-photo by Coady Photography
Lady Sonya Tops Her Stablemate in the Double Your Flavor Stakes at SHRP

Houston, 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' Cup Turf.

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