Fan Appreciation Day Highlights Closing Week at Lone Star

(July 25, 2007) - Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie will conclude it's 10th anniversary year in style this weekend with a premium item giveaway and prize drawings on Saturday.

Everyone with a paid $3 general admission to Saturday's 11-race program on "Fan Appreciation Day" will receive a free Lone Star Park 10th Anniversary Sports Bag while supplies last. In addition, one lucky person won't have to stand in a long line to take home a highly coveted iPhone.

The iPhone - the revolutionary new mobile phone with Internet access and a multimedia player (a $650 value) - tops the items that will be given away in prize drawings between races throughout the day. Other prizes include iPods, cash prizes and hotel stays. Contest entry forms must be submitted by 2 p.m.

Entertainment and live music will complement Saturday's live Thoroughbred racing, which is highlighted by the 11th running of the $70,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Scott Whitaker will perform country music on the Courtyard of Champions stage from 12-4 p.m., and there'll be pony rides, a petting zoo and bounce houses for the kids in the Family Fun Park.

And before the first race of the day at 12:45 p.m., 14 members of the Lone Star jockey colony will participate in a stick horse/foot race on the main track in conjunction with a fundraiser for the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund, which benefits injured and disabled jockeys and exercise riders.

After the races conclude around 6:15 p.m., patrons are invited to stay for "Movie Night" and watch Field of Dreams, the 1989 hit baseball film nominated for three Oscars that stars Kevin Cosner and James Earl Jones. The feature length movie will be shown in its entirety on the infield JumboTron and television monitors throughout the facility.

Only four live racing dates remain at Lone Star's 2007 Spring Thoroughbred Season:

· Thursday, July 26 - First of 9 live races is 6:35 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.)
· Friday, July 27 - First of 10 live races is 6:35 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.)
· Saturday, July 28 (Fan Appreciation Day) - First of 11 live races is 1:35 p.m. (gates open at 11:30 a.m.)
· Sunday, July 29 (Closing Day) - First of 11 live races is 1:35 p.m. (gates open at 11:30 a.m.)


Gold Coyote, who put forth one of the most dazzling performances by a 2-year-old in Lone Star Park history while winning the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes by 10 lengths, is scheduled to return to action Sunday in the $70,000 Middleground Breeders' Cup Stakes.

The six-furlong sprint for juvenile colts and geldings highlights Sunday's 11-race closing day program. The $70,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup Stakes for 2-year-old fillies is scheduled for Saturday.

Gold Coyote, with leading rider Ramsey Zimmerman in the saddle, stole the spotlight on the July 7 Stars of Texas Day program with a romping triumph and final time of 1:03.04 for 5 ½ furlongs - a stakes record for the sixth running of the Texas Stallion Stakes (Staunch Avenger Division).

Following the race, Gold Coyote was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 100 by the folks at Daily Racing Form - the largest number ever given to a 2-year-old in the 10-year history of Lone Star Park's Spring Thoroughbred Season. It eclipsed the old mark of 96 set by Wild Hits, who ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.03 while winning the 2000 TTA Sales Futurity by 9 ¼ lengths).

"I don't think you can ever predict a performance like that so early on in their career, but we did like him quite a bit this winter," said Bret Calhoun, trains Gold Coyote for owner/breeder Clarence Scharbauer Jr. of Midland, Texas. "He was at the top of his class, and did everything right and everything effortless."

To many observers, Gold Coyote has the look of a racehorse with a bright future - one that could take Calhoun to prominent stakes engagements across the country against the best 2-year-olds in the nation.

After the gelding disappointed in his April 19 debut when he broke poorly from the rail and finished up third, he hinted at stardom a month later with an 11 ¾-length victory against state-bred maidens. "He broke from the outside post position this time and it was much pretty over shortly after the break," Calhoun, 43, said.

But it was Gold Coyote's second straight daylight victory in the Texas Stallion Stakes that earned Calhoun's respect.

"That was very impressive," Calhoun said. "I was pretty sick [when he went head-and-head with stablemate Five Alarm through a first-quarter mile in :21.43]. I told [Zimmerman] to get away sharp and get [Gold Coyote] into the race, so I was okay for the first sixteenth of a mile. But when I looked up and neither jock was taking hold, I was getting pretty upset and pretty nervous. But he took a lot of pace pressure with some tremendous fractions and drew off like a good horse. We're pretty excited about him."

Calhoun is no stranger to a 2-year-old with talent. He was the trainer of Cactus Ridge, who went undefeated in four 2003 starts, including victories in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity and Ellis Park Juvenile. He also helped develop Cowboy Dan, who nearly beat eventual Horse of the Year Favorite Trick at odds of 28-1 in the 1997 WHAS-11 Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Depending on the outcome of Sunday's Middleground (entries will be taken Friday morning), bigger and better things may lie ahead for the Texas-bred son of Gold Legend out of the Seeking the Gold mare Coyote Café.

