Louisiana Native Robideaux Returns to Lone Star with Miller Lite Favorite Comalagold

(June 22, 2006) - Four years ago, Larry Robideaux Jr. left Lone Star Park to race his horses closer to his Louisiana home. But on Saturday, the 72-year-old regional training great will return to the Grand Prairie, Texas oval with Comalagold, the 8-5 favorite for the $40,000 Miller Lite Stakes.

The 10th running of the Miller Lite, a five-furlong turf sprint that attracted 11 older females, is the featured live race this week at Lone Star Park, which has just five weeks remaining at its 66-date Spring Thoroughbred Season. To complement the live racing, two Party at the Parks - featuring live music and $1.75 beer specials - will be staged Friday night (music by House Party from 7-11 p.m.) and Saturday afternoon (Channel 15, 12-4 p.m.).

Comalagold, a winner of nine races and $233,080 in 33 career starts for owner/breeder Bobby Pruitt, landed post No. 9 in the Miller Lite. Last fall, the 6-year-old Alabama-bred mare posted a 25-1 upset in the Majorette Handicap at Louisiana Downs for her fourth career stakes win (her first against open company). Most recently, she finished second to the hard-knocking Our Love in a Louisiana Downs allowance that was used as a tune-up for the Miller Lite.

"She's a hard-trying mare that can carry her speed up to a mile on the grass or three-quarters on the main track," Robideaux said. "My job is just to try and not run her out of line which I've admittedly done a few times, reaching and grabbing for straws. But she should fit this group here. I hope to come back home with a little money in our pockets."

Robideaux, a top horseman for more than four decades, is no stranger to Lone Star Park or the Miller Lite. He won the 1999 renewal with Cinemine, a winner of 12 races and $506,681 from 29 starts between 1997-2000. In fact, Robideaux won seven stakes at Lone Star Park from 1997-2001 and five came with Cinemine - Lone Star's Champion 3-Year-Old Female in 1998 and Champion Older Female in 2000. His last local stakes triumph came five years ago with Nanie's Dinner in the 2001 Allen Bogan Memorial Stakes.

Robideaux had one of the top local barns in the first five years of Lone Star's existence. In fact he was so successful that he began this year ranked 15th in career wins at Lone Star with 87, despite winning just 18 local races with limited starts since 2002. He added another earlier this year when Comalagold raided Lone Star on April 26 for a 1 ½-length triumph in an allowance/optional claiming race over 7 ½ furlongs on turf.

Over the years, the Miller Lite has showcased some of the Southwest's top female sprinters. In addition to Cinemine, past winners include Leslie's Love, the 2002 champ who was 22-time winner with six stakes scores and $642,484 in career earnings, and 2001 victress Hallowed Dreams, the sensational Louisiana-bred who began her career with 16 consecutive wins.

Here's this year's Miller Lite field from the rail out (with jockeys, trainer and morning line odds): Majestically (Justin Shepherd, Steve Asmussen, 4-1); Seneca Song (Glen Murphy, Chris Hartman, 8-1); Magic Power (Richard Eramia, John Locke, 8-1); Satin Halo (Cathy Garner, Tim Garner, 30-1); Ketchmewhereyoucan (Cliff Berry, Tommie Morgan, 15-1); Love the Beach (Roman Chapa, Cody Autrey, 7-2); Heres a Memory (Alfredo Juarez Jr., Hartman, 8-1); Unseen Evidence (Don Pettinger, Cash Asmussen, 20-1); Comalagold (Jaime Theriot, Larry Robideaux Jr., 8-5); 2004 Miller Lite champ Fleeta Dif (Casey Lambert, Jack Bruner, 20-1); and Destiny's Design (Jorge Guzman, Locke, 20-1).

Seneca Song and Heres a Memory will run as a Frontier Stables-owned entry. Love the Beach was also entered in Saturday's eighth race, a six-furlong second level allowance, by trainer Cody Autrey.

The Miller Lite will be run as Race 10 on an 11-race program that begins at 1:35 p.m. CT. The Miller Lite has an approximate post time of 5:47 p.m. CT.


Defending riding champ Cliff Berry increased his lead in the jockey standings with seven wins from 24 mounts last week at Lone Star Park - tops among the riding colony. Overall, the 43-year-old Missouri native had won with 70 of his 283 mounts (25%) and maintained a seven-win advantage of his nearest rival Quincy Hamilton (63-for-310, 20%). Jaime Theriot regained third place with four victories during Week 10, giving him 35 overall. He's followed by Justin Shepherd (33), Alfredo Juarez Jr. (23), Glen Murphy (23), Roman Chapa (17), Richard Eramia (15), apprentice Jorge Guzman (14) and Casey Lambert (14).


