Lone Star's 2010 spring meet will run April 8 to July 18, Thursdays through Sundays. Opening night will feature the Premiere Stakes for 3-year-olds and upward.
The $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) came up as a real hat pin special Jan. 30, attracting a capacity field of 14 entrants with no clear standouts at Sam Houston Race Park.
Zensational, who has vaulted to the top of the national rankings for sprinters, goes for his third consecutive grade I win as the heavy favorite in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Stakes at Del Mar Sept. 6.
Presious Passion, who bounced back from a ninth-place finish in last year's Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park to become a grade I winner, invades Santa Anita for the 2009 renewal Jan. 24.
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.
Tiz Now Tiz Then looks to improve off his sixth-place run in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) when he faces a full field of 3-year-olds in the $350,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park Oct. 19.
Three of the top four finishers in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) will meet again Aug. 30, this time in the $500,000 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park.
Defending Bing Crosby Handicap (gr. I) champion In Summation, making his first start since April 26, will have plenty to deal with when he takes on the fast-rising Street Boss on Del Mar's Polytrack racing surface July 27.
Sunland Park officials in Albuquerque announced May 29 that the track's premier race, formerly known as the WinStar Derby, will be renamed the Sunland Derby. It will carry an $800,000 purse with potential to reach $1 million.
El Gato Malo, fifth as the favorite in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) last time out, takes on a dozen 3-year-old rivals in the $400,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) May 10 at the Grand Prairie, Texas, racetrack.
Launching a strong bid from between horses on the final turn, favored Icabad Crane ran down the front-running Mint Lane in the final sixteenth of a mile to register a head victory in the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes on opening weekend at Pimlico April 19. The triumph could provide trainer H. Graham Motion and owner Earle I. Mack with a prospect for the May 17 Preakness (gr. I) over the track.
Sebastian County, a clear leader a furlong from home, held off Poni Colada by a head to win the $75,000 Northern Spur for 3-year-olds on the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) program at Oaklawn Park April 12.
Last year, Steve Asmussen and Robby Albarado teamed up with eventual Horse of the Year Curlin to clobber eight other contenders in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I). On April 12 at Oaklawn Park the trainer/jockey duo will collaborate again with Zayat Stables' Z Fortune, but this time their starter has a lot to prove.
Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II), and WinStar Derby winner Liberty Bull prepped for scheduled runs in next week's $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) with workouts in the mud April 5 at Churchill Downs.
Liberty Bull, third behind Denis of Cork and Sierra Sunset in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) last time out, made that race look even better with a sharp two-length victory in the rich $600,000 WinStar Derby at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 16.
These days, much of Steve Asmussen's focus is on his pair of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders, Pyro and Z Fortune. But on March 16, Asmussen has an opportunity to score some serious earnings with another pair of 3-year-olds, as he will enter Poni Colada and Ablaze With Spirit in the $600,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park.
The 3-year-old Dixie Union colt will either run in the WinStar Derby or Lane's End Stakes.
Three-year-olds around the country continue to get "zapped" by the Derby trail's three-headed monster. You know, zap, as in Nick Zito, Steve Asmussen, and Todd Pletcher.
Denis of Cork came with a three-wide move into the stretch and ran away with the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) to score a 2 1/4 length win Feb. 18 at Oaklawn. The $250,000 mile race for 3-year-olds was run in 1:37.59.
Poni Colada remained unbeaten in New Mexico with an eight-length laugher in the $100,000 Borderland Derby for 3-year-olds at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Feb. 16.
Coming off his Delta Jackpot win, the Dixie Union colt looks to solidify Derby position Feb. 18 at Oaklawn Park.
Odds-on choice Bob Black Jack re-broke in upper stretch after being headed by Winsome Charm, leaving his challenger behind while winning the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash by 3 1/2 lengths in a Cushion Track-record time for six furlongs at Santa Anita Jan. 26.
Georgie Boy, last seen winning the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) in September, is the expected favorite in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Jan. 26.
There's plenty of bull, Holy Bull that is, represented among the dozen 3-year-olds entered for the $50,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, which kicks off the 3-year-old racing season at Oaklawn Park Jan. 21.
Rapper S S wore down the 4-5 favorite Yonegwa in the final furlong to capture the $105,950 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Dec. 30.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Ablaze With Spirit||Steven M. Asmussen||
|Banker's Way||Blake Rust||
|Cape Time||Andres Gonzalez||
|Capetown Royal||Henry Dominguez||
|Deputyville||Gary C. Contessa||
|Liberty Bull||Thomas M. Amoss||
|No Jepordy||Anthony Adamo||
|Poni Colada||Steven M. Asmussen||
|Screen to Screen||Bob Baffert||
|Winsome Charm||Craig Dollase||
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Upcoming Stakes Entries
|Elusive Quality S.||BEL|
|Edward Babst/Albert Palacios Memorial H.||BTP|
|Roxelana Overnight S.||CD|
|William Walker S.||CD|
|Queen's Cup MPC Chase Hurdle S.||CHL|