Retama Park Meet Begins Friday

Stakes winners Midnight Explosion and Ruby's Big Band are the big stars opening night

Retama Park Director of Racing James Leatherman drew 10 races for opening night Friday with full fields in each race.

"It’s great to see the response from horsemen as we are set to open," he said.

Ninety-eight horses are entered on the opennig card Oct. 5 including the venerable Midnight Explosion. The 11-year-old gelding, a former Horse of the Meet at Retama, is making his 78th lifetime start, 25 at the Selma oval. The son of Pyramid Peak out of Battle OftheBands (by Dixieland Band) will be making his second start of the year.

The most competitive race of the night may be the eighth when eight fillies and mares will be asked to go six furlongs for an allowance purse of $23,000. It appears the one to beat is Ruby's Big Band a 5-year-old mare with $301,754 in career earnings. Trained by Charles Smith, Ruby’s Big Band (Bowman's BandRuby Be Mine, by Rubiano) won the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station Stakes at Lone Star Park in May, took the Al Swihart Memorial Stakes at Fonner Park, and is coming off a second-place finish in the $50,000 Matron Stakes at Assiniboia Downs in Canada.

Three new faces in the barn are area trainers Paul Parson from Prairie Meadows, Kenny Powers from Louisiana Downs, and James Kight from Nebraska.

Post time each night is 6:45 p.m. Saturday is the first 50-cent Saturday of the meet.