17 Graded Stakes Winners Highlight Grade III Texas Mile Nominations

(April 17, 2003)- Seventeen graded stakes winners, including Grade I winners Bonapaw, Booklet and Wooden Phone, highlight the nominations for the April 26 Grade III Texas Mile. Top nominees also include defending champion Unrullah Bull, trained by Cole Norman; Bluesthestandard, recent winner of the Grade II Portrero Grande Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Santa Anita; Candid Glen, upset winner of the Grade II Explosive Bid at Fair Grounds; Night Patrol, multiple graded stakes winner on turf in Southern California; Private Emblem, last year's Grade II Arkansas Derby hero; Western Pride, winner of the Grade III San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita last out; and Wiseman’s Ferry, the 2002 Grade III Lone Star Derby champ.

The first graded stakes race of the Lone Star Park season is just around the corner. But there’s still a ton of racing action between now and next week’s main event. This weekend, special events abound all over the Grand Prairie racetrack.

On Friday, country music artist Mark David Manders performs at the Heineken “Party at the Park” in the Courtyard of Champions. The following day, the inaugural Budweiser Saturday Celebration takes place with $2 Buds and an Elvis Presley tribute by Johnny Lovett. To cap off the weekend, the Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday offers all kinds of family fun, along with an appearance by the Easter Bunny.

This week’s feature race is the $50,000 Wafare Farm Stakes, with a solid field of 3-year-old fillies set to contest the six-furlong sprint. Favored at 5-2 on the morning line is Eternal Cup, who won an allowance race by 9 ¼ lengths on opening night.

Here’s the field for the Wafare Farm Stakes, from the rail out (with jockey and morning line odds): Eternal Cup (Corey Lanerie, 5-2); Hannah’s Royalrock (Jeremy Beasley, 3-1); Tulupai (Cliff Berry, 10-1); Impetuous Molly (Jaime Theriot, 6-1); Scottish Heritage (Chandra Rennie, 20-1); Letithappencaptain (Kirk LeBlanc, 15-1); Sisterlita (Deirdre Panas, 12-1); You Glitter Girl (Eddie Martin Jr., 7-2); Olguina (Terry Stanton, 20-1); and Itsmybag (E.J. Perrodin, 10-1).

First post on Friday is 6:35 p.m. Weekend action starts at 1:35 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Texas Mile is drawing closer and the nominations indicate another stellar field for this year’s renewal. Sixty-one horses are under consideration for the event, including many big names from the Southwest and California.

There were 16 horses nominated from the Norman barn. The record-setting leading trainer at the recently completed Oaklawn Park meeting won his first graded stakes event in last year’s Texas Mile. His nominees include the 2002 winner, though there has been no word yet on whether Unrullah Bull will seek back-to-back wins off his poor outing in the allowance prep on April 4.

Lone Star Park’s all-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen nominated seven to the race. He has stated that Private Emblem and Compendium, winner of the April 4 allowance, are likely to run.

Other familiar names on the nominations list include Balto Star, winner of the Grade III Whirlaway Handicap at Fair Grounds in February trained by Todd Pletcher; Beau’s Town, winner of three consecutive Oaklawn Park sprint stakes this year, including the Grade III Count Fleet Handicap trained by Norman; Keats, fourth in the Grade I Donn Handicap in February for Niall O’Callaghan; and top locals like Maysville Slew, Seainsky and Valhol.

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