Mythical Power, Euroears set for rematch at Lone Star
MYTHICAL POWER (Congaree) and EUROEARS (Langfuhr), who served up a thrilling duel in the April 24 Texas Mile S. (G3), will clash again over an extra sixteenth of a mile in Monday's Lone Star Park H. (G3). The $300,000 contest anchors the seven-stakes Memorial Day program, dubbed Lone Star Million Day.
Mythical Power is two-for-two over the Grand Prairie, Texas, oval, having cruised by 7 1/2 lengths in the 2009 Lone Star Derby (G3). The Bob Baffert colt failed to hit the board in three subsequent tries on the Pro-Ride at his home base of Santa Anita, but relished the chance to get back on the dirt here in the Texas Mile. Mythical Power pressed the pace set by Euroears that day before finally subduing his stubborn rival by a neck. The top two pulled well clear of Maxxam Gold Cup H. hero FIFTEEN LOVE (Point Given).
Euroears was making his two-turn debut in the Texas Mile, and the multiple stakes-winning sprinter nearly pulled off a wire-to-wire decision. With that experience under his belt, the talented but lightly-raced six-year-old could take a step forward for trainer Bret Calhoun.
While the pair carried level weights in the Texas Mile, Mythical Power will be spotting Euroears two pounds as the 119-pound co-highweight on Monday. Martin Garcia has the return call aboard Mythical Power, and regular rider Jamie Theriot will once again guide Euroears.
Like Mythical Power, co-highweight AWESOME GEM (Awesome Again) also hails from Southern California. The seven-year-old gelding is an accomplished veteran of the graded wars, boasting two Grade 2 victories and placings in such major events as the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), Pacific Classic S. (G1) and Eddie Read H. (G1). The reigning Hawthorne Gold Cup H. (G2) winner, Awesome Gem comes off a hard-charging second in the lucrative Charles Town Classic S. David Flores makes the trek to maintain his partnership with the Craig Dollase charge.
REDDING COLLIERY (Mineshaft) invades from New York for the ever-dangerous Kiaran McLaughlin. The gray, who set a new track record when romping in the John B. Campbell H. at Laurel, was most recently third in the Charles Town Classic.
The venerable eight-year-old JONESBORO (Sefapiano) will be attempting the Lone Star Park H. for the third time. A distant third in the slop in 2007, he just missed by a head in a gallant runner-up effort last year. The Randy Morse veteran disappointed in the Texas Mile, fading to last, but has been training sharply since and is eligible to rebound.
In the day's other graded event, the $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff H. (G3), defending champion WASTED TEARS (Najran) will seek her sixth win in a row. Bred, owned and trained by Bart Evans, the dark bay scorched the grassy mile in a course-record 1:32 4/5 in the 2009 running, remaining perfect from four starts over the Lone Star turf. Wasted Tears went to the sidelines for the next eight months, but picked up right where she left off with front-running coups in an allowance/optional claimer and the Honey Fox S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Last time out, Wasted Tears upset champion Forever Together (Belong to Me) in the Jenny Wiley S. (G2) at Keeneland. There is no one of that caliber among her five rivals on Monday, and Wasted Tears looms as the heavy favorite with new pilot Cliff Berry. The most plausible upset candidate is BUBBLER (Distorted Humor), who sports a sterling 8-6-0-0 lifetime mark and captured the Irving Distaff S. as her local prep.
In contrast, a competitive field of 11 has been entered in the companion race for males, the $150,000 Dallas Turf Cup H. at 1 1/16 miles. Shorn of its Grade 3 status this year, it nonetheless marks the return of multiple Grade 3 star EL GATO MALO (El Corredor), last seen finishing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. The Dollase-trained gelding has successfully invaded this track before, taking the 2008 Lone Star Derby on the dirt, but bids for his first career stakes win on grass.
DEAL BREAKER (GB) (Night Shift) exits a stylish win in the Grand Prairie Turf Challenge S. over the course, and fits the profile of an improver for Mike Mitchell. The well-bred UNBRIDLE'S DREAM (Unbridled's Song), who wired a stakes-quality allowance at Keeneland in his latest, has earned another crack at the stakes level for Steve Asmussen. Both rank as co-highweights at 120 pounds. Other notable entrants include Grade 3 scorer WISE RIVER (Belong to Me), who gets class relief after tiring to eighth in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1); GLOWING PRAISE (GB) (Fantastic Light), third in the recent Inglewood H. (G3) at Hollywood Park; and Fifteen Love, who is cross-entered to the Lone Star Park H.
Sophomores will likewise negotiate 1 1/16 miles on the turf in the $100,000 USA S., and the streaking COYOTE LEGEND (Gold Legend) will attempt to transfer his dominance from dirt to turf. The Calhoun pupil brings a five-stakes winning streak into his turf debut, where he figures to be tested by the Keeneland-based LOOKS PURRRFECT (Kitten's Joy) from the Asmussen barn. SHOOT IT'S WAR (Royal Academy) and PERFECT LOU (Perfect Soul [Ire]) also merit a look in the nine-strong field. Trainer Cash Asmussen has cross-entered his filly FORTUNIA (Leroidesanimaux [Brz]) to the Ouija Board versus older distaffers.
The $100,000 Cinemine S. has attracted a field of 13 three-year-old fillies. Baffert will send out BONNIE BLUE FLAG (Mineshaft), a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 heroine Diamondrella (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar [Ire]), who will make her stakes and dirt debut in the seven-furlong scramble. Victorious in her past two on the synthetic in Southern California, Bonnie Blue Flag sizzled five Pro-Ride furlongs in a bullet :58 3/5 on Monday. The stakes-winning Steve Asmussen duo of KINSOLVING (Posse) and RIGHT TO RULE (Five Star Day); the respective top two from the Got Koko division of the Texas Stallion S., TIN TOP CAT (Supreme Cat) and DIXIELAND BABY (Dixieland Heat); stakes veterans COSMO GIRL (City Zip) and SHOTGUN GULCH (Thunder Gulch); and Louisiana Downs maiden conqueror OFFLEE CLASSY (Offlee Wild) all have solid claims in an evenly-matched group.
Seven older fillies and mares will dash six furlongs in the $75,000 Valid Expectations S., and plenty of early speed is sure to be on tap. Baffert's MOTHER RUTH (Speightstown) is among those likely to be mixing it up on the front end, which could set it up well for a stalker like SIMPLIFY (Pulpit). The locally-based NO OTHER TONE (Touch Tone) also promises to make her presence felt in her second start off a prolonged layoff.
Kicking off the day's stakes action is the $50,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial S. for Texas-breds at six furlongs.
Also at Lone Star on Memorial Day, fans will get the opportunity to meet WinStar Farm owner Bill Casner of Flower Mound, Texas. Casner will be available to sign free color prints of this year's Kentucky Derby (G1) winner's circle photo, featuring WinStar Farm's Super Saver (Maria's Mon).
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