Pletcher to Send Lion Tamer to $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap; Bailey to Ride

(May 24, 2005) - Two Dallas natives who are among the most accomplished individuals in horse racing will return to their Texas roots on Monday for Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's seventh annual Lone Star Million - six stakes races cumulatively worth $1 million.

Todd Pletcher, North America's Champion Trainer in 2004, and Jerry Bailey, the nation's Champion Jockey a record seven times, will team together with Grade I Carter Handicap winner Lion Tamer in the Grade III, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up is the centerpiece of a sensational 12-race Memorial Day program that is annually the richest day in Texas horse racing.

The Pletcher camp also intends to bring five-time stakes winner Dubleo for the $200,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes (3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf), and, possibly, one of his five nominees for the Grade III, $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap (fillies and mares at one mile on turf).

Last fall, Pletcher, who is currently the national earnings leader with $6 million, had his crowning achievement at Lone Star Park. He won two Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship races: the $2 million Distaff with Ashado and the $1 million Sprint with Speightstown.

Lion Tamer, a winner of 8 races and $816,127 in 17 starts, and Dubleo, a seven-time winner and $410,134-earner in a dozen outings, are scheduled to arrive in Texas on Friday. They're booked on an H.E. "Tex" Sutton Forwarding Co. charter flight that will originate from New York and stop in Kentucky before landing in Dallas. Any California-based horses will arrive on a Saturday flight.

Entries for Monday's Lone Star Million races will be taken Saturday morning.

In addition to Lion Tamer, the field for the ninth running of the Lone Star Park Handicap is expected to include High Strike Zone and Supah Blitz, one-two in the Grade III, $300,000 Texas Mile on April 30; two-time stakes winner Cryptograph; Roar On Tour, a winner of three in a row, including the Gulf Coast Breeders' Cup Classic at Delta Downs on April 2; Grade III winner Snorter; defending champ Yesirgeneralsir; Grade III Essex Handicap champ Absent Friend; multiple Sunland Park stakes winner Skip and Go; and Wishingitwas, who surprised onlookers with a 38-1 upset in the $100,000 Metroplex Mile at Lone Star on Breeders' Cup Day.

Although they've both competed at Lone Star Park in the past, this would mark the first time that Pletcher and Bailey have competed in Lone Star Million races.

The other races that comprise Lone Star Million are the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes (3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs); the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap (3-year-olds and up at five furlongs on turf); and the $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes (fillies and mares at six furlongs).

The first live race on Lone Star Million Day will be 1:35 p.m. CT. Grandstand gates will open at 11:30 a.m.

All customers in attendance on Lone Star Million Day can enter Lone Star's $25,000 Lucky Horse Pitch Contest. Seven lucky patrons will be chosen for a horseshoe pitch between live races. A ringer will be worth $25,000. The deadline to enter the contest will be Monday at 2 p.m.

Other festivities on the day include live music by Cuvee in the Courtyard of Champions area between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., and a simulcast of the Grade I Met Mile from Belmont Park. The race is headlined by Ghostzapper, who'll make his first start since capturing the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star last fall.


LONE STAR PARK HANDICAP - Here are the early known possible runners (with trainer and assigned weight) for the Grade III, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on Memorial Day: Lion Tamer (Todd Pletcher, 120); High Strike Zone (Amos Laborde, 118); Supah Blitz (Doug O'Neill, 118); Cryptograph (Donnie K. Von Hemel, 116); Roar On Tour (Dale Angelle, 116); Snorter (Cole Norman, 116); Yessirgeneralsir (Dallas Keen, 116); Absent Friend (Norman, 115); Skip And Go (Jose Gonzalez, 115); and Wishingitwas (Bart Evans, 115).

WINSTAR DISTAFF HANDICAP - Here are the early known possible runners (with trainer and assigned weight) for the Grade III, $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares on Memorial Day: Katdogawn (Wally Dollase, 120); Valentine Dancer (Craig Lewis, 120); Janeian (Bret Calhoun, 117); Marwood (Stephen Margolis, 117); My Misty Princess (Dallas Keen, 117); Paz Ciudadana (Steve Asmussen, 117); Queena Corrina (Donnie K. Von Hemel, 117); Tara's Touch (Niall O'Callaghan, 116); Voz de Colegiala (Asmussen, 115); and Bobbie J. (Jack Young, 114).

PIN OAK STUD USA STAKES - Here are the early known possible runners (with trainer) for the $200,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds on Memorial Day: Barometer Rising (Danny Pish); Comma Comma (James Davis); Dixie Meister (Barry Germany); Dubleo (Todd Pletcher); Jazzy Gallop (Steve Asmussen); Justa Red Bird (Michelle Lovell); Mad Adam (James Jackson); Major League (Paul Murphy); Mr. Shock and Awe (Pish); Munificence (Jim Hudson); and Smooth Bid (Asmussen).

