03/06/2009 12:00AM

Country Chicks Man opens season in Eastex

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Country Chicks Man, who alternates his time between breeding and racing careers, will make his first start of the year Sunday in the Grade 2, $50,000 Eastex Handicap for Quarter Horses at Remington Park. The 350-yard race has brought together a strong field of 11 older runners and is the first step on the road to the Grade 2, $200,000 Remington Park Championship on May 30.

That race is a long-term goal for Country Chicks Man, said Sparky Mullins, who bred, owns and trains the 8-year-old horse. Country Chicks Man was third in the Remington Park Championship in his last start June 1, and was given time off to specifically target the Remington meet that opened on Friday.

"He'll run in four races here," Mullins said. "We point him to Remington. He loves this racetrack."

Country Chicks Man, a multiple Grade 1 winner of $736,793, has won eight stakes at Remington during his career, which is a track record. G.R. Carter has the mount on the horse, who is a son of Chicks Beduino.

Other top contenders in the field include the Paul Jones-trained Separate Bet, who has recency on Country Chicks Man as he last raced in January at Los Alamitos, winning an allowance at 300 yards. Back in 2007, Separate Bet won the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso.

Others in the field include Snowy Alibi, an earner of close to $500,000 trained by Janet VanBebber, and Furrtreeous, who has run out $423,151.