Timber Jones
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Dixie Meister
-photo by JackCoady/Coady Photography
Timber Jones and Dixie Meister, Winners of Two Divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (February 19,2005) - Small fields produced exciting stretch battles in both divisions of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park. The series is underwritten by the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) and was designed as an incentive for offspring of Texas-based stallions.

In the $125,000 Two Altazano Stakes for 3-year old fillies, Timber Jones ($3.80) a Keith Asmussen homebred gray daughter of Seneca Jones, stayed about eight lengths behind Robert Francis' homebred Angela Marjorie down the backstretch. The dark bay filly, Angela Marjorie, sprinted to a clear six-length lead under jockey Adrian Ramos.

Winning jockey Donnie Meche said that Timber Jones was right where he wanted her. "Since she was going a mile for the first time, Steve (Asmussen) and I talked and agreed that she would have more left at the end if I could take her back off the lead. I didn't expect to be quiet that far back, but when I asked my filly she moved up to the leader and went by."

Asmussen's assistant trainer, Darren Fleming, was also proud of the big gray filly he saddled to her third win in 13 starts. "All the Seneca Jones are hard tryers," said Fleming. "She has a good attitude about her training and that makes her a pleasure to be around in the mornings."

Owner Robert Francis was proud of his daughter of Once A Sailor who was beaten just a neck after a valiant effort. "She ran a good race," said owner Robert Francis. "We haven't seen her best until now. So we thought she'd step up and she did. (Timber Jones) just had a little too much at the end."

Second wagering choice Ms Seneca Rock was two lengths behind the top pair, Charming Jones, third of the Seneca Jones fillies bred by Keith Asmussen, was fourth and Magic Uno was fifth in the abbreviated five-filly field after the scratch of Tuned In.

All seven three-year olds in the $125,000 Jim's Orbit Stakes for three-year-old colts and geldings were in position to win as the field entered the Brazos River Sand home stretch. But, General Charley hugged the rail under Corey Lanerie and took command nearing the furlong marker.

Owner Ro Parra's Dixie Meister, under Terry Stanton made a powerful move about five off the rail, caught a determined General Charley at the 70-yard pole and pulled away to a one length win and returned $19.40 as the third longest price in the seven horse field. It was another two lengths back to even money favorite Leaving On My Mind who spotted the field a five-length head start when he hesitated before leaving the gate.

Winning jockey Terry Stanton enjoyed his winning moment with his daughter in his arms in the Winners' Circle. "(Dixie Meister) was pulling hard on me down the back stretch and when I asked him he just tugged me between horses and outside the top two," Stanton said. "He kinda hung a bit on me entering the stretch. Then when we got to the 70-yard pole it was almost as if he said 'I can win this' and he did."

Trainer Barry Germany thought and allowance prep at Oaklawn absolutely had him ready for this big effort tonight. "I was feeling good when he made that move on the turn and, the fact that he was outside (meant) I didn't have to worry about traffic trouble," Germany said.

"I had a good trip," stated General Charley's jockey Corey Lanerie. "My horse ran well. He ran hard all the way to the end. I just thought I got beat by a better horse. (It was) his first time to go long and I'm real proud of him."

A Stonerside Farms homebred son of Truluck, General Charley was named for Houston Texan General Manager Charley Casserly.

Trainer Michael Stidham was proud of the way his charge dug in and tried to regain the lead he held for about 2/3 of the run down the stretch. "We were just real happy," Stidham said. "(General Charley) was just coming out of a maiden race, running against accomplished horses, going long for the first time, and he ran great. I thought Corey did a great job; got him settled. He punched when Corey asked him to, but just got run down late."

Trainer Danny Pish and jockey Roman Chapa were disappointed that George A. Wollf's Leaving On My Mind had a "terrible break".

"With a clean break it wouldn't have mattered that he was a little short off the layoff," stated Chapa.

"We are going to keep him with three-year olds this year," stated Pish. "We stuck to the plan last year and he paid the rent. Now we are going to pick and choose our spots against 3-year olds and he'll be back in the winner's circle."

Grugly, Substantiate, General Naevus and Mr Cold Comfort rounded out the Jim's Orbit order of finish.

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