Biancone Bringing Horses for All Six Lone Star Million Stakes

(May 21, 2006) - Trainer Patrick Biancone and the nation's leading jockey by races won, Julien Leparoux, will invade the May 29 Lone Star Million with six horses-one for each of the rich Memorial Day stakes at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Recent graded stakes winners Cosmonaut (probable for the Grade III, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap), Stream Cat ($150,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes) and Man of Illusion ($100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint) are among the Biancone sextet scheduled to fly in the morning of the races.

Biancone made his first appearance at Lone Star in October 2004 with five horses for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and supporting stakes. Even though none of his horses won that week, the experience convinced him to keep an eye out for the Lone Star stakes schedule. With one of his strongest stables ever this year, Biancone has stakes-caliber horses in every division of the Lone Star Million program.

"Lone Star is just a lovely place to be," Biancone said. "It's one of the best tracks in the country and the people are charming there."

Texas hospitality, however, only goes so far. When it comes to the richest day of racing in the Lone Star State, the on-track competition tends to be fierce. With this year's Lone Star Million shaping up as one of the highest quality cards ever offered in Texas, the Biancone team will have to be at their best if they want to pay for the private charter plane they'll be traveling on from Kentucky.

Biancone's representative in the Lone Star Park Handicap, the richest annual race in Texas, is Grade III Golden Gate Handicap winner Cosmonaut. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred made five straight starts on turf before surprising in the Golden Gate, which was scheduled for the grass but moved to the main track. A 4 ½-length victory convinced Biancone to leave Cosmonaut on the dirt for the time being.

Last time out in the Grade III Ben Ali at Keeneland, the gray Cosmonaut acted up in the gate and popped through before finishing a distant fourth. "He was just scared of something, but now he's good," Biancone said. "He knocked himself and should not have run. He was sleepy because he hit his head a little bit hard."

Cosmonaut will face a deep field expected to include the top three finishers from last month's Grade III Texas Mile-Preachinatthebar, Stockholder and Texcess-as well as Grade I Santa Anita Handicap runner-up Magnum.

Biancone is especially excited about Keeneland allowance winner Joint Aspiration in the day's other graded stakes event, the Grade III $200,000 WinStar Distaff for older turf females. The British-bred filly will tussle with a tough group expected to include defending WinStar champion Katdogawn, Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup heroine Sweet Talker and Grade II San Clemente Handicap winner Shining Energy.

Joint Aspiration won the restricted $65,000 Gaviola Stakes at Belmont last fall in her American debut. After a last-place finish in her only try on dirt, she came back to win the Keeneland allowance by 1 ¼ lengths despite hopping at the start. The daughter of Pivotal made five Group I appearances in Europe without hitting the board, though she was less than two lengths back in the Irish 1000 Guineas. "She won in a canter when she won the other day so she's doing alright," Biancone said. "She's run twice on the turf in this country and she won both. She was very close to winning a Group I when she was in Europe. She's a very, very good filly."

The most anticipated matchup on the undercard, should it materialize as expected, would be between Biancone's Grade III Aegon Turf Sprint winner Man of Illusion and last year's champion sprinter, Lost in the Fog.

"The problem is not for Man of Illusion; the problem is for Lost in the Fog," cautioned Biancone. "It's great that he's going to find new competition."

Man of Illusion triumphed by a neck over 11 others in the Aegon, one of North America's most prestigious five-furlong turf sprints. In his American debut in April, the 5-year-old ran third in Keeneland's 5 ½-furlong Grade III Shakertown off a five-month layoff.

Biancone could start one of the favorites in the Pin Oak Stud with Stream Cat, winner of the Grade III Crown Royal American Turf at Churchill Downs in his 3-year-old debut. Last year, the son of Black Minnaloushe won the Grade III Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway Park and finished eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with an unfortunate trip.

The other Biancone horses shipping in for Memorial Day are Trick's Pick, a Santa Anita allowance winner pointing to the $100,000 Stonerside Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters, and Trolley's Last, an allowance winner in France last summer who will make her main track debut in the $100,000 Valid Expectations for older female sprinters.

Biancone's first-call rider, the 22-year-old Leparoux, led the national jockey standings with 212 wins through Saturday, 59 more than his closest competitor, Martin Garcia. Earlier this year, the apprentice set a new single-season record for wins at Turfway Park with 151.

Leparoux began his professional career in August, two years after he came to the United States to work as an exercise rider. He's a native of Chantilly, France, home of the country's most storied racecourse and the same town Biancone hails from.

Lone Star Million Rundowns

GRADE III, $400,000 LONE STAR PARK HANDICAP - According to stakes coordinator Mike Shamburg and other sources, here are the known possible runners for the Grade III, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds and up on Memorial Day (with jockey, trainer and assigned weight): Preachinatthebar (Jon Court, Bob Baffert, 121 pounds); Magnum-ARG (Patrick Valenzuela, Darrell Vienna, 117); Cosmonaut (Julien Leparoux, Patrick Biancone, 116); Nakayama Kun (TBA, Akiko Gothard, 116); Real Dandy (TBA, Steve Asmussen, 116); Stockholder (TBA, Steve Asmussen, 116); Texcess (Aaron Gryder, Mike Mitchell, 116); Shamoan-IRE (TBA, Eoin Harty, 115); and Dominguin-PER (TBA, Dante Zanelli Jr.). Also known to be under consideration are Einstein-BRZ (TBA, Helen Pitts, 120); Gouldings Green (TBA, Tony Reinstedler, 116); Gold and Roses (TBA, Tom Bush, 115); Watchem Smokey (TBA, Brandon Marks, 115); and Wishingitwas (TBA, Bart Evans, 113).

