Longshot Mucho Bold Steals the Show in the $35,000 Bucharest Stakes At SHRP

(February 1, 2003)- A speedy group of seven sprinters put on a show in tonight’s feature, the $35,000 Bucharest Stakes. With a patient and exceptionally well-timed ride by Kevin Cogburn, Texas-bred Mucho Bold came from off the pace to capture his first stakes win. Trained by Allen Milligan for Champion Racing Stable, Mucho Bold returned $91.40 as the longest shot in the field.

The stakes is named for the late Thoroughbred sprinter Bucharest, owned by Israel Flores and trained by Amos Laborde, who set three track records at Sam Houston Race Park, including the lightening fast six furlong time of 1:08.88 on May 11, 1994, which remains the current track record. Flores and his wife, Florene, who race many Thoroughbreds at Sam Houston Race Park, made the presentation.

Mucho Bold benefited from an early-speed duel between All American Blue, Mick and Down Play, each vying for the lead, completing the first quarter in 21.68 and the half-mile in 44.53. As they closed down the stretch, Mick and All American Blue engaged in a fierce battle, with All American Blue surging ahead by a neck. Cogburn took his mount to the far outside and with a final burst of speed, passed All American Blue, crossing the wire of the six furlong sprint in a final time of 1:10.56.

"That’s just what we hoped for," said Cogburn. "They all hooked up, went fast and it worked out that my horse could come from the back and finished well. His last race helped him and he had a nice work last week."

All American Blue owned by Padua Stables and trained by leading Sam Houston Race Park conditioner, Steve Asmussen, was also seeking his first stakes win under rider Corey Lanerie.

"The pace was a little quicker than I wanted it," said Lanerie. "I was hoping to pan out where I could have sat off of it a little bit, but I didn't want to get behind and get shuffled back because my horse broke real sharp. I just sat on him and when I called on him he went. My horse did a great job."

Mick, who scored a five-length win in an allowance race here on January 16, flashed his trademark early speed again this evening with Cliff Berry in the irons.

"He is a gutty little horse," said Berry. "I would rather not have had to go for the lead but didn't have much choice from that post. He never gave up; he's a classy runner."

Mucho Bold, sent off at odds of 44-1, paid $91.40, $12.80 and $4.00 across the board. The 5-6 exacta returned $229.60 and the 5-6-4 trifecta paid $805.40. Down Play, Bandera Dude, High Strike Zone and Irish Rooster completed the order of finish.

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