The Texas Thoroughbred Association honored its top performers of 2008 at its annual Horse Racing/Breeding Conference and Annual Meeting in Dallas Jan. 9-10. The winner of the prestigious T.I. "Pops" Harkins award went to John Adger, racing manager of Bob and Janice McNair's Stonerside, which was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley last year.
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.
On paper, Monterey Jazz is the lone speed in a field of six contesting the $300,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) April 26 at Lone Star Park. If he kicks clear, there may be no catching the son of Thunderello, who looks for his third graded stakes score in less four months in the one-mile main track event.
Trainer John G. Locke earned his 1,000th lifetime victory when he saddled Matty B for victory at Oaklawn Park April 11.
Texas bred Scrappy Roo held off the rallying Going Ballistic by a head in the $168,500 John B. Connally Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) on closing night at Sam Houston State Park April 5, earning his fifth consecutive victory.
Millennium Farms' Student Council will try the turf--a surface he's never won over--for the first time since December of 2006 when he tackles seven other starters in the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Sam Houston April 5, but trainer Donnie von Hemel expects Going Ballistic to put up a fight.
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