Early Final
-photo courtesy Lone Star Park

Early Final Captures Closing Day's $75,000 Middleground Stakes at LSP

Grand Prairie, Texas (Sunday, July 27, 2008) - Clarence Scharbauer Jr's Early Final, trained by Bret Calhoun, outran his 10 rivals to win the 12th running of the $75,000 Middleground Stakes for two-year-old colts and geldings going six furlongs over a fast racing surface at Lone Star Park on Sunday.

With Cliff Berry aboard, Early Final stalked pacesetting stablemate Tres Dangereux through opening fractions of :22.41 and 46.45 before pulling away at the head of the stretch to stop the clock in 1:12.12. Steve Asmussen's King Gulch finished three-and-three-quarter lengths back in second, and the Jack Bruner-conditioned Supreme Secret was another one-and-a-half lengths back in third.

"He broke really fast and I didn't want to get into an early duel, so I eased him back a little and he rated nicely for me," said winning rider Cliff Berry, who won of his third riding title at Lone Star Park in the last four years with 91 wins during the meet. "He made the lead on his own and when that other horse (fifth place finisher Mister Bonz) lapped up outside of him, I asked him to go and he responded."

The Victory improved Early Final's record to three wins from four starts for earnings of $112,194.

Early Final paid $4.20, $2.80, $2.20, runner-up King Gulch returned $5.00, $2.80, and Supreme Secret paid $2.40 for show. Jolie Streets, Mister Bonz, Getapossetogether, Club Tejano, Heber Valley, Tres Dangereux, Austin Ridge, and Calvary's Brother completed the order of finish. Supreme Secret ran as an entry with Jolie Streets.

Lone Star Park, located in Grand Prairie, Texas, concluded its 65-day Spring Thoroughbred Season on Sunday, July 27, 2008. Lone Star Park's 31-day, 2008 Quarter Horse Fall Meeting of Champions will be held from September 26 to November 29. Additional information on Lone Star Park can be found online at www.lonestarpark.com.

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