It was the first graded stakes win for Scrappy Roo, a 5-year-old Roo Art gelding trained by John G. Locke for owner Tawana Cantrell.
Ridden by Paul Nolan, Scrappy Roo vied with 8-5 favorite Student Council for the lead on a slow pace for the 1 1/8-mile event before taking over in the stretch at odds of 6-1. Second choice Going Ballistic saved ground all the way and made steady progress on the inside through the lane but came up just short against the determined winner.
Going Ballistic gained the runner-up spot by a neck over the 12-1 outsider Eighteenthofmarch, with Rodney Prescott aboard, in a blanket finish.
The final time, 1:51.65 on a firm course, was four seconds off the track standard established by Chorwon in 1999.
Grade I winner Student Council, looking for his first win on the grass while carrying top weight of 120 pounds, gave way after setting contested fractions of :25.51, :56.56, and 1:15.20, and wound up seventh in the eight-horse field.
Scrappy Roo has steadily made his way through the claiming ranks at Sam Houston this season before breaking through with his first stakes win in the Tomball in his prior start Feb. 23. The bay, bred by David S. Taylor, earned $90,000 for the Connally victory and has now banked $183,280 while amassing a lifetime record of 8-3-0 in 15 starts.
Out of Dance's Lyph (by King Lyph), Scrappy Roo has won six of his nine tries on the grass.
Sent off as the fifth choice of the public, Scrappy Roo carried 115 pounds to victory and paid $14.80, $7, and $3.60. Going Ballistic, winner of the Super Derby (gr. II) and Oklahoma Derby on dirt in 2007 for trainer Donnie Von Hemel, returned $5 and $3.40. Eighteenthofmarch, conditioned by John Good, was $5.80 to show. Firerock Base, Embossed, Wise River, Student Council, and Mr. Unstoppable completed the order.