09/02/2008 11:00PM

Greeley's Conquest eyeing Phoenix


OKLAHOMA CITY - Greeley's Conquest has returned to his Remington Park base after a big run at Saratoga Race Course last week in the Grade 1 Forego. He finished second in a multi-horse photo at odds of 38-1.

"I was really proud of him," said Gary Thomas, who trains Greeley's Conquest for Millard Seldin Revocable Trust.

The Forego, which First Defence won by 6 3/4 lengths, was the graded stakes debut for Greeley's Conquest. He had won the $50,000 Temperence Hill at Louisiana Downs in June and the $75,000 Sprint at Prairie Meadows in August leading up to the race. Thomas said Greeley's Conquest could remain in graded company for his next start, with an option being the Grade 3, $250,000 Phoenix Breeders' Cup on Oct. 4.

"I imagine we'll try the Polytrack at Keeneland," Thomas said of the Phoenix. "We'll check him out the next few days and see what we do."

Thomas had long wanted to send Greeley's Conquest to the Forego, but suitable flight arrangements could not be made. So, he changed course and looked into flying the horse to Del Mar for the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien, and again, could not make suitable arrangements. Thomas then targeted the $150,000 Premier Breeders' Cup at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., but at the last minute a direct flight from Oklahoma City to Albany, N.Y., became available for Greeley's Conquest, and that enabled him to run in the Forego.

Greeley's Conquest has stepped up his game this year, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102 in the Prairie Meadows Sprint. Thomas said blacksmith David Hinton has been a key to Greeley's Conquest, who fought a quarter crack earlier this year that has since grown out.

"He helped get him back going good," Thomas said.

Greeley's Conquest is a 4-year-old by Mr. Greeley.

New Mexico: New track for 2010

Raton Racing LLC beat out two other applicants for the New Mexico Racing Commission's approval to construct a new track in the state. The earliest the first meet would be conducted is 2010, according to Rosemary Leeder, a commission staff member.

The new track, which must now obtain a license from the commission, will be located in Raton, N.M. It also will be eligible to seek a gaming license to operate slot machines, which are in place at the state's five other tracks: the Downs at Albuquerque, Ruidoso Downs, Sunland Park, SunRay Park, and Zia Park. Approvals for slots have to come through the New Mexico Gaming Control Board.

Raton Racing's primary stockholder is Michael Moldenhauer, a businessman from Canada. The group proposed a 60-date summer meet. The stable area would hold 1,500 horses. One of the application's appeals, according to an order issued by the commission, was the track's proposed location in northern New Mexico, because its market would be different than those of the other tracks in the state.

Leeder said there is one other application for a new track in New Mexico. It seeks to build in Lordsburg, which is located in the southern part of the state. The application was received in late August, Leeder said.

Raton Racing beat out applications that included a tribal group bidding to reopen the Downs at Santa Fe.

Retama: Mirahmadi to emcee Hall Night

Frank Mirahmadi, the announcer for the California Authority of Racing Fairs and an analyst with TVG, will emcee the 10th annual Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame night gala at Retama Park on Oct. 4. The inductees this year are Bill Allen, Bobby Cox, Dorothy Scharbauer, and Joe Straus Jr.

Mirahmadi is a popular voice in racing. He emceed the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association awards in 2003 and 2007.

Lone Star: Big stakes for Quarter Horses

The $1 million-estimated Texas Classic Futurity is the highlight of a 27-race stakes schedule during a 31-night Quarter Horse meet at Lone Star Park. The season opens Sept. 26 and runs through Nov. 29.

The Texas Classic Futurity, on the closing-night card, is the richest race in the state and one of five Grade 1 races for Quarter Horses at the meet. Others include the $475,000-estimated Dash for Cash Futurity and the $200,000-estimated Dash for Cash Derby, both of which will be run Oct. 25.

Racing secretary Jeanette Hughes said that among the stables she is expecting for the meet are those of trainers John Buchanan, Sleepy Gilbreath, and Heath Taylor.

* Jockey Luis Quinonez, who has won four of the seven stakes run this meet at Remington, began serving a seven calendar-day suspension for a riding infraction on Tuesday. The suspension stems from a disqualification earlier in the meet.

* Delta Downs, which closed operations because of Hurricane Gustav, was to reopen for simulcasting and gaming at 5 p.m. Thursday, said Rob Stillwell, a spokesman for Boyd Gaming, which owns Delta.