|Pie N Burger, Norman Shine on Lone
Star Million Day
(May 26, 2003)- Tom and Jesse
Kagele sent Southern California allowance winner Pie N Burger to
Texas-based trainer Cole Norman in hope of winning a stakes race.
Little did the cousins know that they’d collect their first
stakes win as owners in the richest race on Lone Star Park at Grand
Prairie’s fifth annual Lone Star Million program, a day filled
with seven stakes events cumulatively worth $1 million which attracted
Pie N Burger, claimed for $100,000 last summer off trainer Bob
Baffert, pressed the pace throughout the seventh running of the
$300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (Gr. III) and kicked clear to win
the 1 1/16-mile race by 2 ¾ lengths. Favorite Bluesthestandard,
the Texas Mile winner, and longshot Maysville Slew finished in a
dead-heat for second. Behind the top three were Private Emblem,
8-5 second choice Pass Rush, Where’s The Ring, Fifty Stars
and Dusty Spike.
Pie N Burger, who won for the eighth time in 29 starts, was clocked
in 1:41.98 on a track labeled “fast.” The 5-year-old
gelding paid $15 to win as the 6-1 fourth wagering choice.
“I gave Cole a phone call a month and a half ago and it was
the best call I ever made,” Tom Kagele said.
Breaking from post position No. 5 in the field of eight older horses,
Pie N Burger contested the pace on the outside of Where’s
The Ring, a winner of three straight. As the duo passed the three-eighths
pole, Pie N Burger inched away and responded to the urging of jockey
“You take a long cross on him and he relaxes,” said
Theriot, who tacked 114 pounds. “When I called on him at the
three-sixteenths pole, he had a lot of run for me.”
Bluesthestandard, the 3-2 betting choice who sat off the leaders
in fourth during the early stages of the race, came within a length
of the leader at the head of the stretch but proved to be no match
for Pie N Burger in the final furlong.
“It unfolded perfectly the way I wanted,” said Bluesthestandard’s
jockey Martin Pedroza. “I rode him like the best horse. I
think it’s just a little bit too far for him. The extra sixteenth
[of a mile] kind of got to him. He handled the track perfect and
he made a good, winning move. He just got tired.”
“He didn’t bring his ‘A-game,’ obviously,”
said the gelding’s trainer, Ted H. West. “I’m
not taking anything away from the winner, he ran a great race, but
I really thought we were the best horse. We’ll have to see.”
Maysville Slew, unhurried early on, rallied for the dead-heat for
second at odds of 36-1.
“We’re tickled to death,” said Maysville Slew’s
owner and trainer C.R. Trout. “We knew he was right and he
ran like he was right, about as good as he could.”
Both trainer Patrick Byrne and jockey Pat Day were mystified by
Pass Rush’s dull fifth-place finish.
“No excuses really,” Byrne said. “He was running
good down the backside. Pat said he kind of sucked back a bit. No
excuses, just disappointment. The track wasn’t an excuse;
it was really in great shape.”
Formerly raced in Southern California with trainer Mike Machowsky,
the Kageles, along with co-owner James A. Bailey, opted to send
Pie N Burger to Lone Star Park and top local trainer Norman. Behind
in training to make the April 26 Texas Mile, Norman entered the
Kentucky-bred son of Twining in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race two
weeks later. He signaled his fondness for Texas with a convincing
three-length victory in 1:41 77, and it was obvious that the Lone
Star Park Handicap would be next.
“It’s hard to fill races like ones for this horse in
California,” Tom Kagele said. “Cole did a good job.”
“The way this horse ran his last race, me and Jamie were
so confident,” Norman said. “He came out of the race
super. Thank you, Mr. Kagele. I’m glad you called.”
Kagele hinted that Pie N Burger would remain with Norman and that
the Bob Johnson Memorial Stakes on Saturday, July 12 at Lone Star
Park could be his next race.
“We’ll see if Cole can go three-for-three with him.”
Norman had a sensational day at Lone Star Park, the best of his
of career which began after the sudden death of his father Gene
Norman in 1994. Norman also saddled three stakes winners, which
matched a feat accomplished by his chief training rival Steve Asmussen
in 1999 on the inaugural Lone Star Million program. Eagle Lake posted
a front-running upset in the $200,000 WinStar Distaff (Gr. III),
and That Tat captured the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint.
“What a great day,” said 34-year-old Norman, who tops
the Lone Star Park trainer standings with 57 wins, 10 more than
Asmussen, the winner of four straight local training titles. “Is
it real? Can I pinch myself? I just want to thank God and I know
my pa is looking down and I just want to say, ‘Thanks, Pa.’
