Green Fee Tops 12 Connally Turf Starters

Edited from track notes

The draw for the ninth running of the $200,000 John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap took place Wednesday. A full field of 12 turf specialists are entered for the richest stakes of the 2002-2003 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting.

Green Fee owned by Lawana and Robert E. Low is the highweight for the ninth running of the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf. Larry Melancon will ride carrying 118 pounds for trainer Daniel Peitz. Currently stabled at the Fair Grounds, Green Fee is a turf veteran with 28 starts on grass. He has seven wins and has been in the money in ten races. The 7-year-old son of Green Dancer ran fifth in the 2002 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), running fifth to European turf stars, Domedriver and Rock Of Gibraltar. Peitz shipped him from Arlington Park to his winter base at the Fair Grounds, where he recently ran fifth in the $75,000 Colonel Bradley Handicap on January 5.

"I was a little disappointed that he ran fifth at the Fair Grounds following his Breeders' Cup race," said Peitz from his barn at the Fair Grounds. "He drew the outside post and was a little fresh, but I'm not going to make excuses. I wanted to run him in the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf because I have heard that Sam Houston has one of the best turf courses in the country."

Peitz indicated that Green Fee would gallop at the Fair Grounds on Friday morning and ship into Houston that afternoon. Although his horse ships well, he tends to be a little on the "claustrophobic side" preferring an end stall where he can look out and see the activity in the barn area. Other horses shipping in from the Fair Grounds include two-time defending champion Candid Glen, plus Freefourinternet, Red Mountain, Even The Score, Skate Away, Runaway Choice and Seainsky.

The field for the $200,000 Connally, the seventh race at Sam Houston on Saturday, from the rail out with jockey and weight:
1 -- Candid Glen, Elvis Perrodin, 113
2 -- Green Fee, Larry Melancon, 118
3 -- Even the Score, Calvin Borel, 115
4 -- Freefourinternet, Shane Sellers, 114
5 -- No Net Needed, Frank Valez, 109
6 -- Skate Away, Eddie Martin Jr., 114
7 -- Runaway Choice, Corey Lanerie, 112
8 -- Rasby, B.J. Walker Jr., 111
9 -- Red Mountain, Robby Albarado, 113
10 -- Maysville Slew, M.C. Berry, 114
11 -- Time to Dyne, T.A. Stanton, 110
12 -- Dynameaux, Ronald Chapa, 114