Even though trainer Bret Calhoun finished second to Steve Asmussen in the standings and jockey Cliff Berry was second behind Lindey Wade upon the conclusion of the Lone Star Park meet, they teamed to finish in a big way with three stakes wins on Stars of Texas Day on closing day July 6.
The Calhoun-Berry trifecta kicked off in the $86,480 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity for colts and geldings as Valor Farm stallion Early Flyer sired the top three finishers. First across the wire was Phil Louis Adams’ Circustown Flyer, an $18,000 graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling sale. The TTA Sales Futurity is restricted to Fasig-Tipon Texas sale graduates or horses made eligible through a transferable berth.
The Texas-bred colt battled for the early lead and then edged clear in the lane to prevail by 1 ¼ lengths with a :58.30 clocking at five furlongs as the 9-5 second choice. Circustown Flyer, who was bred by Clarence Scharbauer Jr. out of the Gold Regent mare Rockin Regent, broke his maiden at first asking by 6 ¼ lengths at Lone Star on June 6. He has now earned $63,888 in two starts.
Scharbauer, who stands Early Flyer at his Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas, also bred the second- and third-place finishers. Danny Keene’s Time Iz Flyin, a 12 ¾-length maiden winner at Lone Star who sold for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling sale, put in a game effort to take the runner-up spot for trainer Allen Milligan. Scharbauer’s homebred Check Ride, also trained by Calhoun, took third.
In the $93,780 fillies division of the TTA Sales Futurity, Calhoun saddled Stephen Brown’s Closing Report to a three-length victory as the 1-2 choice. The Louisiana-bred daughter of Closing Argument, a $95,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training sale from the consignment of Inside Move Inc., agent, got the five-furlong distance in :58.27 and maintained her perfect record after breaking her maiden by 4 ½ lengths at Lone Star in her debut. Her earnings now stand at $68,028. Closing Report was bred by Brett Brinkman and Allen Chiasson out of the Corporate Report mare Majestic Report.
Calhoun also took second and third in the fillies division as Larry Hirsch and Wayne Sanders’ Scooter’s Choice, a $13,000 Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling sired by Lane’s End Texas stallion Too Much Bling, finished a clear second. The filly shipped in from Churchill Downs after twice hitting the board against maiden special weight company there. Ed Few’s homebred Discreet Girl, by Discreet Cat, got up for third.
Calhoun and Berry struck again with reigning Texas Horse of the Year Coyote Legend in the $50,000 Assault Stakes for older Texas-breds going one mile. The even-money favorite had to work for his victory as Ojos de Hielo, a son of Songandaprayer who last year competed against Group 1 company in Panama, battled him all the way to the wire before Coyote Legend prevailed by a neck in 1:37.59.
Coyote Legend, bred and owned by Scharbauer and sired by former Valor Farm stallion Gold Legend, boosted his career bankroll to $717,467 with 18 wins in 34 starts. This marked the third Assault Stakes win for the 6-year-old gelding.
Richard Ravin and Patricias Hope LLC’s Ojos de Hielo, making just his second start in the United States, picked up $10,000 for running second with Quincy Hamilton up for trainer Larry Rivelli. Joey Keith Davis’ Cat’s Classy Rider, by Day of the Cat, finished third.
The only race Calhoun and Berry did not win was the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes for fillies and mares as Judy Peek’s homebred Lasting Bubbles dominated the field by 7 ¼ lengths as the even-money favorite. Fabio Arguello Jr. rode for trainer Kevin Peek and got the six-furlong distance in 1:09.63.
Lasting Bubbles, a 5-year-old mare by Pulling Punches, capped off a great Lone Star meet in which she also won the JEH Stallion Station Stakes and took second in the Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes. Her record now stands at 14-5-5-0 with earnings of $155,402.
Joey Keith Davis’ Molly’s Honour, an Etesaal filly trained by Karl Broberg, closed to take second with Michael Catalano and Richard Boyer’s Wimbledon Star, a mare by Wimbledon, crossed the wire third.