07/12/2008 11:00PM

Calhoun wins three stakes at Lone Star


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - It probably won't be long before trainer Bret Calhoun is inducted into the Lone Star Park Hall of Fame. On a day when the track enshrined its second class, Calhoun won three of the six restricted stakes on the annual $500,000 Stars of Texas Day program. It was the second straight year he has done so.

Calhoun's run started with Gold Coyote ($3.80), who fought off Cheese Factory for a one-length win in the $50,000 Harold V. Goodman Memorial. The horse tracked Donald's Duke in second early, as that one ran the opening quarter of the 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-old statebreds in 22.42 seconds.

Gold Coyote then engaged that one on the turn, and the two ran through the half-mile in 44.99. Gold Coyote edged clear of his pace rival in the stretch, then held off Cheese Factory to win under Bobby Walker Jr. Donald's Duke held third.

"He was well-tested today," Calhoun said of Gold Coyote. "The horses who finished second and third gave him a lot of competition today. We're very happy to be in the winner’s circle."

Calhoun was back in the enclosure two races later, when he sent out Early Final ($8.60) to take the $125,000 colts and geldings division of the Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds. The horse won by 2 1/4 lengths under Cliff Berry. Early Final and Gold Coyote both race for Clarence Scharbauer Jr., who along with his late wife Dorothy was inducted into the Lone Star Hall on Saturday.

Calhoun's third winner on the program came in the $125,000 fillies division of the Texas Stallion Stakes when Sweetacious fought back for a head win over Bridesmaid in the five-furlong race. Eddie Martin Jr. rode Sweetacious ($18.40), who races for Carl Moore.

* Jockey Bryan McNeil won his first career stakes race in the featured $100,000 Assault, when the front-running Crook's Adventure edged a resurging Sandburr and Crook's Stinger by a half-length in the mile and a sixteenth race for 3-year-olds and up bred in Texas.

"When they all came up to him, he just pinned his ears, he just kept on digging, and never gave it up," said McNeil, who rode Crook's Adventure for trainer Cheryl Asmussen.

Crook's Adventure ($19.40) races for Laredo Racing Stable, a partnership of newcomers to the sport.

"They were thrilled to death," said Asmussen. "They're over the moon over this."

* Wrenice ($5.80) came from farther off the pace than usual to win the $50,000 Allen Bogan for statebred fillies and mares by 4 3/4 lengths. She sat in fourth early, then opened up in the stretch. Curt Bourque rode Wrenice for Stewart Hamblen and trainer Randy Mayfield.

"He did a tremendous job of relaxing that filly," Mayfield said of Bourque.

* Valid Lilly ($7.40) showed a new dimension in the $50,000 Valor Farm, when she sat off the pace early, then charged to a 2 1/2-length win in the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies bred in Texas. Luis Quinonez was aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen. Valid Lilly is owned by Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, who were inducted into the Lone Star Hall on Saturday. The third member of the Hall of Fame class was Dixie Dot Com.

* Attendance ontrack was 12,653. Handle on the 10-race card from all sources was $1,829,755.