For the second week in a row, trainer Bret Calhoun led all trainers in races-won with four victories during Week 10 of Lone Star's 15-week meeting. However, Calhoun remained third in the trainer standings, but they've tightened up. Perennial leader Steve Asmussen will begin the week with 44 wins, followed by Cody Autrey at 39 and Calhoun at 37. They are followed by Danny Pish (22), Cole Norman (17), John Locke (16), Chris Hartman (14), Tommie Morgan (14), Donnie K. Von Hemel (13) and Dallas Keen (12). Autrey is Lone Star's top trainer in June with 12 wins, followed by Calhoun's 10 and Asmussen's nine.


Tom Durant remained on top of the Lone Star owner standings with a victory Thursday night by Miesque's Affair. It was Durant's 10th win of the season as he pursues his fifth owners' crown at the Grand Prairie oval. It won't be an easy final five weeks because seven rivals are less than four victories behind the defending champ: Sandy and Jerry Heflin (9), Charles Fletcher (7), Frontier Stables (7), Carl Moore Management (7), Wimp Free Racing Stables (7), Heiligbrodt Racing Stable (6) and Pin Oak Stable (6).


Carl Pleasant's Sweepingly, the 7-year-old gelding from the Chris Hartman barn who posted a 22-1 upset in the Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap on Lone Star Million Day, became the first winner of four races at the Lone Star Park meeting when he out-kicked Peerless Tee by a neck in Saturday's fifth race. Peerless Tee (3-for-4) is one nine three-time winners this season. The others are Durrymane (3-for-4), Groovy Chief (3-for-3), Little River Bank (3-for-5), Popped Corn (3-for-4), Purely Classic (3-for-3), Silver Thunder (3-for-3), Sleek Flyer (3-for-3) and War Bridle (3-for-4). Last year, Saf Link set a track record with five wins in five starts in a single Lone Star Park meeting.


Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's 10th annual Lone Stars & Stripes Fireworks Celebration will be twice as good in 2006. Not one, but two special twilight holiday horseracing programs on Sunday, July 2 and Monday, July 3 will precede one of the most spectacular fireworks shows in North Texas to help celebrate the Fourth of July weekend.

The post-race holiday fireworks extravaganzas - each synchronized to a rousing patriotic soundtrack (courtesy of 100.3 Jack FM on July 2 and 99.5 FM The Wolf on July 3) - will begin approximately 30 minutes after Lone Star Park's final race at approximately 10 p.m. Onlookers will get an up-close look and feel the power of the 20-minute pyrotechnics show because the fireworks are launched from the nearby racetrack infield.

The first of 10 live races on each of the special twilight programs is 5 p.m. Grandstand gates will open early at 3 p.m. General admission is just $3 and children under three are admitted free. For reserved indoor and outdoor seating, call (972) 263-PONY.

In addition to exciting live racing and the fireworks shows, there will be plenty of entertainment. Activities for the entire family include pony rides, a petting zoo, interactive games, bounce houses, giant slides, arts and crafts vendors, and face painters. Between lives races, there will be music performed by Signed, Sealed, Delivered on July 2 and Jeremiah Houston, both at the outdoor sun-shaded Courtyard of Champions area from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Prior to the fireworks show on July 2, Lone Star Park will stage its annual mascot race, featuring mascots from area sports teams, and someone will win a trip to NASCAR's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway - the thrilling conclusion of "The Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" series. On July 3, those who visited North Texas Ford dealerships in the month of June will have a chance to win a 2006 V6 Ford Mustang Coupe in a prize drawing right after the last race.

Lone Star Park's holiday week of racing will cover six days: Thursday, June 29 (first race at 6:35 p.m.), Friday, June 30 (6:35 p.m.), Saturday, July 1 (1:35 p.m.), Sunday, July 2 (5 p.m.), Monday, July 3 (5 p.m.) and Tuesday, July 4 (1:35 p.m.). There will be no fireworks on the Fourth of July.

The two biggest of the 60 races that week will be held on Saturday, July 1. Three-year-old Thoroughbreds will compete in the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes at one mile on the main track. Three-year-old fillies will take their turn over the turf course in the $60,000 Lone Star Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.


On Monday, July 3, one lucky patron will win a 2006 V6 Ford Mustang Coupe, thanks to a partnership between Lone Star Park and the North Texas Ford Dealers. Anyone who visits a North Texas Ford Dealer through Saturday, July 2 can pick up a "Lone Star Park Trackpack" that contains an entry form, two general admission tickets and a general parking coupon. The entry form must be delivered to Lone Star Park by 7:30 p.m. on July 3. After the final race and just before the fireworks show, 10 participants randomly chosen earlier in the day will each have the opportunity to select the key that opens the door to the new car.


