|Sound Of Gold Scores in the $35,000
Willowbrook Stakes at SHRP
(March 1, 2003)-
A field of ten fillies and mares took center stage tonight at Sam
Houston Race Park, competing in the $35,000 Willowbrook Stakes,
a five-furlong sprint on the John B. Connally Turf Course. In front-running
fashion, Sound Of Gold, under rider John Jacinto proved she was
a "horse for the course" as she improved her record on
the Connally Turf Course to three wins from five starts. Trained
by Paul Pearson for Iowa-based owners River Ridge Ranch, the 5-year-old
daughter of Mutakddim crossed the wire in a time of :58.96 and earned
$21,000 for tonight’s victory.
It was an emotional victory for Jacinto, who spoke today at the
memorial service for trainer Ramon Flores. Flores died in a van
accident on Tuesday and was a good friend, mentor and father figure
"I want to dedicate this win to my "daddy", Jacinto
said. "He wanted the best for me. I know that he is watching
me and I want him to know that I appreciate everything he has done
"She does like this course," admitted Pearson. "We
wanted to try some horses down here on the grass because there is
no grass in Iowa. Mutakddim is a hot stud now so we wanted to see
how his offspring did on the turf. It worked out great and I always
loved this filly anyway. She goes a little unnoticed, but in a quiet
way, she pays her way. I’m glad I got to pick John Jacinto’s
head up a little; I know he’s had a rough week."
Trainer Chad Hassenpflug wanted to give his 5-year-old mare, Raymond’s
Dream a chance on the turf and she closed nicely under Bobby Walker,
Jr. for second.
"She handled it well," said Hassenpflug. "It took
her a while to get used to it. She looked a little uncomfortable
at first. She didn't break as sharp as she has been. When she was
loading into the gate, it was probably a whole different vision
for her to see all that. She obviously was closing in on them; she
only got beat by a head. You never know making the change from dirt
to turf, they may not fire at all. We are happy with her."
"Just a couple of more jumps and we would have had it,"
commented Walker. "Chad said she had a couple of quirks. She
hesitated a little leaving, then she kind of ran off and doesn't
like to be hit with the whip. She left half a step slow and I never
hit her, then she ran as hard as she could; she just needed another
jump to get up."
The morning line favorite, My Girl Lisa, ridden by Roman Chapa
and trained by Hugh Robertson, did not fire and finished sixth.
"After the Leggio (at the Fair Grounds) there was not another
race for her on the grass," said Robertson. "She likes
a firm course and this one was giving some. She usually pulls the
rider to the lead and I knew when I saw Roman having to ask her
early that we were in trouble. There is a grass sprint at Gulfstream
near the end of the meeting there and I think that is where we'll
go next if she comes out of this okay."
Sound Of Gold was sent off at odds of 5-1 and returned $12.00,
$6.60 and $4.00. The 2-6 exacta paid $121.80 and the 2-6-9 trifecta
returned $819.00. The complete order of finish included Strawbailey,
Open Minded, My Girl Lisa, Hadenough, Lady Lyra Lee, Frilly Fun
and Annie’s Honor.