Lion Tamer Leads Lone Star Million Menu

(from Lone Star Park)
Thirty-seven stakes winners, including Cigar Mile (gr. I) champ Lion Tamer, were among the 48 horses entered for Monday's seventh annual Lone Star Million at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The Memorial Day six-pack of stakes races - anchored by the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) and $200,000 WinStar Distaff (gr. IIIT) – is annually the most lucrative day in Texas horse racing, with prize money exceeding $1 million.

Lone Star Park Handicap
Michael Tabor's Lion Tamer, conditioned by Todd Pletcher, drew post position 4 and was made the 8-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 10 older horses for the Lone Star Park Handicap.

Jerry Bailey, North America's champion jockey in seven of the last nine years, has the mount on Lion Tamer and will ride in three other stakes on the Lone Star program that begins at 1:35 p.m. CT.

Last November, Lion Tamer, a 5-year-old son of Will's Way, spoiled the sprint championship hopes of Pico Central when he rolled from last to win the one-turn Cigar Mile at Aqueduct by 1 ¼ lengths at odds of 12-1. It was his eighth victory (and fourth graded stakes win).

Since then, Lion Tamer finished second as the favorite in the Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park and fifth in the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Keeneland on April 16.

Lion Tamer is one of 13 graded stakes winners to run Monday at Lone Star. Six graded stakes winners help comprise the Lone Star Park Handicap and four graded stakes winners were entered in the WinStar Distaff, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Also in the Lone Star Park Handicap field are High Strike Zone and Supah Blitz, one-two finishers in the Texas Mile (gr. III) on April 30. Locally-based High Strike Zone will attempt to join Dixie Dot Com, the 2001 winner, as the only horses to complete "The Texas Two Step" – a sweep of Lone Star's two graded stakes on dirt for older horses worth $300,000 a piece.

The complete Lone Star Park Handicap (Race 9, 5:29 p.m. CT) field, from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds):
1. Supah Blitz (Jon Court, Doug O'Neill, 118, 5-2)
2. Absent Friend (Roman Chapa, Cole Norman, 115, 8-1)
3. Yessirgeneralsir (Justin Shepherd, 116, 12-1)
4. Lion Tamer (Jerry Bailey, Todd Pletcher, 120, 8-5)
5. Snorter (Jaime Theriot, Cole Norman, 116, 20-1)
6. High Strike Zone (Ricky Faul, Amos Laborde, 118, 10-1)
7. Majestic Thief (Cliff Berry, Cody Autrey, 114, 30-1)
8. Skip and Go (Ken Tohill, Jose Gonzalez Jr., 115, 20-1)
9. Wishingitwas (Jeremy Beasley, Bart Evans, 115, 20-1)
10. Cryptograph (Don Pettinger, Donnie K. Von Hemel, 116, 5-1)

WinStar Distaff
California invader Valentine Dancer was made the early 5-2 favorite for the WinStar Distaff, contested at a mile on the tuff. Al and Sandee Kirkwood's millionaire and two-time Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf winner is the co-starting highweight at 120 pounds with 3-1 second betting choice Katdogawn.

"You got to be one of two things to earn over a million dollars: you've got to be good or lucky," trainer Craig Lewis said of Valentine Dancer. "She's been both - good and lucky."

Both Lewis and Katdogawn's trainer Wally Dollase cited the timing of the race, the race distance, and the $200,000 purse as reasons for bringing their charges to Texas.

Katdogawn, third in last year's WinStar Distaff while trained by Jim Cassidy, finished fifth in the Jenny Wiley (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland in her last start. "She ran poorly last time because of the circumstances," Dollase said. "She just didn't care for the course at Keeneland. It was hard on her and extremely firm. But she's trained forwardly since then, and we're expecting another good effort."

The complete WinStar Distaff Handicap (Race 8, 4:59 CT) field, from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds):
1. Paz Ciudadana-CHI (Justin Shepherd, Steve Asmussen, 117, 9-2)
2. Valentine Dancer (Jon Court, Craig Lewis, 120, 5-2)
3. Marwood (Larry Taylor, Stephen Margolis, 117, 10-1)
4. My Misty Princess (Jaime Theriot, Dallas Keen, 117, 8-1)
5. Blue Song (Ken Tohill, Jose Gonzalez Jr., 115, 30-1)
6. Bonnie J. (Jeremy Beasley, Jack Young, 114, 20-1)
7. Tara's Touch-SAF (Larry Melancon, Niall O'Callaghan, 116, 15-1)
1 a-Voz De Colegiala-CHI (Roman Chapa, Steve Asmussen, 115, 9-2)
8. Katdogawn-GB (Jerry Bailey, Wally Dollase, 120, 3-1)
9. Queena Corrina (Don Pettinger, Donnie K. Von Hemel, 117, 10-1)
10. Janeian-NZ (Quincy Hamilton, Bret Calhoun, 117, 12-1)
11. Yoursmineours (Cliff Berry, Donnie K. Von Hemel, 114, 20-1)
Paz Ciudadana and Voz De Colegiala Nelson Bunker Hunt-owned entry.

Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes
Five-time stakes winner Dubleo, also from the Pletcher barn, tries to regain his winning form in the $200,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for 3-year-olds that drew nine entrants. Jerry Bailey has the mount on the 7-5 morning line favorite that will break from post 5.

Dubleo, winner of the Summer Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine and Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park as a 2-year-old, has faded to fourth in each of his last two starts after being forwardly placed in the early stages.

Dubleo will tackle the top three finishers in the April 30 Grand Prairie Prairie Turf Challenge at Lone Star: Jazzy Gallop and Smooth Bid, two from the Steve Asmussen barn who were separated by a nose, and third place finisher Justa Red Bird. Mad Adam, runner-up in the $100,000 Forerunner Stakes at Keeneland, was also entered after being sent to trainer Barry Germany.

The complete Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes (Race 10, 5:59 CT) field, from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):
2. Smooth Bid (Justin Shepherd, Steve Asmussen, 5-1)
1. Dixie Meister (Jeremy Beasley, Barry Germany, 7-2)
3. Justa Red Bird (Cliff Berry, Michelle Lovell, 20-1)
4. Major League (Terry Stanton, Paul Murphy, 20-1)
5. Dubleo (Jerry Bailey, Todd Pletcher, 7-5)
6. Munificence (Jaime Theriot, Jim Hudson, 20-1)
7. Jazzy Gallop (Roman Chapa, Steve Asmussen, 3-1)
8. Barometer Rising (Quincy Hamilton, Danny Pish, 15-1)
1. a-Mad Adam (Jon Court, Barry Germany, 7-2)

Dixie Meister and Mad Adam will run coupled as a Millennium Farms-owned entry.

Stonerside Stakes
True Tails, the fleet-footed Southwest filly conditioned by high-percentage trainer Cole Norman, will be tested by invaders from California and Kentucky in Monday's $150,000 Stonerside Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Northern California stakes winner R Fast Lady and Kentucky-based Hot Attraction and Forever Brilliant flew to Texas to challenge True Tails, who will face the longest race of her career at seven furlongs.

Marie Troncone's True Tails, the 7-5 morning line favorite who will break from the rail, has won four races and $112,330 in seven starts, with two seconds and a third. The combined winning margin of her four victories is 26 ¾ lengths, including a 7 ¾-length romp last time out in the Wafare Farm Stakes at six furlongs on April 23.

In the Wafare, True Tails exploded to an eight-length lead while crossing the half-mile marker in an eye-catching :43.72.

Stan Fulton's R Fast Lady rallied from last to win the $62,000 Winner's Foundation Stakes at Bay Meadows for trainer Eoin Harty. Bob and Beverly Lewis' Hot Attraction, to be ridden by Jerry Bailey, is graded stakes-placed and cruised to a 7 ¼-length win at Keeneland on April 22. Forever Brilliant won a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs by 1 ½ lengths after finishing second in an $85,000 stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs.

The complete Stonerside Stakes (Race 5, 3:29 p.m. CT) field, from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):
1. True Tails (Jaime Theriot, Cole Norman, 7-5)
2. Airizon (Quincy Hamilton, John Locke, 15-1)
3. Hot Attraction (Larry Melancon, Wally Dollase, 4-1)
4. R Fast Lady (Jon Court, Eoin Harty, 5-2)
5. Forever Brilliant (Jerry Bailey, Tom Proctor, 3-1)

Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap
Top Commander, powerful 1 ½-length winner of the Grade III Count Fleet Sprint Handicap in his last start, will return to the turf for Monday's $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap.

The 5-year-old gelding trained by Norman is the 121-pound highweight in the field of six older horses and was made the 4-5 morning line favorite in the five-furlong turf sprint.

The complete Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds):
1. Run Zeal Run (Jeremy Beasley, George Northrop Jr., 115, 15-1)
2. Orphan Brigade (Roman Chapa, Bret Calhoun, 116, 6-1)
3. Artesian (Casey Lambert, Bart Hone, 115, 15-1)
4. Oncearoundtwice (Quincy Hamilton, John Locke, 115, 8-1)
5. The Niner Account (Cliff Berry, Martin Lozano, 119, 5-2)
6. Top Commander (Jaime Theriot, Cole Norman, 121, 4-5)

Valid Expectations Stakes
Brenda and Philip Robertson's swift 6-year-old mare Savorthetime, a five-time stakes winner from the Asmussen barn, will defend her title against five fillies and mares in Monday's $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes. She's an early 4-5 choice to do so.

In last year's renewal, the daughter of Gilded Time ran the fastest six furlongs in Lone Star Park history when she stopped the teletimer in a sizzling 1:07.82.

The complete Valid Expectations Stakes field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):
1. Stirrin Up a Storm (Larry Taylor, "Bubba" Cascio, 15-1)
2. Savorthetime (Roman Chapa, Steve Asmussen, 4-5)
3. Miss Smart Strike (Ricky Faul, Chad Hassenpflug, 20-1)
4. Where Is My Daddy (Justin Shepherd, Cole Norman, 10-1)
5. Bar Bailey (Ken Tohill, Jose Gonzalez Jr., 3-1)
6. Boston Express (Jaime Theriot, Cole Norman, 4-1)