And I want to say thank you to Lone Star. We tried to keep all the
money in town and we almost did it.”
In addition, Norman finished second in the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes
with Lauren Lynn, fourth in the $50,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial
Stakes with R. B Spirit, fourth in the $100,000 Valid Expectations
with Southern Tour and fourth in the Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint
with Joyful Tune. With $1 million up for grabs in the seven stakes,
Norman-trained horses took home $385,000.
Lone Star Million Wagering Up
Wagering on Monday’s fifth annual Lone Star Million program
was up from last year’s event, which featured an appearance
by the Bob Baffert-trained Congaree. Total handle on the 11-race
program was $5,383,212, up slightly from the $5,359,211 bet in 2002.
Wagers by the 17,362 on-track customers totaled $1,504,131 (live
wagering only) bettered the $1,489,979 a year ago, and off-track
betting reached $3,879,081, up from $3,869,232.
Eagle Lake Wires Field in $200,000 Winstar Distaff
Cole Norman earned his third stakes win of the day and swept both
graded stakes events when Eagle Lake wired the field in the $200,000
WinStar Distaff (Gr. III). The 5-year-old mare was allowed to set
comfortable fractions while loose on the lead, crossing the finish
line 2 ¼ lengths ahead of California invader Little Treasure.
“I had everything my way, I really did,” said Gerard
Melancon, who rode Eagle Lake for owners Turf Express Inc. “Past
the quarter pole I still heard nobody. I just kept sitting on her
and I knew as soon as I’d move a little bit on her she would
give me what she had.”
In her previous race, Eagle Lake finished second in a May 2 allowance
to graded stakes winner Bien Nicole, who went favored in the WinStar.
“She just never did fire,” said Don Pettinger, who
has ridden Bien Nicole to six stakes wins. “I didn’t
think I could find a surface she wouldn’t like, but I did
Eagle Lake traipsed over the “soft” turf course in
fractional times of :24.04 for the opening quarter-mile, :49.48
for the half-mile and 1:15.85 for six furlongs. Eagle Lake stopped
the timer in 1:43.02 for the one-mile race.
Runner-up Little Treasure followed in second the entire race, but
was no match for the winner.
Second wagering choice Magic Mission finished third, three-quarters
of a length behind Little Treasure. The order of finish was completed
by Academic Angel, Strawbailey, Bien Nicole, Cherylville Slew, Garden
in the Rain and Adalgisa.
The winner paid $18 as the 8-1 fifth choice. The $120,000 winner’s
share of the purse boosted Eagle Lake’s career earnings to
Crowned King Gets Up to Win $200,000 USA Stakes
Crowned King, the Rebel Stakes winner who was sent to the post
at odds of 11-1, narrowly defeated 41-1 longshot Iceanwater by a
quarter-length in Monday’s $200,000 USA Stakes at Lone Star
Park. It was another length back to pacesetter Kool Humor, who faded
to third as the 5-1 third wagering choice. On The Border and G.W.’s
Skippie also were in the mix.
Crowned King, a 3-year-old son of Barkerville, was ridden by Chandra
Rennie, who collected the biggest stakes win of her career. She
rode the winner for owner/trainer Billy McKeever Jr.
The $120,000 winner’s share of the purse jumped Crowned King’s
$298,450. It was his fourth victory in 13 starts and first on turf.
Following the top three finishers were On The Border, G.W.’s
Skippie, mild 7-2 favorite Lone Star Sky, Leo’s Last Hurrahy,
Mauk Four, Lots Of Sizzle, 7-2 second choice Lone Star Deputy and
Commander’s Affair completed the order of finish. Zarb’s
Music was a late scratch.
Local Star That Tat Takes $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf
Locally-based That Tat, claimed for $20,000 by owner Ken Murphy
in March 2002, collected his fourth straight win with one-length
victory over Maryland invader Take Achance On Me in Monday’s
$100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint. It was his second straight
stakes win at Lone Star Park. On Kentucky Derby Day, That Tat won
the $75,000 Ford Express on the main track.
Trained by Lone Star Park’s top conditioner Cole Norman and
ridden by Eddie Martin Jr., That Tat ran five furlongs in 1:00.03
on a course labeled “soft” after overnight rain hit
the Grand Prairie area for second straight night. It was the slowest
time in seven runnings of the race.
