Native Annie
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Native Annie Wins the $40,000 Double Your Flavor Stakes

Houston, Texas (March 27, 2005) - Native Annie, owned by Robert McNair's Stonerside Stable returned to the winner's circle tonight at Sam Houston Race Park capturing the $40,000 Double Your Flavor Stakes. The stakes was named for the retired former champion at Sam Houston Race Park, Double Your Flavor. The accomplished mare, who raced for Dr. Jeffrey Kass and trainers Vance Vineyard and later, Paul Duhon, won 17 races at Sam Houston Race Park, a record for wins at the northwest Houston racetrack.

Double Your Flavor, retired in 1999 and is now owned by Tony Varvares and enjoying a second career as a broodmare.

Native Annie, a 4-year-old filly is trained by Michael Stidham and was ridden beautifully tonight by Corey Lanerie. He guided the 4-year-old daughter of Manzotti to the wire of the seven-furlong stakes in a time of 1.24.57.

"Mike (Stidham) and his team did a great job getting her ready," commented Lanerie. "He was a little concerned with this distance and the speed getting away from her, but she broke real sharp and from there was much the best. I really didn't ask her for anything until the 3/16th pole and she responded and was well in hand."

The 4-year-old filly was bred in Texas by Stonerside Stable and has won eight of her 14 career starts. She won two Texas Stallion Stakes here last year and captured the $75,000 Martanza Stakes on Texas Champions Day and the $40,000 Tomball Stakes on February 12. Her only career loss at Sam Houston was in the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff on January 22, where she lost by a nose to Academic Angel.

Native Annie's accomplishments in Texas earned her the Champion Filly/Mare honors last year at Sam Houston Race Park as well as the title of Texas Thoroughbred Association's 2004 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly. She has won on both turf and dirt and has won $328,450 to date.

"She has just been a jewel ever since she started her career," said John Adger, racing and bloodstock manager for Stonerside Stable. "Obviously she continues to train consistently and was the Champion Texas Filly last year. Hopefully, we will make her a champion again this year."

Owner Nijad I. Fares of Houston and trainer Jerry Mayfield won the 2004 edition of this stakes with Lady Sonya and the bay mare returned to defend her title.

Leading Sam Houston rider Quincy Hamilton made a big at the half-mile mark, but could not catch Native Annie.
"Native Annie was the best one out there," commented Hamilton. "I can't say anything bad about mine. She had some trouble a few months ago but she came back well. She's been off since January so I've been working her. She's a real nice filly and she gives everything she's got. We just couldn't catch the winner."

Shannons Valentine, claimed by trainer Andy Konkoly on March 13, ran third under rider Don Simington.

"She ran her race," said Simington. "I had a good trip and she was just outrun by those other two."

"She gave us a good effort," added Konkoly. "She's going to Ohio now where there is an allowance race mid-April and then she'll go to the $75,000 five furlong stake they have at Mountaineer the first of May."

As the favorite in the field of eight accredited Texas-bred fillies and mares, Native Annie returned $3.00 for the win. The 6-4 exacta paid $14.40 and the 6-4-7 trifecta returned $46.80. Expectant Diva, Prom Date, Hay Madison, Angelic Jewel and Anissina completed the order of finish. Bridlestone, Sheza Lucky Son'so and Setacourseforhome were early scratches.

Adger indicated that Native Annie will be shipped to Lone Star Park and attempt open company and possibly another start on turf.

There will be no live racing on Sunday, March 27 due to the Easter holiday. The 2004/2005 Thoroughbred meeting at Sam Houston Race Park concludes on Sunday, April 10.

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