04/19/2010 11:00PM

Euroears will stretch out in Texas Mile


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Euroears is set to make his two-turn debut Saturday against a diverse group of older horses in the Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile. Mythical Power, winner of last year's Lone Star Derby, flew in Monday from Southern California for the race, while Jonesboro, the defending champ, and Star Guitar, a 10-time stakes winner, also are a go.

The Texas Mile will share a card with two other stakes, the $50,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge and the $50,000 Irving Distaff. All are designed as stepping-stones to rich stakes on the Lone Star Million Day program May 31.

Euroears quickly established himself as a sprinter of note back in 2008, when he won three consecutive stakes at Fair Grounds, led by the $162,000 Duncan F. Kenner. After the race, his connections decided to target two turns and pointed Euroears to the Texas Mile.

"We had this race planned two years ago, and he got hurt," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Euroears for Jim and Marilyn Helzer. "We really thought it would be a good spot for him.

"It's taken us two years to get back to this spot."

Euroears, who in his last start was third by a length in this year's Kenner at Fair Grounds, will be ridden by Jamie Theriot. Calhoun said the horse will fly in from Kentucky on Friday. Euroears, who is a 6-year-old by Langfuhr, has won 8 of 13 starts and $331,506.

Jonesboro comes into the Texas Mile off a third-place finish in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 3. He arrived here Sunday from Arkansas and is happy to be back in town after thriving here a year ago.

"He got off the trailer and bucked and squealed," said Randy Morse, who trains Jonesboro for Mike Langford.

Jonesboro had a summer to remember last year when based at Lone Star. He became a millionaire in the Texas Mile, missed by a head in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap, then in June shipped to Prairie Meadows and won the Grade 2 Cornhusker with a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 109. Cliff Berry has the mount Saturday.

Star Guitar, who is based at Louisiana Downs, last raced March 27 and was fourth in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap. Prior to that, he had won six straight races, all stakes, including the $150,000 Evangeline Mile, the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic for statebreds at Fair Grounds, and the $200,000 Louisiana Premiere Night Championship for statebreds at Delta Downs. Al Stall Jr., who trains Star Guitar, said there were several reasons to target the Texas Mile.

"I think he's deserving of a Grade 3," he said. "It's also a month after his last race."

In addition, there is a break in the Louisiana-bred stakes calendar for Star Guitar.

"The next Champions Day is May 22 at Louisiana Downs, [but] unfortunately, they don't have an older-horse race on the dirt," Stall said.

Curt Bourque has the mount Saturday.

Others who could go in the Texas Mile include Fifteen Love, Harlan Street, and King Dan, said Jeanette Hughes, the assistant racing secretary at Lone Star.

Bubbler, who earned a career-best 103 Beyer for her 12-length win last out in the Sam Houston Distaff, is being pointed to the Irving Distaff, Calhoun said. Eddie Martin Jr. has the mount on the filly, who is expected to face Southern California invaders Dreamalong for trainer Julio Canani, Jehan for trainer Mike Mitchell, and Minute Limit for trainer John Sadler. All three flew in Monday.

Gryder to ride at Lone Star

Jockey Aaron Gryder, who had been riding overseas from last fall to this spring, will be based at Lone Star beginning Thursday night. He resumed riding in North America the final week of the Oaklawn meet. Gryder traveled to the Hot Springs, Ark., track at the request of the meet's leading trainer, Steve Asmussen, who also has asked him to come to Lone Star. Gryder said he first rode for Asmussen in 1989 at Arlington Park.

"We've got a long history," Gryder said. "It's great to get together and have some fun, like we did at Oaklawn."

Gryder won nine races the final six days of Oaklawn.

During his career, Gryder has won titles at Aqueduct, Arlington, Churchill, and Hollywood.