Lone Star Park Sets 37-Race Stakes Schedule

Edited press release
The Lone Star Park Handicap received a $100,000 boost to $400,000 and the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup Handicap was elevated to grade III status for 2006, two highlights on Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's 37-race, $3.83 million spring Thoroughbred season stakes schedule that was announced Friday.

Lone Star will stage its 10th annual spring Thoroughbred season over 66 dates in 2006 from April 13 through July 23.

Recognition of the Dallas Turf Cup Handicap by the North American Graded Stakes Committee gives Lone Star five grade III stakes races for 2006 - the most in its brief history. The Dallas Turf Cup, a 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds and up on grass, will be held June 17.

"With the Dallas Turf Cup recognized as our fifth graded stakes race, it's a credit to area horsemen who have consistently improved their stables year after year, as well as our Racing Department and the national outfits that have annually supported our racing program," said Lone Star Park vice president and general manager Jeff Greco. "We're committed to the highest quality of racing possible. With an increase of the Lone Star Park Handicap to $400,000, we're optimistic that we can someday land Texas its first grade II fixture - and maybe even a Grade I."

The other grade III stakes are the $300,000 Texas Mile on April 29 (3-year-olds and up at one mile); $300,000 Walmac Lone Star Derby on May 13 (one week after the Kentucky Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles); $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 29 (3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles) and $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap on May 29 (fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up, at one mile on turf).

The Lone Star Park Handicap and WinStar Distaff help comprise Lone Star's eighth annual Lone Star Million, Texas' richest day of racing with six stakes cumulatively worth more than $1 million on Memorial Day. Other races on the special holiday racing program are the $150,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes (3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf); the $100,000 Stonerside Stakes (3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs); the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap (3-year-olds and up at five furlongs on turf); and the $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes (fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up, at six furlongs).

The Lone Star Million is one of nine multi-stakes days during the15-week meeting. Stakes tripleheaders will be held on Texas Mile Day (April 29) and Walmac Lone Star Derby Day (May 13), and the sixth annual Stars of Texas Day returns July 8 with six stakes totaling $525,000 exclusively for Texas-breds and progeny of Texas-based stallions.

DOWN THE STRETCH - The $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds on July 1 is now a two-turn affair. Previously, it had been run at six and 6 1/2 furlongs, but it is now a one-mile test...The $50,000 Bob Johnson Memorial for 3-year-olds and up on July 22 is now a one-mile turf race. The first nine runnings were on dirt...The $50,000 Richland Hills Farm Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, was renamed for the sponsor, a Midway, Ky. breeding operation that used to be known as Wafare Farm...

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