Eight-year-old Jonesboro is back to defend his title in the $200,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) at Lone Star Park against seven rivals April 24.
Trained by Randy Morse for owner Michael Langford, the veteran handicap horse bids to snap a six-race losing streak since he captured the Cornhusker Handicap (gr. II) at Prairie Meadows last June. The son of Sefapiano out of Mom's Command is a lifetime earner of more than $1.5 million. Jonesboro ran third after setting the pace in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) in his most recent start April 3.
Among his opponents in a well-matched field in the Texas Mile are multiple stakes winner Star Guitar , making an appearance outside of Louisiana as the 123-pound high weight, and a red-hot Harlan Street, on a six-race tear for trainer Albert Skinner. Other notables are Mythical Power , a romping winner of last year's Lone Star Derby (gr. III) for trainer Bob Baffert, and King Dan, a narrow second to Jonesboro in last year's Texas Mile.
The race, which is the ninth on the Lone Star program, is set for a 5:19 p.m. CDT post.
A 14-time winner in his 46-race career, Jonesboro has lost all three of his starts so far in 2010. He set a solid pace at Oaklawn last time, but could not stay with the victorious Duke of Mischief and Win Willy in the homestretch and was beaten by 8 1/2 lengths. In last year's Texas Mile, Jonesboro enjoyed a stalking trip with Cliff Berry aboard and rallied five paths wide to get up late over King Dan by a half-length.
Jonesboro is reunited with Berry here under 119 pounds. He drew the rail and figures to be able to save ground while tracking several who have displayed better front-running speed, including Becky's Express, Euroears and King Dan.
Five-year-old King Dan, who nearly stole last year's Texas Mile after taking control of the race mid-stretch at odds of 8-1, seeks his first stakes win for trainer Dallas Keen. Chris Landeros takes the mount on the Include gelding.
Star Guitar had a six-race win streak, all against stakes company, ended when he ran fourth in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds in his last start March 27. Brittlyn Stable's 5-year-old Louisiana-bred son of Quiet American has dominated in-state rivals while compiling an overall mark of 12-0-2 in 16 lifetime races with earnings of $840,458.
Trained by Albert Stall Jr., Star Guitar is expected to rate from post 7 with regular rider Curt Bourque aboard. Star Guitar is 3-for-3 at the one-mile distance.
J. Phillip Mote's Harlan Street seeks his first graded stakes victory after overpowering his opponents at Mountaineer and Delta Downs during his current winning streak, which began last fall in West Virginia. The 5-year-old son of Street Cry won both his one-mile starts convincingly at Delta Downs late last year.
Mythical Power has started three times for Baffert without success since he ran off with a 7 1/2-length win in the Lone Star Derby last May. Peachtree Stable's 4-year-old homebred son of Congaree was fifth as the favorite in a one-mile optional claiming allowance race at Santa Anita in his last start Feb. 10. Southern California-based jockey Martin Garcia has the call for the Hall of Fame trainer Baffert, who has enjoyed much success over the years at Lone Star.
Fifteen Love won the Maxxam Gold Cup March 27 at Sam Houston Race Park and brings back-to-back wins into the Texas Mile for trainer Jerenesto Torrez.
Euroears ran third in the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at Fair Grounds March 27 for trainer Brett Calhoun. He captured the Thanksgiving Handicap there previously.
$200,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 5:19 p.m.), 3 & Up
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Jonesboro (KY), M C Berry, 119, R L Morse
2. Mythical Power (KY), M Garcia, 119, B Baffert
3. Euroears (KY), J Theriot, 119, W B Calhoun
4. Fifteen Love (KY), J Chacaltana, 121, J Torrez
5. Harlan Street (KY), S Spieth, 121, A T Skinner
6. King Dan (KY), C Landeros, 117, D E Keen
7. Star Guitar (LA), C C Bourque, 123, A M Stall, Jr.
8. Becky's Express (TX), J Collier, 119, M Lovell