12/06/2009 12:00AM

Calhoun wins four Champions Day stakes


HOUSTON - There was one constant in the winner's circle during the $500,000 Texas Champions Day program Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park: trainer Bret Calhoun. He sent out the winners of four of the eight stakes that made up the track's richest program.

"It was a very, very good night," said Calhoun. "The horses stepped up for us tonight."

Bubbler ($5) became a stakes winner in the $100,000 Gallery Furniture Distaff, which was the lone open-company stakes on a card that spotlighted horses bred in Texas. She pressed the pace early, then held off a surging Pleasantly Blessed to win the 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares by a neck. The winning time was 1:52.46.

Eddie Martin Jr. rode Bubbler, who with the win improved her career record to 3 for 3 for Du-Zee Stables.

Earlier on the card, Calhoun sent out Chief of Affairs ($8.40) to a wire-to-wire win in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs. Jamie Theriot was aboard the winner for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch.

Calhoun also swept both 2-year-old offerings on the program, with Tin Top Cat ($15.20) rallying for a three-quarter-length victory in the $50,000 Bara Lass and Coyote Legend ($14.40) cruising home by three lengths in the $50,000 Groovy. Both horses were ridden by Bobby Walker Jr.

Crook's Bodgit gives trainer first stakes win

Crook's Bodgit invaded from Chicago and gave his trainer, Ingrid Mason, her first stakes win as a trainer when he held for a half-length win over Ablaze With Spirit in the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile race was the richest offering on the card for statebreds, and Mason said it was the first stakes in which she has started a horse. She is a former jockey and has a six-horse stable at Hawthorne.

"It's a dream," she said of the win. "It hasn't even sunk in."

Eddie Perez rode Crook's Bodgit for Coby Tresner. The horse came into the Star of Texas off a $5,000 starter allowance win at Hawthorne. He covered the distance in 1:43.93 and paid $21.

Double for Asmussen, Bridgmohan

Trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan had a stakes double on the night, beginning with Slick Kitty's neck win in the $50,000 San Jacinto for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf. She paid $12.40. Their other winner came in the $50,000 Yellow Rose, when Valid Code ($3.80) dashed to a two and three-quarter length win over Stealth Cat. Asmussen owns Slick Kitty, while Valid Code races for W.S. Farish.

* Claudia's Forum ($19) held off a fast-closing Scrappy Roo to win the $50,000 Richard King Stakes. James Graham rode the winner for Claudia and Azam Mirza and trainer Michelle Lovell.

* Handle on the 10-race card from all sources was $1,257,036. Attendance on track was 6141.