05/12/2004 12:00AM

Gone Celebrating in Texas


Gone Celebrating makes his first appearance since winning the Grade 1, $400,000 Championship at Sunland Park on Dec. 27 in Friday night's trials to the Grade 2 MBNA America Texas Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park.

Gone Celebrating is riding a five-race winning streak, all in stakes races, with two of those wins at Sam Houston. Last year, he won 5 of 6 starts with his biggest career victory coming by a nose in The Championship at Sunland Park.

Facing Gone Celebrating in the first of two trials is Frostys Money Man, winner of the Grade 1 Heritage Place Derby, the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby, and the Grade 3 Blue Ribbon Derby last year. He has not started since Nov. 14 when he finished third in a trial for the Texas Classic Derby.

Also on Friday night, Special D Dash heads the two trials of the MD Barns Texas Distance Challenge at 870 yards. Last year, he won the race when it was known as the John Deere Texas Distance Challenge.