"We think he's got the pedigree, the disposition and the build to stretch out and go two turns," Calhoun said. "He gives us something to dream about. There are a lot of options out there. I'll probably be conservative for a little while. If he continues to move forward and looks like that kind of horse, then at some point and time we'll take our shot at the big boys."


Steve Asmussen will enter the final week of Lone Star Park's Spring Thoroughbred Season with a 64-62 lead over Grand Prairie native Bret Calhoun in the local trainer standings. Asmussen has won eight of the last nine Lone Star training titles. Calhoun seeks his first local title after finishing second to Asmussen each of the last two years.

Asmussen is positioned to increase his lead Thursday with eight horses entered for five races (including two morning line favorites), compared to Calhoun's two entries. Asmussen has entered Steven's Mark (7-5 morning line favorite) and Iccat in Race 3; Fourleaf (10-1) in Race 5; Madonna Mia (3-1 morning line favorite) and Doc's Delight (7-2) in Race 7; Funny Tune (7-2) and Rebalite (10-1) in Race 8; and General Sickles (5-1) in Race 9.

Calhoun is scheduled to start Excellent Shannon (7-2) in Thursday's opener and Wred N Runnin (10-1) in Race 4.

On Friday night, Asmussen entered Brass Band (7-5 favorite) in Race 6; She's Roughin It (9-2) and Holy Sunset (5-1) in Race 8; Lady Takum (8-5 favorite) and Instant Coverage (10-1) in Race 9; and Seneca Street (7-5 favorite) in Race 10.

Calhoun's Friday entries are Ashiki (5-2) in Race 5; Pure Grade (12-1) in Race 8; Diamond Frost (8-1) in Race 9; and Bulzi (8-1) in Race 10.

The races for top jockey and owner are all but over. Ramsey Zimmerman, atop the local standings for 60 of the 63 dates, began closing week with a 78-68 advantage over two-time defending riding champ Cliff Berry. Heflin & Driving Racing, the partnership of Sandy and Jerry Heflin of Rockwall and Ywachetta and James Driver of Irving, has led the owner's standings every step of the way with a Lone Star Park single season record 29 trips to the winner's circle, a dozen more victories than Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt of Houston.

BERRY, ERAMIA, HAMILTON ROLL UP SEVENS LAST WEEK - Jockeys Cliff Berry, Richard Eramia and Quincy Hamilton each rode seven winners last week (July 19-22) to lead all local riders. Leading jockey Ramsey Zimmerman made six trips to the winner's circle. Bret Calhoun managed to cut into Steve Asmussen's lead in the trainer standings with eight wins, one more than the perennial leader. Chris Hartman saddled four winners to pass John Locke for fifth place. Owners Mike McCarty and Bill Reed each made two trips to the winner's circle over the four-day period.

FULL FIELDS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY - A total of 97 horses are entered for Thursday night and another 105 were entered to compete Friday. The averages of 10.8 and 10.5 horses per race, respectively, are up considerably from the season total of 8.38.

HADENOUGH GOES FOR NO. 10 - The Tommie Morgan-trained Hadenough will attempt to win her 10th career race at five furlongs over the Lone Star Park turf course in Friday night's third race. Eddie Martin Jr. will ride. The 9-year-old mare has won nine of 23 starts on the Lone Star sod - more than any horse in track history. She was fifth in her only attempt this season on May 20.

SARATOGA UNDERWAY - Saratoga, which annually features the best racing in America, is underway. The 139th season will run Wednesday through Monday at 12 p.m. until Labor Day and features 47 stakes events, including 15 Grade Is. Four major events, all part of the "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge, will be run Saturday: the Grade I, $750,000 Whitney Handicap (older horses at 1 1/8 miles); Grade I, $500,000 Diana Handicap (fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf); Grade I, $250,000 Go For Wand (fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles); and Grade II, $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (older horses at six furlongs). Thursday's Saratoga feature is the Grade II, $250,000 Sanford Stakes at six furlongs featuring promising 2-year-olds Ready's Image and The Roundhouse from the Todd Pletcher barn.

COUNTRY MUSIC BY TEXAS CARTEL, DRINK SPECIALS TOP FRIDAY'S PARTY AT THE PARK - Live country music by Texas Cartel and drink specials from 7-11 p.m. highlight the conclusion of Lone Star Park's popular "Party at the Park" series on Friday night. There also will be special promotional appearances by "Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket" and 93.3 The Bone. The first of 10 live races Friday is 6:35 p.m. and grandstand gates open at 5 p.m.

SEASON CHAMPIONS TO BE SALUTED BETWEEN RACES ON CLOSING DAY - Lone Star Park will pay homage to its season champions between races throughout Sunday's 11-race closing day card. Horse of the Meeting and other honors will be voted upon and announced in coming days.

SUNDAY'S CLOSING DAY CARD DOUBLES AS SENIOR CITIZEN'S DAY - Sunday's final day of the 2007 Spring Thoroughbred Season also doubles as a Senior Citizen's Day. All customers age 62 and up will receive free general admission with proof of identification.

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