|Saturday's All-Stakes Pick Three
at LSP Includes Lone Star Derby and Deep Stallion Stakes
(May 12, 2006) - Saturday's Grade III, $300,000 Walmac
Lone Star Derby with promising 3-year-olds like Wanna Runner, Red
Raymond and Admiral's Arch isn't the only rich stakes event on the
11-race program from Grand Prairie, Texas. Two competitive divisions
of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes each attracted full fields
of the maximum 12 entrants and round out an enticing all-stakes
Pick Three that starts with the Lone Star Derby in Race 8 at 4:51
Trainer Bret Calhoun boasts six entrants in the Texas Stallion
Stakes-four in the 3-year-old Got Koko division for fillies and
two in the 3-year-old Stymie division for colts and geldings. Both
races are run at 1 1/16 miles and offer some challenging handicapping
puzzles, seeing as many of the top choices have yet to attempt a
route of ground.
Got Koko Division (Race 9 at 5:19 p.m. CT)
Calhoun holds the upper hand in the fillies division with the top
two finishers from last year's 2-year-old fillies division of the
Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star-winner Final Trick and runner-up
Cats Legend. After her Texas Stallion upset, Calhoun gave Final
Trick an extended vacation that lasted until last month's opening
weekend at Lone Star. The trainer said she had no physical problems,
but was rested to point to the lucrative late spring and summer
stakes. Final Trick flopped in her first race back, finishing sixth
as the odds-on choice in a second-level allowance.
"Everyone else was pretty upset with her race off the layoff,
but I wasn't," Calhoun said. "This is a race we've been
shooting for and, knowing we would be stretching her out, we just
wanted her to rate and relax, which she did. Past the finish line
she galloped out past the majority of the others, so it wasn't as
bad a race as it looked."
Recent allowance winner Cats Legend is part of a favored entry,
installed at 5-2 on the morning line, with Shesabigcat, who Calhoun
also sees as a threat for the win after a close second in an entry-level
allowance last month. "She set strong fractions and got tired,"
the trainer said. "She'll be much tighter for this race and
she does have two-turn experience."
Calhoun also saddles She's Open Minded, a dominant allowance winner
going six furlongs on opening night. "From early on we always
though she'd be better going around two turns, but now she has to
prove it," Calhoun said. "I like what she's shown in the
Even Calhoun, who probably knows the fillies in this field better
than anyone, said the race is as wide-open as can be. He called
Open Meadows, an impressive opening night maiden winner trained
by Jack Bruner, "the horse to beat." As for his own quartet,
"I don't know who I would pick out of my four, but they're
all very live," Calhoun said.
Stymie Division (Race 10 at 5:47 p.m. CT)
Calhoun is one of three trainers with multiple entrants in the
colts and geldings division. Steve Asmussen saddles the 5-2 morning
line favorite, allowance winner Samba Jones, as well as Will Farish's
stakes-placed Open Forum colt, Upstream. Meanwhile, Danny Pish sends
out Sam Houston stakes winners Brick Fight and Guacamole.
Calhoun is represented by 7-2 morning line second choice Private
Fight, a fast-closing allowance winner at one mile last month, and
8-1 shot Alpha Male, who led gate-to-wire in a 6 ¼-length
maiden special weight romp three weeks ago.
"These horses definitely complement each other," Calhoun
said. "You've got one that lays close to the pace and one that's
a closer. I think Alpha Male can go on the pace or set right off
of it. Private Fight will definitely set off of it. Both have two-turn
experience and both of them were pretty impressive in their last
Handicapping the Pick Three
Lone Star Park's morning line oddsmaker and racing information
specialist Rick Lee recommends one of two approaches to betting
the challenging all-stakes Pick Three.
"The most logical thing to do would be to single Wanna Runner
in the Lone Star Derby and then spread out as much as you can afford
to in the Stallion Stakes," Lee said. "But the other method
to consider is to single a horse like Samba Jones in the final leg
and see if you can beat Wanna Runner in the Derby. The only knock
against Samba Jones is the lack of a two-turn race, but other than
that he's pretty solid. Any ticket that beats Wanna Runner is going
to pay well."
Here's the complete field for Saturday's Grade III, $300,000 Lone
Star Derby, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, from the rail out (with
jockeys, trainers and morning line odds): Wanna Runner (Victor Espinoza,
Bob Baffert, 7-5), Rain On Monday (Roman Chapa, Steve Asmussen,
10-1), Admiral's Arch (Shaun Bridgmohan, Asmussen, 5-2), Red Raymond
(Luis Quinonez, Bob Holthus, 7-2), Wait In Line (Alfredo Juarez
Jr., Chris Hartman, 15-1) and Mr. Pursuit (Jamie Theriot, Joe Petalino,
6-1). All horses will carry 122 pounds.
