12-Year-Old Proven Cure Wins Littlebitlively S.

(from Lone Star Park report)
Proven Cure became only the fifth Thoroughbred since 1976 to win a stakes race at the age of 12 when he rolled to a three-length victory over Mr. Meso in Saturday's $40,000 Littlebitlively Stakes at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Proven Cure, ridden by Quincy Hamilton and carrying 122 pounds, covered five furlongs on a turf course labeled "soft" in :57.30. He paid $4.60, $3.40, and $2.60 as the 7-5 favorite in the field of nine older horses. Mr. Meso returned $13.40 and $6.40. April's Lucky Boy was another neck back in third and paid $3.60.

The win was the 21st in 85 lifetime starts for Proven Cure and was worth $24,000, raising his career earnings to $733,531 for owner/breeder Dr. William A. Reed's Stonecrest Farm, of Kansas City, Mo.

Proven Cure, a Cure the Blues gelding born on April 8, 1994, joined Bold Sundance (b. 1989), Island Day Break (b. 1985), Leaping Plum (b. 1991), and Mayruncouldfly (b. 1974) as racing's only 12-year-old stakes winners in the last 30 years. Since turning 11, Proven Cure has won eight of 12 starts and $153,050, including three stakes.

"He's a great horse," Hamilton said. "He gives me everything he has every trip. It doesn't take much to ride him, just a little bit of patience."

Hamilton settled Proven Cure into stride, then split rivals leaving the backstretch and ranged up to the leaders on the turn for home. He shifted three-wide into the stretch and assumed command with a little more than a furlong to run.

This was Proven Cure's second start in the last 13 days. Previously, he finished a nose behind Charming Socialite in the $40,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup.

"It'll be up to Dr. Reed if he gets a break," Proven Cure's trainer John Locke said. "I believe he took him home for a while at this time last year. It was just good to get it over with because you're always a little apprehensive."

(Chart, Equibase)