-photo by Henna Haroon/Coady Photography
Lucky Tunnel Flourishes in the Slop in the $30,000 Super Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (January 24, 2004) - Three-year-old fillies took center stage this evening at Sam Houston Race Park and Lucky Tunnel closed with authority to capture the $30,000 Super Stakes. Owned, bred and trained by Charles Hukill, the bay filly had no problem with the muddy track condition, crossing the wire of the six-furlong stakes in a time of 1:11.85.

Hukill gave the call to John Jacinto, who had also ridden Lucky Tunnel to two previous wins this meet, both at the distance of one mile.

"I think she just loves the slop," said Jacinto. "I was worried that this distance was too short for her, but when I turned her loose, she was moving very well. It was a short field, so I didn't want to be too far off the pace."

Hukill has done extremely well with two of his stallions, Record Catch and Sand Tunnel, sire of Lucky Tunnel. Tonight she improved her record to three of four wins on a sloppy track.

"The track surface doesn't make a bit of difference," said Hukill. "This filly just loves to run. To be honest, I wanted two or three other speed horses, but John did a good job and it worked out fine."

The field was shortened to just four starters with the scratches of Clever Melody and Conquistador's Joy. Jacinto tracked the other three fillies and called on Lucky Tunnel at the top of the lane. She rallied four-wide in the stretch and drew off, besting Rare Glitter by close to four lengths. Jeremy Beasley was aboard the Steve Asmussen-trained Rare Glitter.

"She didn't like it (the off track)," said Beasley. "It was a classic case. She couldn't handle the footing. She just had no fire in her. When I called upon her to start riding, she was struggling to get her feet underneath her. The horse that beat us, with her track record in the slop just speaks for itself."

Lucky Tunnel ($6.40) earned $18,000 for tonight's victory.

Hukill indicated that she will be nominated to the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park.

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