Lone Star 'Cap: Giant Gizmo in Top Form
by Jason Shandler
Date Posted: 5/24/2008 4:05:47 PM
Last Updated: 5/26/2008 12:14:44 PM

Alysheba Winner Giant Gizmo looks to keep rolling in the Lone Star Park Handicap.
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Photo: Jeffrey Snyder
Leading trainer Steve Asmussen could saddle three colts in the $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) May 26, but even though the odds are in his favor it still might not be enough to conquer Frank Stronach’s Giant Gizmo, who enters the 1 1/16-mile test at the top of his game.

Eight are entered in the Lone Star Park Handicap, the feature event of Lone Star Million Day, which offers six stakes worth a cumulative $1.1 million. Included on Texas’ richest day of racing program are the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up and the $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT), the female counterpart.

Asmussen could send out a trio of 4-year-olds in the main track event, with 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) starter Zanjero his top threat. Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Zanjero was freshened after taking the Oct. 6 Indiana Derby (gr. III) by 3 1/2 lengths at Hoosier Park, his sophomore finale. The son of Cherokee Run--Checkered Flag, by A.P. Indy, made his 4-year-old debut in the April 26 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star, finishing eight lengths back in second.

Zanjero, who was 12th in the Kentucky Derby, also won the West Virginia Derby (gr. III) last year and has earned more than $1.2 million from 14 career starts. Shaun Bridgmohan gets the mount on the Kentucky-bred colt.

Asmussen also entered Beta Capo, who was third in the Texas Mile, and Encaustic, a Broad Brush colt looking for his first stakes victory. Beta Capo is also cross-entered in the Dallas Turf Cup. Encaustic is coming off a neck defeat in the April 11 Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park, where just missed after leading into the stretch.

If Giant Gizmo runs anything close to how he did May 2 at Churchill Downs, he will be tough to beat. The son of Giant's Causeway   came from off the pace to win the 1 1/16-mile Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) by 3 3/4 lengths on the slop under Rafael Bejarano. It was the second consecutive triumph and third win in four starts for the Bobby Frankel trainee. In his Feb. 25 victory at Santa Anita, Giant Gizmo posted a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

The only setback this year for Giant Gizmo came in the Feb. 2 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita when he finished sixth. The Cushion Track was not a viable excuse for that defeat, as the chestnut colt broke the one-mile course record on the same surface in his 3-year-old finale, stopping the clock in 1:34.59 in a three-length allowance score.

Out of the Hansel mare Golden Antigua, Giant Gizmo was bred in Kentucky by Stronach's Adena Springs. He will share the 118-pound high weight with Zanjero and gets Garrett Gomez for the first time.

Cowtown Cat, another former Kentucky Derby starter, will have to improve to have a shot against these. The Todd Pletcher trainee has not hit the winner’s circle since taking the Illinois Derby (gr. II) more than a year ago. The son of Distorted Humor   did have his best start since then in his last out, a third-place finish in the one-mile Timeless Native Stakes on the Arlington Polytrack where he led into the stretch before faltering. Aaron Gryder will be in the irons.

Tawana Cantrell’s Scrappy Roo and Kindred Thorougbreds’ Going Ballistic are the 116-pound highweights in the 1 1/8-mile Dallas Turf Cup. A 5-year-old gelding by Roo Art, Scrappy Roo was fifth in the Texas Mile, but prior to that won the John B. Connally Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Sam Houston, beating Going Ballistic by a head.

$400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III, Race 10, 5:47 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Encaustic (MD), 115, Luis S. Quinonez
2. Zanjero (KY), 118, Shaun Bridgmohan
3. One Lucky Buck (FL), 114, Ken S. Tohill
4. Beta Capo (KY), 115, M. Clifton Berry
5. Won Awesome Dude (ON), 112, Casey T. Lambert
6. Stella Mark (CA), 115, Brice Blanc
7. Giant Gizmo (KY), 118, Garrett K. Gomez
8. Cowtown Cat (KY), 117, Aaron T. Gryder



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