-photo by Coady Photography/Jenifer Juelsgaard

-photo by Coady Photography/Sandra Beck

Lissa’s Star Breaks Through to Capture the $40,000 Citgo Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park

Houston, Texas (April 1, 2006) - Lissa’s Star a promising 3-year-old colt bred and owned by Houston Texan’s owner Bob McNair’s Stonerside Stable delivered a touchdown performance in tonight’s feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $40,000 Citgo Stakes.

Lissa’s Star, trained by Michael Stidham, ran fourth in his stakes debut last November in the Groovy Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. The son of Valid Expectations returned on January 13 and was an impressive winner of an allowance race. Despite drawing the far outside post in tonight’s seven-furlong Citgo Stakes, rider Ted Gondron guided the dark bay colt to victory in a final time of 1:23.63.

“He’s run well every time here,” said Gondron. “It was a little tough in the Groovy; tonight he did what we thought he could do. He’s got a real good late kick. We had the worst post position, but the race set up well. I saved some ground around the turn and had a lot of horse left.”

John Adger, racing and bloodstock manager for Stonerside Stable, was on hand for the trophy presentation.

“This has been a tremendous day for us, winning three races around the country and in Canada,” said Adger. “I want to congratulate Ted; he rode a beautiful race and has been a wonderful rider for Stonerside. A lot of credit goes to Rigo Rosas (trainer Mike Stidham’s Houston assistant) and Mike for getting this colt ready. The Texas breeding program means a great deal to the McNairs. Each year we have tried to improve it and we have the first Congaree foals at the farm. We are looking forward to seeing them develop.”

The lightly raced Rain On Monday made his stakes debut tonight for Danny Pish following back-to-back six-furlong wins at Sam Houston Race Park. He is a full-brother to multiple stakes winner, Boots on Sunday, who was trained by Pish and owned by the late Wilton Scott. Rider Roman Chapa had the call on Rain On Monday, who dueled with Lissa’s Star, finishing second by ½ length.

“He ran a good race and he was gutsy about it,” acknowledged Chapa. “I can’t complain about his effort because he gave me a big effort. I thought I was home free there for a while, but there was just a better horse on the other side of me. Danny (Pish) was kind of feeling him out, seeing how he would run, and fortunately he ran well. He showed his class and I think he’ll be a better horse next time.”

Lissa’s Star ($8.60) earned $24,000 for the win this evening, increasing his career bankroll to $56,625. Majestic Note gave another good account of himself under rider Richard Eramia, finishing third. Upstream, Guacamole, Goodall, Gambling Wolfe, Proud Jones, Tru Dancing, Saxton’s Prince and Mama’s Spirit completed the order of finish. Aggies Rule was an early scratch.

Live racing continues on Sunday, April 2 with the final weekend of racing set for April 6-9. The Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf, the richest race of the Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting, will headline the Saturday, April 8 card.

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