GRADE III, $200,000 WINSTAR DISTAFF HANDICAP - According to stakes coordinator Mike Shamburg and other sources, here are the known possible runners for the Grade III, $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap, a one-mile turf test for fillies and mares on Memorial Day (with jockey, trainer and assigned weight): Shining Energy (TBA, Julio Canani, 120 pounds); Sweet Talker (TBA, Gram Motion, 120); Katdogawn (Aaron Gryder, Wally Dollase, 119); Paz Ciudadana-CHI (TBA, Steve Asmussen, 117); My Misty Princess (TBA, Steve Asmussen, 116); Caviar Emptor (TBA, Joe Offolter, 115); Joint Aspiration-GB (Julien Leparoux, 115); Peaceful Love-GER (TBA, Jeff Mullins, 115); and Stela-CHI (TBA, Cole Norman, 115). Also known to be under consideration are Conveyor's Angel (TBA, Chris Paasch, 116) and Lock and Key-IRE (TBA, Ben Cecil, 116).

$150,000 PIN OAK STUD USA STAKES - According to stakes coordinator Mike Shamburg and other sources, here are the known possible runners for the $150,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds on Memorial Day (with jockey and trainer): Desert Wheat (TBA, Tony Richey); Kip Deville (TBA, Mike Neatherlin); Stream Cat (Julien Leparoux, Patrick Biancone); and Wait in Line (TBA, Chris Hartman). Also known to be under consideration are Aver (TBA, Sherman Savoie); Castles in the Sky (TBA, Donnie K. Von Hemel); Kentucky Warrior (TBA, Helen Pitts); Rock Lobster (TBA, Michael Dickinson); and Tahoe Warrior (TBA, Todd Pletcher)..

$100,000 BECK AUTO GROUP TURF SPRINT HANDICAP - According to stakes coordinator Mike Shamburg and other sources, here are the known possible runners for the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap, a five-furlong turf sprint for 3-year-olds and up on Memorial Day (with jockey, trainer and assigned weight): Man of Illusion-AUS (Julien Leparoux, Patrick Biancone, 120); Charming Socialite (TBA, Bill Pettit, 116); and Oncearoundtwice (TBA, John Locke, 115). Also known to be under consideration are Lost in the Fog (Russell Baze, Greg Gilchrist, 123 pounds); Siren Lure (TBA, Art Sherman, 121); Geronimo-CHI (TBA, Eric Guillot, 117); Whatasoldier (TBA, James Kasparoff, 114); K D King (TBA, Keith Dunaway, 113); War Bridle (TBA, Tommie Morgan, 113); and Crowning Victory (TBA, Chris Hartman, 111).

$100,000 STONERSIDE STAKES - According to stakes coordinator Mike Shamburg and other sources, here are the known possible runners for the $100,000 Stonerside Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies on Memorial Day (with jockey and trainer): Annie Savoy (TBA, Kari Craddock); Beholden (TBA, Eoin Harty); Brownie Points (TBA, Donnie K. Von Hemel); Downthedustyroad (TBA, Bob Baffert); Prahtheta (TBA, Glynn Winn); Trick's Pic (Julien Leparoux, Patrick Biancone); and White She Devil (TBA, Steve Asmussen). Also known to be under consideration are Kalyrra (TBA, Bret Calhoun), Open Meadows (TBA, Jack Bruner); Rachelsarompin (TBA, Tim Dixon); Victorina (Russell Baze, Greg Gilchrist).

$100,000 VALID EXPECTATIONS STAKES - According to stakes coordinator Mike Shamburg and other sources, here are the known possible runners for the $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares on Memorial Day (with jockey and trainer): Cookin's Cast (TBA, Alan Love Sr.); G G's Dolly (TBA, Kelly Von Hemel); Red Lifesaver (TBA, Steve Asmussen); and Trolley's Last (Julien Leparoux, Patrick Biancone). Also known to be under consideration are Expectant Diva (TBA, Randy Mayfield) and Ketchmewhereyoucan (TBA, Tommie Morgan).

DOWN THE STRETCH: Trainer Greg Gilchrist said Sunday a decision on Lost in the Fog's status for the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint would come Monday morning after a discussion with owner Harry Aleo. "I have to talk to Mr. Aleo [Sunday night]," Gilchrist said. "We'll do that and I'm sure we'll have a decision by Monday morning." Informed that Lost in the Fog was assigned 123 pounds for the handicap event, Gilchrist replied, "I wouldn't have expected any less than that." The Beck Auto Group would be Lost in the Fog's first start on turf...There will be no more Wednesday racing this season. The upcoming racing week features five days of action, Thursday to Monday, because of the special Memorial Day program May 29. After Memorial Day, racing will be conducted four days per week, Thursdays to Sundays, plus Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4. There will be no racing on Thursday, July 6...Three trials for the fillies division of the estimated $100,000 TTA Sales Futurity will be run Thursday as Races 3, 5 and 7. Trials for the colts and geldings division will be run Friday. The five-furlong finals are set for June 10...Friday's "Party at the Park" in the Courtyard of Champions features $1.75 Bud Light cans and live music by Scott McCurry from 7-11 p.m...The Factory will rock the Courtyard of Champions stage on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. as the featured live act for Budweiser "True Music" Saturday...A free Lone Star Park umbrella will be awarded to every fan with paid admission Memorial Day, May 29...Dr Pepper Can Months continue through June. Redeem your Dr Pepper can each live race day to receive $1 general admission, a free large Dr Pepper and the chance to win a night at the races in a luxury suite...Sundays are Senior Citizens' Days with free general admission to fans 62 and older with valid photo identification...For news updates, opinions, staff selections and more, remember to check out Lone Star Park's new Press Box Blog at

By Jim Mulvihill
Additional reporting by Darren Rogers

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