Here's the complete field for the Got Koko division of the $125,000
Texas Stallion Stakes, for Texas Stallion-nominated 3-year-old fillies
at 1 1/16 miles, from the rail out (with jockeys, trainers and morning
line odds): Fly Francie Fly (Roimes Chirinos, Bob Schultz, 20-1),
Wild Texas Knights (Richard Eramia, John Locke, 15-1), Final Trick
(Quincy Hamilton, Bret Calhoun, 8-1), She's Open Minded (Glen Murphy,
Calhoun, 3-1), Cats Legend (Justin Shepherd, Calhoun, 5-2), Lady
Prospector (Roman Chapa, Danny Pish, 30-1), Larisaanna (Shaun Bridgmohan,
Steve Asmussen, 8-1), Night Diamond (Bobby Walker Jr., Pish, 30-1),
Kathy's Rocket (Terry Stanton, W.T. Howard, 5-1), Shesabigcat (Cliff
Berry, Calhoun, 5-2), Open Meadows (Casey Lambert, Jack Bruner,
8-1) and Little Rumble (Jamie Theriot, Bubba Cascio, 20-1).
Here's the complete field for the Stymie division of the $125,000
Texas Stallion Stakes, for Texas Stallion-nominated 3-year-old colts
and geldings at 1 1/16 miles, from the rail out (with jockeys, trainers
and morning line odds): Alpha Male (Quincy Hamilton, Bret Calhoun,
8-1), Preachers Luck (Jamie Theriot, Cole Norman, 12-1), Private
Fight (Justin Shepherd, Bret Calhoun, 7-2), Upstream (Luis Quinonez,
Steve Asmussen, 8-1), Brick Fight (Filemon Rodriguez, Danny Pish,
10-1), Total View (Casey Lambert, Jack Bruner, 50-1), Red Eagle
Express (Bobby Walker Jr., Randy Mayfield, 30-1), Samba Jones (Shaun
Bridgmohan, Asmussen, 5-2), Guacamole (Roman Chapa, Pish, 9-2),
Single Sox (Glen Murphy, Allen Milligan, 15-1), Praisemeister (Cliff
Berry, John Locke, 20-1) and Valid Victory (Anthony Cruz, C.R. Trout,
In additional Walmac Lone Star Derby news:
· Trainer Bob Baffert will be seeking his second Lone Star
Derby win with Wanna Runner. He won the inaugural Lone Star Derby
in 1997 with Anet, finished second to Smolderin Heart in 1998 with
Shot of Gold and was fourth in 1999 with Black Mercury, the year
T.B. Track Star posted a 31-1 upset.
· Past winners of the Walmac Lone Star Derby are Anet (1997);
Smolderin Heart (1998); T.B. Track Star (1999); Tahkodha Hills (2000);
Percy Hope (2001); Wiseman's Ferry (2002); Dynever (2003); Pollard's
Vision (2004) and Southern Africa (2005).
· The Lone Star Derby, along with the rest of Lone Star's
11-race program on Saturday, will be broadcast live on HRTV, HorseRacing
· The Lone Star Derby will be previewed in-depth Saturday
morning by Darren Rogers and track announcer John Lies on Lone Star
Park This Week, the weekly television show on KFWD-TV, channel 52.
Also on this week's episode, Gary West of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
discusses Barbaro's win in the Kentucky Derby, an interview with
trainer Steve Asmussen and a look back at past Lone Star Derby winners.
· Lies and Rogers will also hash out the Lone Star Derby
on this week's edition of Inside Lone Star Park, airing live Saturday
from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM.
· Races 8-11 on Saturday will be simulcast into California,
according to simulcast coordinator Mindy Freeland.
· Lone Star Derby Day will include plenty of special events
to complement the on-track excitement. All fans with paid admission
who enter before 2 p.m. will be eligible for a drawing to participate
in the $25,000 Horseshoe Ringer Toss, presented by 100.3 JACK FM.
Three lucky fans will be drawn at random to toss a horseshoe at
a stake on the track between races. Also Saturday, the Budweiser
"True Music" Saturday concert series continues with live
music by Incognito in the Courtyard of Champions from noon to 4
By Jim Mulvihill
Additional reporting by Darren Rogers