07/16/2010 3:29PM

Durant stocking up for Lone Star's 2011 meet


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – The record-setting season Tom Durant has had at the Lone Star Park meet that closes Sunday has literally been years in the making. Most of his winners have been by stallions he stands and were raised at his farm in Granbury, Texas.

Durant, who a month ago broke Lone Star’s record for owner wins in a meet, had won 36 races at the track through Thursday night, 25 more than second-leading owner End Zone Athletics.

“Almost everything we’ve run, we’ve raised,” said Jack Bruner, who is a private trainer for Durant. “They’re all homegrowns. They’re all Texas-breds.

“We’ve got a good program going now. Mrs. [Susan] Durant has helped tremendously at the farm as far as staying on top of our nutrition and what not, and we’ve been able to develop a good horse.”

Bruner said the Durants also have been branching outside their program to prepare for the future as Texas could consolidate its dates for 2011 in a move that might push Lone Star’s purses up to $230,000 a day. Bruner said the couple has been purchasing young prospects privately and at sales in Florida, Kentucky, and Maryland.

“We wanted to be prepared for a better meet next year, with better horses,” Bruner said, “and if we don’t have it, we’re going to have to go to another jurisdiction.”

The Durants also have to replace their marquee horse of the past few years, Sing Baby Sing, who has been retired. He will stand stud next year at Lane’s End Texas, said Danny Shifflett, who manages the farm in Hempstead. Sing Baby Sing, who won three stakes, including the Grade 3 Phoenix in October 2008, earned $485,060. He is a son of Unbridled’s Song and from the same mare as Grade 3 winner Roll Hennessy Roll and stakes winner Value Plus.

Sing Baby Sing last raced May 2 and won a six-furlong allowance at Lone Star with a Beyer Speed Figure of 99. Another top winner for Durant this meet was Snow Drift. He went 3 for 3, all allowance races over the local turf course. Bruner said he will be considered for a start in either the $50,000 Shiskabob at a mile on turf at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 28 or the $125,000 DeBartolo Memorial at 1 1/8 miles on turf Sept. 6 at Remington Park.

Hidden Recipe, a 2-year-old Durant homebred by Touch Tone who won his maiden by 11 lengths here July 4, will be considered for a division of the $100,000 Texas Stallion Stakes this fall at Retama, Bruner said.

Bruner said after the meet closes Sunday, part of the stable will remain at Lone Star, which will be open for training into the fall. Plans are to ship to race at Louisiana Downs, Remington, and Retama. Bruner said another division of Durant’s horses will be sent to Zia Park, the Hobbs, N.M., track that opens Sept. 11. Justin Shepherd will ride first call for the barn there, Bruner said.

Bruner ranked fourth in the Lone Star standings in wins through Thursday. His starters have won at a 38 percent rate this meet, with the barn’s earnings pushing $400,000.

◗ Louisiana Downs has carded five of its nine races for turf Sunday, led by a maiden special weight at about five furlongs. It goes as the first and is for 3-year-olds and up. Flee the Posse is an improving runner who looks like the one to beat for trainer Morris Nicks. Patrick Valenzuela has the mount Sunday.

◗ Redding Colliery has been named the horse of the meet for Lone Star. He won the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap with a 111 Beyer on May 31 and was flattered when the runner-up from that race, Awesome Gem, returned to win the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup. Kiaran McLaughlin trains Redding Colliery for Fitriani Hay.