|Two Down Automatic Cruises in the
$40,000 Conroe Stakes at SHRP
Houston, Texas (December
11, 2004) - Two Down Automatic, who ran second to Smarty Jones
last February in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, put on quite
a show in tonight's feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $40,000
Conroe Stakes. The 3-year-old son of Smoke Glacken is owned by Dapple
Stables LLC of Houston and trained by the leading trainer in the
nation, Steve Asmussen.
Two Down Automatic came into tonight's stakes off a win in the
$53,000 Sunland Fall Derby on November 14. Roman Chapa rode the
dark bay gelding to a relatively easy score tonight, covering the
six-furlong distance in 1:09.66.
"It was a beautiful trip," commented Chapa. "The
horse fits his name, Two Down Automatic. I put him on cruise control
and he just took me to the winner's circle."
"He's been a really fun horse to watch," said co-owner
Bobby Ralston. "We had the opportunity to run against Smarty
Jones at Oaklawn (in the Southwest Stakes on February 28) and got
to see all that we wanted of that! Our horse ran the race of his
life and if we were going to beat Smarty, that would have been the
day we were going to do it. We brought him to Sunland and he ran
really well and we're really proud of the way he ran tonight."
Charming Socialite, winner of the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes
on November 20 ran second for trainer Bill Pettit, who indicated
that his horse would return to Sam Houston Race Park on January
22 to run in the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup.
"My horse ran a good race," commented rider Larry Taylor.
"Taking nothing away from the winner, my horse doesn't like
to be in tight. He didn't like it down on the inside like that.
This horse gets claustrophobic down there. But that's the way the
race set up for us."
"My horse really wants more ground," said Ricky Faul,
pilot of longshot third place finisher, Governor of Spain. "All
of these but the first two are route horses. He really ran hard
for me. The winner ran second to Derby winner, he was the class.
I think Amos may have been looking for something down the road cause
there was nothing for him over at Delta. Getting a piece is better
Two Down Automatic, sent off as the even-money favorite, returned
$4.00, $2.20 and $2.10 across the board. The 3-2 exacta paid $7.80
and the 3-2-6 trifecta paid $45.20. A R Crackers, Foreign Justice,
Oncearoundtwice and Gwathir completed the order of finish. Artemus
Sunrise and Dusty Tunnel were early scratches.
News and Notes
In earlier action, two divisions of the $20,000 Lone Star Arabian
Futurity were run at Sam Houston Race Park. Delphine, owned by Guy
Nevins of London, England and trained by Bobbie McAlister was a
dominant winner in the fillies division. Ridden by Daniel Boudreau,
the 3-year-old Maryland-bred filly tracked early pacesetter, Queen
Kong through the first half-mile before drawing off by 9 ¼
lengths. She crossed the wire of the six-furlong stakes in 1:21.86
and paid $2.60 as the .30-1 post time favorite.
She has now won each of her four career starts and will be pointed
to an Arabian stakes at Los Alamitos in California in February.
Th Richie not only won his division this evening, he set a new
Arabian track record for the distance of six furlongs. His time
of 1:18.13 bested the previous record of 1:18.20 set by Seyvilla
Proof on December 6, 1998. Th Richie is owned by Dianne K. Waldron
and was ridden to victory tonight by Oliver Castillo.
"He's just a super colt," summed up trainer Phil Saxer.