proof of identification.

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