Visitors to Lone Star Park will have a chance to experience horsepower of different kind on Sunday, July 2. In conjunction with NASCAR, TNT and Comcast Cable, Lone Star Park will give away a trip for two to NASCAR's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway - the thrilling conclusion of "The Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" series. The prize package will include airfare to Miami, Fla., hotel accommodations and two tickets to the Nov. 19 championship race. All patrons that pass through paid admission gates before 7:30 p.m. on July 2 will be given an entry form to participate in the prize drawing, scheduled later that evening.


Lone Star Park has teamed with The Dallas Morning News to present a "Best Seat in the House Contest" for the 10th annual Lone Stars & Stripes Fireworks Celebration on Sunday, July 2 and Monday, July 3. The final two contest forms will be in Friday's The Guide and SportsDay sections of The Dallas Morning News. The contest form must be submitted by 3 p.m. on Tuesday for a chance to win a dinner for eight in the Silks Dining Terrace, plus up-close seats for the post-race fireworks on July 2.


For the second straight year, members of the Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie riding colony will visit patients of Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth on Tuesday at 2 p.m. The jockeys will be dressed in their familiar riding silks and will hand out autographed goggles to the children. Lone Star's mascot "Derby the Horse" also will be present. Cook Children's Medical Center is located at 801 Seventh Ave. in Fort Worth. For more information, contact Darren Rogers at (972) 237-1140.

DOWN THE STRETCH - The Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained Snicker Slew is the 7-5 early choice for Friday's featured ninth race, a first-level allowance restricted to Texas-bred fillies and mares. She's finished second at this level twice this meeting...Hadenough will shoot for her 10th career win over the Lone Star Park turf course in Friday's sixth race, a five-furlong dash for $10,000 claiming horses...Hardest Part, a 2-year-old colt trained by Brent Davidson, will make his debut in Friday's third race. He is a half-brother to My Miss Storm Cat, who won the Desert Stormer Handicap on May 28 at Hollywood Park to improve her record to four wins in six starts for trainer Bob Baffert...Friday's seventh race favorite No Risk No Gain is a half-brother to stakes winners First Attraction, Action Tonight and Leaving On My Mind (Texas' 2004 Horse of the Year)...Popped Corn and Purely Classic will clash in Saturday's seventh race. Both are seeking their fourth wins of the meeting...Matty's Song will shoot for his fifth consecutive win in Saturday's first race...Ryan's Inheritance will make her debut in Saturday's fifth race. She's a half-sister to Victory U.S.A., the Grade II-winning filly of more than $600,000...Saturday's marquee simulcast events include a doubleheader from Colonial Downs - the $1 million Colonial Turf Cup for 3-year-olds on turf and the Grade III, $200,000 All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes for fillies and mares. The former will showcase a meeting between Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes winner Stream Cat and Grand Prairie Turf Challenge winner Kip Deville, who'll make his first start for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. after being privately sold by trainer Mike Neatherlin for a reported $500,000. Also entered in the 1 3/16-mile turf event is Kentucky Derby sixth-place finisher Showing Up and Peter Pan runner-up Lewis Michael...Some of North America's top females on turf will be showcased Grade II events coast-to-coast: the $250,000 New York Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park (Argentina, Angara and Nobel Stella) and $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park (Eternal Melody)...Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up Flower Alley will make his start of the year in Saturday's Grade III, $150,000 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park...Walmac Lone Star Derby champ Wanna Runner heads the $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine. The 1 ¼-mile event is the first leg of Canada's Triple Crown...Sunny's Halo, the 1983 Kentucky Derby winner who passed away in 2003 as Texas' all-time leading sire by progeny earnings ($26 million), will be re-interred at the Kentucky Derby Museum located at Churchill Downs - the site of his greatest triumph. Until Tuesday, he was buried under a headstone at the former Double S Thoroughbred Farms in Bullard, Texas...Premier Dance, a winner of five consecutive stakes last year as a 2-year-old for owner Charles Fletcher and trainer Cody Autrey, continued comeback preparations with a five-furlong drill at Lone Star on Monday in :59 3/5 - the fastest of 10 workouts at the distance. It was the 3-year-old son of Premiership's fifth official workout since May 18...Premiere Stakes champ Senor Amigo prepped for the July 8 Assault Stakes with a six-furlong move Tuesday in 1:13...Sunday is Senior Citizen's Day at Lone Star with free admission for patrons 62 and up with proof of identification...And finally, here's hoping that Dallas Maverick, entered in Thursday night's fourth race, doesn't open up to a 13-length lead at the three-furlong marker and folds in the stretch.

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