07/07/2009 11:00PM

Euroears targets Pa. Governor's Cup


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The sprint division just got quicker.

Euroears, a winner of 6 of 7 starts who has not raced since November 2008, is scheduled to make his comeback next month at Penn National. He is being pointed to the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap at five furlongs on turf Aug. 1, trainer Bret Calhoun said.

"We're trying to find a realistic spot off the layoff and go from there," said Calhoun, who trains Euroears for Jim and Marilyn Helzer.

Calhoun said the race was appealing for its distance. Euroears has been in training in recent months at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, where he worked a bullet four furlongs in 46.80 seconds July 2. On Sunday, Helzer sent Euroears to Calhoun's stable at Lone Star Park, and on Wednesday the horse was to ship to Churchill Downs.

"He'll finish up his training there," Calhoun said. "Jim said he's doing great, and I can tell by the comments he's made he's extremely excited about him."

Euroears was sidelined due to a setback tied to a nondisplaced condylar fracture he suffered in his right hind leg in March 2008. At the time, he underwent surgery to have two screws placed in the ankle. That fracture line reopened a little bit this past winter, Calhoun said, in a diagnosis that was made following the horse's fifth-place finish in the $55,000 Bet on Sunshine at Churchill on Nov. 22.

"We took the two screws out and replaced it with another screw, and Jim's kept him and given him a bunch of time off and it's healed perfectly," Calhoun said.

Euroears debuted at Lone Star in July 2007 and won a maiden special weight by more than nine lengths. He went on to win his next five races, including the $162,000 Duncan F. Kenner at Fair Grounds with a 110 Beyer Speed Figure. He is a 5-year-old by Langfuhr, and Calhoun said he and Helzer would like to see the horse develop into a candidate for this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Busy weekend for Calhoun

Calhoun will be all over the map Saturday. In addition to being represented by at least eight horses in the four stakes that will make up the Stars of Texas Day program at Lone Star, he will have two stakes starters in the Summit of Speed at Calder and one representative in the Arlington Sprint in Chicago.

"It has the potential of being a big day for us," Calhoun said. "I can't ever remember having that many horses in stakes races, and with legitimate chances, too."

Dubai Majesty leads the charge as she goes in the Grade 1, $350,000 Princess Rooney at Calder. Mr. Nightlinger also will be running in Miami, in the $150,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint Handicap. Chamberlain Bridge goes in the $200,000 Arlington Sprint, a race Calhoun won a year ago with Mr. Nightlinger.

As for Calhoun's starters at Lone Star, Gold Coyote will make a rare two-turn start in the $75,000 Assault, which is for 3-year-olds and up bred in Texas. Meanwhile, the horse's little brother, Coyote Legend, is one of four colts and geldings Calhoun has on deck for a division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes. His other representatives in the race will include Range War, an impressive debut winner, and Western Forum, a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Valid Lil.

Tin Top Cat, who won a division of the $88,000 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity here in May, will headline the $125,000 fillies division of the Stallion Stakes on Saturday. Also set to start is her stablemate Miss Pepper. Calhoun also will have Taptam in the $50,000 Valor Farm for fillies and mares bred in Texas.

The Stars of Texas Day stakes are worth a cumulative $375,000.

Jockeys plan talent show fundraiser

Lone Star's riding colony on Tuesday night will put on its fourth annual "Lone Star's Got Talent" program to benefit the Don MacBeth Fund. The popular dinner and talent show will get begin at 6 p.m. Central at Whiskey Charlie's restaurant, located at the ballpark across the street from Lone Star. Tickets are $20 and available from any jockey at Lone Star.

Last week, the riders played a charity softball game and raised $1,000 for the Don MacBeth Fund.

* Steve Asmussen on Thursday was just seven wins from breaking Cole Norman's record for trainer wins in a season at Lone Star. Asmussen has won 92 races through the first 53 days of the current 65-date meet. Norman won 98 races during his record-setting meet in 2003, a feat accomplished during a 70-date season at Lone Star.