|Castles in the Sky Favored for
Saturday's $40,000 Nevill/Kyocera Stakes at Lone Star
(June 1, 2006) - The Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained Castles in
the Sky, winner of a $27,000 allowance race at Lone Star Park last
month, is the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday's $40,000 Nevill/Kyocera
Stakes. Jockey Quincy Hamilton will be aboard the 3-year-old for
the six-furlong race.
The second running of the race is restricted to 3-year-olds who
haven't won a stakes race this year. A field of eight was entered,
including Don't Tell Mommy who ran second in a $27,000 allowance
race in May for leading trainer Steve Asmussen.
Castles in the Sky, a son of 1992 Champion Turf Horse Sky Classic,
has placed in two of his three races in 2006. He is climbing up
the ladder at Lone Star as he has successfully gone from the ranks
of optional claimer to allowance horse and is now trying his hand
at stakes races.
Here's the complete field from the rail out (with jockeys, trainers,
and morning line odds): Almost Certain (Omar Rodriguez, Bart Evans,
8-1), Don't Tell Mommy (Glen Murphy, Steve Asmussen, 7-2), Castles
in the Sky (Quincy Hamilton, Donnie K. Von Hemel, 5-2), Southern
Humour (Don Pettinger, Cheryl Asmussen, 6-1), Guacamole (Casey Lambert,
Danny Pish, 20-1), Stalwarthy (Justin Sheperd, Steve Asmussen, 4-1),
Corredor de Plata (Cliff Berry, Cody Autrey, 6-1) and Katelyn's
Pride (Jorge Guzman, Martin Lozano, 8-1).
The Nevill/Kyoocera Stakes will be run as the 10th race at 5:47
p.m. CT on an 11-race program. The first live race is at 1:35 p.m.
Berry, Hamilton in Heated Battle for Leading Rider
Last year's defending Lone Star Park riding champ Cliff Berry finds
himself in a heated competition with 22-year-old Quincy Hamilton
to be Lone Star's leading jockey this season. Berry, who has been
riding for 26 years, had 47 wins in the first seven weeks of Lone
Star's 15-week meeting. Hamilton, in his fourth year of riding,
is only one win behind Berry with 46 victories. Rounding out the
rest of the meet's top five jockeys are Jamie Theriot (31 wins),
Justin Shepherd (22) and Glen Murphy (19).
Steve Asmussen, Lone Star's leading trainer for seven of the last
eight meetings, once again topped the list for the first seven weeks.
Asmussen, with 35 wins, had an eight-win lead over Bret Calhoun
and Cody Autrey, who had 27 wins apiece. Over the last two weeks
Calhoun notched 10 wins to tie Autrey for second. Danny Pish was
third with 17 trips to the winner's circle. Donnie K. Von Hemel
rounded out the top five with 13 wins.
In the race to be leading owner, there's a logjam among the leaders.
Sandy and Jerry Heflin led all owners with seven victories. There's
a four-way tie for second between Tom Durant, Wimp Free Racing Stables,
Pin Oak Stable and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable - all with six winners
each. Not far off their heels with five wins are Carl Moore Management
LLC and Charles Fletcher.
As for the horses, Sweepingly, Peerless Tee and Silver Thunder
were the only three-time winners at the meet over the first 34 days
Early Deadline For Nat'l Handicapping Championship Tourney
The early deadline to enter Lone Star Park's two-day qualifying
tournament for the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping
Championship is Friday at midnight. The local handicapping contest
will feature $10,000 in prize money on Saturday, June 17 and Sunday,
June 18, and the top three finishers will be off to Las Vegas to
compete in the national finals in January.
The early entry fee is $150 per person -- $100 for "Star Player
Rewards" members - but it jumps to $250 ($150 for "Star
Player Rewards" members on Saturday and through the final deadline
on June 16. To participate, contact Kristen Foster at (972) 237-1134
DOWN THE STRETCH - Friday night's featured $36,000 allowance
race (Race 9 at 10:19 p.m. CT) is a competitive field of nine older
horses going one mile on turf. Stakes winners A R Crackers and Goosey
Moose are expected to battle for favoritism, along with Cajole,
a winner in two of his last three starts. Also entered are Twilight
Vision, Nobodywantmetilnow, Runaway Choice, Trial By Jury, Andanight
and Rare Cure...Friday's "Party at the Park" will feature
live music from Cuvee and $1.75 Bud Lights in the Courtyard of Champions
from 7-11 p.m...Professor D will perform between lives races for
this week's Budweiser "True Music" Saturday from 12-4
p.m...Sunday is Senior Citizen's Day at Lone Star with free admission
for patrons 62 and up with proof of identification...Reminder: "Lone
Star Park Tonight," a half-hour replay of Lone Star's daily
racing, airs on HRTV (Channel 404 on Dish Network) the following
morning at 10:30 a.m. CT...HRTV also will broadcast "Lone Star
Park This Week" on Saturdays at 11 a.m. CT. The weekly magazine-style
show airs Saturdays at 9 a.m. on KFWD-52 in the Dallas-Fort Worth
area through June 10.