Local Yessirgeneralsir Wins Lone Star Park Handicap; Asmussen Bags Record Four Lone Star Million Stakes

(May 31, 2004)- It was only appropriate that a general stole the show and won the biggest race on Memorial Day in front of 15,648 fans at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Yessirgeneralsir broke fast from the starting gate and never looked back, defeating Kentucky-based Sonic West by 2 ¼ lengths in the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (Gr. III). Spanish Empire was another length back in third, a neck in front of 6-5 favorite Kela, who was seeking a rare Texas Mile-Lone Star Park Handicap double.

Earlier on the card, Steve Asmussen, Lone Star Park's all-time win leader and the nation's top trainer by wins with 226 at the start of the day, won four of the seven stakes races which comprised the Dallas-Fort Worth area racetrack's sixth annual Lone Star Million. Asmussen's four stakes wins was another track record for the 38-year-old resident of nearby Arlington, Texas.

Locals won each of the seven stakes events, despite challenges from California and Kentucky.

Yessirgeneralsir, owned and bred by Jim Jackson of Rockwall, Texas, took command from the outset, setting swift fractions of :22.85 for the first quarter-mile, :45.67 for the half and 1:08.54 for six furlongs. On the turn for home, jockey Omar Figueroa set the 4-year-old gelding down for a drive and he drew off by six lengths, passing the mile marker in 1:34.07.

Yessirgeneralsir, conditioned by Dallas Keen, completed the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:41.29 - the third-fastest clocking in eight runnings of the race.

It was Yessirgeneralsir's first stakes win. He was the most lightly raced horse in the six-horse field with just two wins in seven starts before the race. His last start was a third behind Kela and Supah Blitz in the Texas Mile, his stakes debut.

Yessirgeneralsir, who paid $25.20 to win as the second longest price on the board at 11-1, earned $180,000 for the victory and improved his career earnings to $252,555.

Asmussen Saddles Winners of a Record Four Lone Star Million Stakes

As for Amsussen, he teamed with Kentucky-based jockey Shane Sellers to win five races. His four stakes wins came with Term Sheet in the $50,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Handicap, Mighty Beau in the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint, Savorthetime in the $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes and Academic Angel - their most lucrative win on the day - in the $200,000 WinStar Distaff (Gr. III).

Savorthetime ran the fastest six furlongs in Lone Star Park victory with a clocking of 1:07.82 - seven-hundredths of a second fastest than Beau's Town's mark of 1:07.89 set 23 days ago in the $75,000 Ford Express Stakes.

Asmussen and Sellers also won the last race of the day with Irish Rouge, giving them $314,400 on the day - second only to trainer Cole Norman's three stakes victories a year ago on Lone Star Million day which amassed a track record $385,000.

Sellers nearly didn't make it to Texas when he missed an early-morning flight from Kentucky. He was able to book another flight at the last minute, but it didn't arrive into Dallas until 1 p.m. CT - 35 minutes before the first live race.

Elsewhere, Tom Durant's No Place Like It rallied to win the $200,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes and Canadian River won the $50,000 Harold V. Goodman Memorial Stakes. Both were ridden by Lone Star Park's leading jockey Eddie Martin Jr.

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