Turf Specialists Square Off in Connally at Houston

Bushwood Stables' Better Talk Now and Mansell Stables' Quest Star, both 5-year-olds, headline the April 10 John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf , at $200,000 the richest race of the Sam Houston Race Park meet. The Connally is at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Better Talk Now, by Talkin Man, is the 7-2 morning-line choice. Trained by Graham Motion, Better Talk Now last raced Nov. 1, 2003, when he won the Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct. He worked six furlongs in 1:16 on the dirt at Keeneland April 6 and was shipped to Texas.

Better Talk Now, a winner of six of 17 career starts, has earned $337,437. He's the 119-pound highweight with Rene Douglas named to ride.

Quest Star, by Broad Brush, won the March 20 Pan American Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park in his last start. Five of his six career victories have come on the grass.

Trained by Elliott Walden, Quest Star will carry 118 pounds with Pat Day in the irons.

In addition to the Connally, the seventh race on the program, Sam Houston will offer the $40,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes and the $40,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup.

Here's the Connally field, in post-position order with jockeys and weights:

1 Canaan Land Jeremy Collier 109
2 Quest Star Pat Day 118
3 Bassant Jeffrey Burningham 108
4 Excessive Behavior John Jacinto 109
5 Toratora Filemon Rodriguez 107
6 Seainsky Elvis Perrodin 114
7 Skate Away Gerard Melancon 117
8 Warleigh Jeremy Beasley 116
9 Del Mar Show Cornelio Velasquez 116
10 Gentlemen J J Don Simington 109
11 Better Talk Now Rene Douglas 119