|Orphan Brigade Wins $40,000 Littlebitlively
at Lone Star Park
(April 22, 2005)- Bret Calhoun
did everything he could not to run Orphan Brigade in Friday's $40,000
Littlebitlively Stakes at Lone Star Park, but the 4-year-old gelding
proved his trainer wrong with a hard-fought neck victory over 9-5
Claimed for $40,000 on Valentine's Day by Carl Moore of Arlington,
Texas, Orphan Brigade had a tendency to drift wide around turns
in previous starts, so Calhoun was concerned about his charge going
five furlongs on turf. "It's a mental thing," said Calhoun,
whose back-up plan was to enter him into two dirt races this weekend.
Those races did not fill so Calhoun left him in Friday's feature.
"I tried every way in the world to get him out of this spot."
The result was Oprhan Brigade's eighth win in 22 starts and a $24,000
check to boost his earnings to $189,438. He ran five furlongs on
a firm turf course in :57.85 under jockey Cliff Berry and paid $10.80
to win. "Cliff did a great job on him," Calhoun said.
"When they straightened up, he put in a gutsy performance."
"Through the turn, he started getting out a little bit,"
Berry said. "I had a horse on the outside of me that held us
in a little. Once he switched to his right lead, the horse really
dug in and ran. I didn't need to whip him that much because he was
running as hard as he could. I just left him alone and let him do
For Calhoun, it was his ninth victory through seven days of the
67-date Lone Star meeting. "We've had a great start to this
meet," said Calhoun, a Grand Prairie native. "It was a
pretty cold winter; I felt like they had my head held under water
all winter. It's good to get started on the right note here."
ELSEWHERE: Jockey Patrick Boxie was taken to Methodist
Hospital in Dallas for observation following a one-horse spill in
Friday's eighth race. Boxie was thrown from his mount Balkan when
the 6-year-old horse suddenly collapsed nearing the quarter-mile
pole. Boxie was alert and conscious, but complained of pain in the
left side of his abdomen. He was overheard telling the medical staff,
"I'll be okay. I'll be back riding tomorrow."...Jockey
Jesus Rodriguez, who subbed for Boxie aboard Sweetalyspleasure in
the 10th race, complained of a bruised upper right leg and was taken
to First Aid after he was unseated around the final turn. His mount
clipped heels with Grey Foot, who finished third but was disqualified
to last because of the incident...Trainer Steve Asmussen, who saddled
three winners Thursday, added two more Friday with Seadrift ($3.80)
in the first race and Saturday Afternoon ($4.80) in the fifth. For
Asmussen, it was five straight winners at Lone Star. His streak
was snapped with Western Roar's fourth place finish in the Littlebitlively.
On Thursday, Asmussen snapped trainer "Bubba" Cascio's
record-equaling six-race win streak when 3-year-old filly Gentle
Flow debuted with a 4 ¾-length victory over the Cascio-trained
Lisa's Gold...Trainer Bruce Jackson, who relocated to Texas from
Southern California, rebounded from his second-place finish with
favored Savonarola in the Littlebitlively and recorded his first
local win with Wanted Man in the ninth...First post Saturday is
1:35 p.m. CT. The ninth running of the $50,000 Wafare Farm Stakes,
a six-furlong dash for 3-year-old fillies, is the featured 10th
race on the 11-race card.