06/09/2006 12:00AM

In 5 months, Texcess nearly earns back his cost

Texcess was purchased for $300,000 in January and has already earned $252,370 in purses since then.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Texcess joined a growing list of California-bred millionaires with his runner-up finish in the $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap in Texas on May 29. Trainer Mike Mitchell is convinced that the 4-year-old gelding will rise on the list of all-time money-earners in the second half of this year.

Texcess has earned $1,057,735, making him the 43rd California-bred to reach millionaire status. He ranks 39th on the state's all-time money list, well below all-time leader Tiznow, who earned $6,427,830.

Despite losing all five of his starts this year, Texcess is having an outstanding season for Mitchell and owners Scott and Andy Anastasi and Carl Van Burger. They bought him for $300,000 at the Barretts January mixed sale and have nearly earned back that sum.

The second-place share from the Lone Star Handicap was worth $80,000. This year, Texcess has earned $252,370.

His next goal is simply a victory, which would end a 13-race losing streak dating back to the 2004 Delta Jackpot Stakes in Louisiana, when Texcess was campaigned by Omar Aldabbagh and trainer Paul Aguirre.

Mitchell said that Texcess emerged from his second to Magnum in the Lone Star Park Handicap "a little quiet," and that a start in the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 8 is uncertain.

"We're kind of on the fence about what to do with him," Mitchell said. "We'll nominate to the Gold Cup."

Mitchell said another option is to wait for an allowance race at Del Mar. With California-bred bonuses included, such a race could have a value of nearly $100,000 at that track, which has the highest purses on the circuit.

Texcess's starts this year include a second in the Tokyo City Handicap in April, third-place finishes in the Sunshine Millions Classic in January and Texas Mile in April, and a sixth in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap. He lost the Tokyo City, Texas Mile, and Lone Star Park handicaps by a combined 3 1/4 lengths.

In the Lone Star Handicap, Texcess was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by fellow California invader Magnum.

"I was really happy that he ran second," Mitchell said. "I don't think he's a quitter, even though we haven't won a race with him."

Later this year, Mitchell wants to start Texcess in the $250,000 California Cup Classic at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting. He would have to be considered a favorite for such a race, since other top California-bred males such as Brother Derek and Lava Man have Breeders' Cup aspirations instead at that time of year.

Texcess, by In Excess out of the Regal Classic mare Danish Alamode, attracted considerable attention when he was offered for sale at Barretts earlier this year.

Mitchell feared that his clients would be priced out, but Van Burger went above his normal budget and brought in Scott and Andy Anastasi, Los Angeles-area real estate developers, as 50-50 partners. Many of Van Burger's acquisitions with Mitchell have been claiming horses.

"That's a big number for him, to pay $150,000 for half of a horse," Mitchell said. "I was shocked when he went for $300,000 and the hammer dropped - shocked and happy. I didn't think I'd be able to get the horse. I've got to thank Mr. Van Burger. He really liked Texcess."