|Next Bandit, Bluegrass Sara Win
In Front Of 16,574
(June 7, 2003)- Next Bandit
remained undefeated with a swift gate-to-wire win in the colts and
geldings division of the $142,930 Texas Thoroughbred Association
Sales Futurity on Saturday at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
In front of 16,574 fans, the 2-year-old son of Time Bandit rolled
to a 2 ½-length victory over Full Moons Arisin in :57.28
for five furlongs – a stakes record for the 14th running of
Later in the day, Bluegrass Sara was a convincing winner of the
$138,200 fillies division, giving trainer Steve Asmussen his record
fourth victory in the race.
Next Bandit, perfect in two starts, flashed his brilliant early
speed from the outset, clocking the first quarter mile in :21.44
and the half in :44.17. Leading jockey Eddie Martin Jr. kicked the
Florida-bred clear on the turn for home and held well under steady
“I let him relax,” said Martin, Lone Star Park’s
leading rider. “He was off the bridle all the way down the
backside. I thought he’d get pressed by quiet a few horses
in the race. Fortunately, nobody could keep up with him.”
The $85,758 winner’s share of the purse boosted his earnings
to $96,558 for owner Coast to Coast Racing (Bobby Beck and partners)
and trainer Bret Calhoun.
Next Bandit, sent postward as the 7-2 second choice in the field
of 10 two-year-olds which passed through Texas sales rings, paid
$9.40 to win. Full Moons Arisin finished well to get second, 1 1/4
lengths ahead of Joyjet, who tried to keep up with the winner early.
“I concerned about them pressing him early when we drew the
two-hole,” Calhoun said. “But actually, nobody could.
He went fast and set very honest fractions, got relaxed and accelerated
Behind the top three were Trickey Jones, Koran, Iron Expectations,
The Docmeister, City Trick, Wild Buckaroo and Expectacat.
The entry of Iron Expectation and Trickey Jones was an odds-on
The start of the race was delayed 19 minutes when Full Moons Arisin
got stirred up in the starting gate and pinned the right foot of
jockey Kirk LeBlanc. A replacement rider had to be found as LeBlanc
was transported to Methodist Hospital in Dallas for x-rays. Tim
Doocy picked up the mount.
“I just talked to him and kept quiet [during the delay],”
Martin said. “He was very calm and collected and kept it all
in stride. He was very professional.”
In the fillies division, Bluegrass Sara, ridden by Lonnie Meche
and trained Asmussen, defeated Hay Lauren by 2 ½ lengths.
Calling Scarlett was third and favorite Birdie Barrage was fourth
after clipping heals with a rival near the quarter pole.
The victory was Asmussen’s fourth in the last five years
in the 11-year-old race. His other victories came with Maddie’s
Promise (1999), Louetta (2000) and Smoke Buster (2001).
Like Next Bandit, the Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt-owned filly,
is undefeated in two starts. She clocked the five-furlong distance
in :57.80 and earned $82,920 for the victory.
“She was aggressive leaving the gate,” Meche said.
“This was the first time I got to sit on her. I heard she
worked fast last week and came into today’s race on her toes.
I just wanted to get this filly into her stride and hoped that I’d
hit the head of the lane with a lot of horse. I knew it really take
someone that was running to catch her. She really turned it on when
I called on her.”
“We were very fortunate that this filly has a great mind
about her,” Asmussen said. “She was able to comeback
[from the trial two weeks earlier] and show her ability. However
fast they are, that’s out of our hands at this point. We just
worry about their physical condition and how they come into it mentally.
She worked very sharply since the trials and we felt very good coming
in. Lonnie came in [from Kentucky] to substitute for Corey [Lanerie],
who was out of town today, and did a great job.”
Lanerie, Asmussen’s first-call rider at Lone Star Park, was
in New York at Belmont Park to ride the Heiligbrodt’s Posse,
another Asmussen trainee, in the Grade II, $200,000 Riva Ridge on
the Belmont Stakes undercard. Lanerie gave Posse a masterful ride
to defeat favorite Midas Eyes.
The on-track crowd of 16,574 was on-hand for live racing and a
simulcast of the 135th Belmont Stakes, which saw Kentucky Derby
and Preakness winner finish third in his attempt to sweep horse
racing’s Visa Triple Crown.
A record number of customers utilized Lone Star Park’s Drive
Thru Wagering service at Gate 2 off Belt Line Road as 1,457 cars
passed through the four betting lanes Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. A Belmont Stakes Day record $123,845 was wagered there.
Those patrons likely returned home to watch Belmont Park’s
racing action on NBC Sports and ESPN.
Lone Star Park handled $4,700,222 on its 11 live races, including
$1,068,168 on-track and another $3,632,054 off-track. As of 7:30
p.m., the on-track crowd had wagered $1.5 million on simulcast races
across the country, including $645,604 on the Belmont Stakes.