“Everything went well for us and he handled the off going,”
Norman said. “He ran one time on turf before we claimed him
and he didn’t run well on it (finished seventh, beaten 16
lengths in a Remington Park allowance in September 2001). But we
worked him on the turf course here (Monday at four furlongs in :49
2/5) to see if he’d handle it okay and he did. We thought
we had a good shot.”
Slow times aren’t the norm for That Tat. On April 11, he
set a track record for 5 ½ furlongs at Lone Star Park with
a 5 ½-length triumph in 1:01.88.
That Tat paid $18 to win as the 8-1 fifth betting choice in a competitive
field of nine older horses. Overall, the 5-year-old gelding has
11 career wins in 27 starts. The $60,000 winner’s share of
the purse pushed his bankroll to $314,585.
Runner-up Take Achance On Me, off at 7-1, was 1 ½ lengths
in front of 29-1 outsider Runaway Choice. Pacesetter Joyful Tune
was fourth followed by No Jacket Required, G.W.’s Deputy,
9-5 favorite Morluc, 5-2 second choice Rocky Bar and Islander. The
entry of Proven Cure and Wudantunoit were scratched.
Von Hemel Finishes One-Two in $100,000 Valid Expectations;
See How She Runs Rallies to Surpass $500,000 Earnings Mark
Graded stakes winner See How She Runs ran down pacesetters Distinctive
Code and Southern Tour inside the final eighth of a mile to win
the $100,000 Valid Expectation Stakes by three-quarters of a length
over stablemate Drexel Monorail. Trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel
and ridden by Don Pettinger, See How She Runs ran six furlongs in
a swift 1:08.93, just 87-hundredths of a second off the track record.
“I knew there was a lot of speed in here but I wasn’t
really too concerned that she wouldn’t be able to run them
down,” Pettinger said. “She was getting a lot of dirt
in her face early. Once I was able to get her in the open she ran
her race. This filly has a lot of class and hasn’t really
done anything wrong her entire career. You just wish that all of
them were like that.”
The winner of last year’s Fantasy Stakes (Gr. II) won for
the seventh time in 13 starts. The $60,000 winner’s share
of the purse boosted her earnings to $500,950 for owner Pin Oak
Stable of Versailles, Ky.
“We looked at our options for her on which race we might
run in,” Von Hemel explained. “We looked at the turf
race (WinStar Distaff), but there is a pretty good grass contingent
that came in for that, so we opted for the sprint on dirt. Everything
worked out just fine for us. It was a good decision.”
See How She Runs paid $5 to win as the 3-2 favorite. Drexel Monorail,
another Von Hemel-trained horse, also rallied to finish a quarter-length
in front of Distinctive Code, the 8-5 second choice. Southern Tour
and Calma Prado completed the order of finish. Raymond’s Dream
was a late scratch.
“She broke good and took me into the race like we expected,”
said Distinctive Code’s jockey Shane Sellers. “The track’s
just not playing speed and that didn’t help us. She tried
hard and she ran hard. That’s all you can ask is that they
give you their best and she did. But you’ve got to give credit
to the winner.”
This was the second time that Von Hemel and Pettinger teamed to
win the Valid Expectations. Hollow Miss won the race in 1998 when
it was known as the Wild Flower.
Elsewhere: Ed Few’s Front Nine
was the three-length winner of the $50,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial
Stakes over Won C C. Jeremy Beasley rode the winner for trainer
Tommie Morgan, who saddled Front Nine to victory in the Harold V.
Goodman Memorial Sprint at Lone Star Park last summer. The Texas-bred
son of Jules ran six furlongs in 1:09.00 and won for the sixth time
in 22 starts and improved his earnings to $191,360…Hannah’s
Royalrock, owned and bred by Keith Asmussen and trained by his son
Steve Asmussen, was a half-length winner over Lauren Lynn in the
$50,000 Valor Farm Stakes. She is the full-sister of 2001 Valor
Farm Stakes winner Royal Roundabout. Hannah’s Royalrock, ridden
by Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, ran six furlongs in 1:10.53 en route
to her fourth win in 10 starts. She has earned $163,938…Country
music star Toby Keith presented the winning trophy of the USA Stakes
and broadcasters Brent Musburger and Kevin Loughery, the former
NBA player and coach, presented the winning hardware to the connections
in the Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial Stakes…Lone Star Park’s
main track was labeled as “good” through the fourth
race and “fast” thereafter. The turf course was deemed
“soft” after back-to-back days of overnight rain in
the Dallas-Fort Worth area…Regionally-based horses won each
of the seven stakes Monday. All but Louisiana-based Crowned King,
the USA Stakes winner, are based and trained at Lone Star Park.