STONERSIDE STAKES - Here are the early known possible runners (with trainer) for the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies on Memorial Day: Hot Attraction (Wally Dollase); R Fast Lady (Eoin Harty); True Tails (Cole Norman); and Twixy (Donnie K. Von Hemel).

BECK AUTO GROUP TURF SPRINT HANDICAP - Here are the early known possible runners (with trainer and assigned weight) for the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap, a five-furlong turf dash for 3-year-olds and up on Memorial Day: Top Commander (Cole Norman, 121); Proven Cure (John Locke, 119); The Niner Account (Martin Lozano, 119); Joe Six Pack (Cole Norman, 117); Parker Run (Steve Flint, 117); Orphan Brigade (Bret Calhoun, 116); Artesian (Bart Hone, 115); and Run Zeal Run (George Northrop Jr., 115).

VALID EXPECTATIONS STAKES - Here are the early known possible runners (with trainer) for the $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares on Memorial Day: Bar Bailey (Jose Gonzalez); Born to Dance (James Jackson); Boston Express (Cole Norman); Miss Smart Strike (Chad Hassenpflug); and Savorthetime (Steve Asmussen).

DOWN THE STRETCH: There is a $150,067 Pick 6 carryover on Wednesday's eight-race program at Hollywood Park. The first race is 3:20 p.m. CT and the Pick 6 begins with Race 3 at approximately 4:20 p.m. CT...Wednesday's nine-race card at Lone Star features three trial races for the fillies division of the $150,000-estimated Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity on June 11 (Belmont Stakes Day). Trainer Steve Asmussen, who has won the final in five of the last six years, has eight fillies entered, including impressive maiden special weight winner September in Texas. She runs in Race 4. The other trials are Race 6 and Race 8. The top four finishers in each race will advance to the final...Three trials for the colts and gelding division of the $150,000-estimated TTA Sales Futurity will be held Thursday night. Among the entries are impressive maiden winners C Jake, Out Our Way, Sweet Will and Wild Talk...Eddie Martin Jr., now based in Kentucky, will return to Lone Star for two mounts on Thursday: Single Sox for trainer Allen Milligan and Premier Dance for trainer Bret Calhoun. Both are 2-year-olds in trial races...Saturday's feature races is the $50,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up...Lone Star Park Handicap contender High Strike Zone, who posted a mild upset in the Texas Mile, will attempt to join Dixie Dot Com (2001) as the only horses to complete "The Texas Two-Step" - a sweep of Lone Star Park's two graded stakes for older horses worth $300,000 apiece...Trainer Wally Dollase reports that Katdogawn is on-course for the WinStar Distaff. "The timing, the distance and the purse are all attractive," Dollase said. Katdogawn will be the co-highweight with California invader Valentine Dancer. Last time out, Katdogawn finished fifth in the Grade III Jenny Wiley at Keeneland on April 17. "She ran poorly last time because of the circumstances," Dollase said. "She just didn't care for the course at Keeneland; it was hard on her and extremely firm. But she's trained forwardly since then and we're expecting another good effort."...Dollase also said that he and owners Bob and Beverly Lewis are also considering starting Hot Attraction, a 7 ¼-length first-level allowance winner at Keeneland, in the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes. "It depends how that race shapes up," Dollase said...Trainer Eoin Harty said that Walmac Lone Star Derby runner-up Shamoan came out of the race in "great shape" and his next target would either be the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows on July 1 or the $350,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown...Jockeys Roman Chapa and Cliff Berry remain one-two in the Lone Star jockey standings with 37 and 35 wins, respectively. They are followed by Quincy Hamilton (28), Glen Murphy (26) and Jaime Theriot (24)...Theriot was the hottest jockey at Lone Star last week, winning with 11 of his 28 mounts - a 39.3% win clip...Murphy is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the meet. The 37-year-old broke his right leg and right collarbone in Saturday's 10th race when his mount Thatcher bolted through the inside temporary turf rail in midstretch. Murphy is the second Lone Star rider to break a leg at the meet. Amanda Crandall broke her leg in a May 8 spill...Asmussen was atop the Lone Star Park trainer standings with 32 wins through the first 29 days of the 67-day meet. Calhoun was second with 23 wins, followed by Danny Pish (19), Cole Norman (16) and Cody Autrey (14)...Norman was the hottest trainer last week, winning with six of his 10 starters...Heiligbrodt Racing Stable maintained a one-win advantage over Tom Durant in the owner standings, eight wins to seven...Simulcast coordinator Mindy Freeland reports that the first race on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be imported by California...Friday night's Heineken "Party at the Park" in the Courtyard of Champions will feature Karaoke by DJ Marcus Rollins and drinks specials between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m...There will be a Budweiser "True Music" Saturday Celebration in the Courtyard of Champions featuring music from The Silvertones between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m...Saturday's "Lone Star Park This Week" on KFWD-52 at 9 a.m. will preview Monday's Lone Star Million...Sunday is Senior Citizen's Day at Lone Star. All seniors age 62 and up will receive free general admission.

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