Sarastorm Triumphs in the $35,000 Double Your Flavor Stakes at SHRP

(March 29, 2003)- The final stakes race of the 2002/2003 Thoroughbred meeting, the $35,000 Double Your Flavor Stakes was held tonight at Sam Houston Race Park. 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 trainer 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 now owned by Tony Varvares and enjoying a second career as a broodmare.

The Double Your Flavor Stakes attracted a field of seven fillies and mares and the winner was Sarastorm, owned by Nijad I. Fares and trained by Jerry Mayfield. This was the first stakes win for the 5-year-old mare who was bred in Texas by Don Hickman. The daughter of Rare Brick won an allowance race at Sam Houston Race Park on November 20 and has hit the board for each of her previous four starts this meeting.

The victory was especially rewarding for rider Terry Stanton who is engaged in a riveting battle with fellow rider, Don Simington for leading rider honors. Simington currently has 75 wins to Stanton’s 74.

"She is a really nice mare," said Stanton following the victory. "I felt that she would run a good race tonight and when I asked her, she gave me 110%."

"I feel that she is getting better as she gets older," commented Mayfield. "We look forward to sending her to Lone Star and seeing how she does this summer."

Halo Tyra, owned by the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, mounted a bid on the final turn and held the lead until Sarastorm rallied past her at the wire. Jeremy Beasley rode the 4-year-old filly for leading trainer, Steve Asmussen.

"Things couldn't have set up more perfect for us," observed Beasley. "Hats off to Terry. We were just second best tonight. I wanted to let the speed go tonight and stalk, and try to make her run down the lane. It just wasn't enough."

Sarastorm, who ran as part of an entry with Lady Sonya, paid $5.00 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.20 to show. The 1-4 exacta paid $12.80 and the 1-4-2 trifecta paid $59.80.

Completing the order of finish in the Double Your Flavor Stakes were Lady Sonya, Discos Pearl, Wayne’s Princess and Dust Pebble.

Sunday marks the final day of the 2002/2003 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting with free admission and the presentation of the End of the Meet awards.

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