|Lady Sonya Tops Her Stablemate
in the Double Your Flavor Stakes at SHRP
Texas (March 27, 2004) - A talented field of eight fillies and
mares put on a dazzling show in tonight’s feature at Sam Houston
Race Park, the $40,000 Double Your Flavor Stakes. The stakes was
named for the retired former champion at Sam Houston Race Park,
Double Your Flavor. The accomplished mare, who raced for Dr. Jeffrey
Kass and trainers Vance Vineyard and later, Paul Duhon, won 17 races
at Sam Houston Race Park, a record for wins at the northwest Houston
racetrack. Double Your Flavor, retired in 1999 and is now owned
by Tony Varvares and enjoying a second career as a broodmare.
Owner Nijad I. Fares of Houston and trainer Jerry Mayfield won
the 2003 edition of this stakes with Sarastorm, but it was her entrymate,
Lady Sonya that prevailed this evening. Ridden by Adrian Ramos,
Lady Sonya has been knocking at the door, running fourth in the
2003 Double Your Flavor Stakes and first or second in her last three
starts at Sam Houston Race Park. Tonight everything came together
at the right time for the 5-year-old Texas-bred mare. The field
was evenly matched in the early stages of the race with Expecting
Sugar in the lead. Ramos had Lady Sonya in striking position as
they approached the turn and she surged past Expecting Sugar and
held off the closing effort of Coastalota. Lady Sonya completed
the seven-furlong stakes in 1:24.39 and earned $24,000 for the victory.
"Any horse that ran their best race tonight was going to
win," said Mayfield. "Sarastorm got into a little trouble
and still came in fourth. This was the first stakes win for Lady
Sonya and I can’t say enough. Adrian rode a really good race
and it just worked out perfect for us. If we ran it again, you never
know who would win it, but tonight was our night."
Coastalota, owned and bred by Hubert L. Southard was closing gamely
but finished second. Bobby Walker, Jr. had the mount for trainer
Randy Mayfield and was seeking revenge for his disqualification
in the Tomball Stakes on February 7.
"In my opinion, I think it was a bogus call; about a million
other people did, too," commented Mayfield. "But you just
take your licks and keep on ticking, you know. My mare came back
tonight and she fought hard. We just needed a little bit more racetrack.
Looked like he (Bobby Walker, Jr.) had to sit back a little more
than he wanted to. But she fought back hard and ran her race, like
she always does. She always comes to the racetrack with us."
Expecting Sugar with John Jacinto up, held on for third. Trainer
Jamie Castellanos was pleased with her effort.
"I told owner that we were going to front and they might lay
off of her and that would give us a big chance since she was backing
up to 7 furlongs from a mile 70. She never quit and I thought we
were going to win mid-way down stretch. She is still a NW3 of lifetime
so we will look for that kind of race at Lone Star."
"They will have to catch her from now on," concurred
owner Jack Cook. " She ran great race and helped pay some of
the cost of that new 2-year old I bought at Dallas last Tuesday.
I thought this might be too tough for her but she proved she can
run at this level. We’ll let her stay in allowance company
at Lone Star."
Lady Sonya paid $6.00, $4.00 and $2.80 across the board. Coastalota
ran second and Expecting Sugar completed the $298.60 trifecta. Sarastorm,
Lady Mallory, Halo Tyra, Discos Pearl and Prom Date completed the
order of finish.
The 2003/2004 Thoroughbred Meeting at Sam Houston Race Park concludes
on Saturday, April 10 with the running of the tenth Connally Breeders'