01/12/2005 12:00AM

Leaving on My Mind top Texas-bred


Leaving on My Mind is the Texas-bred horse of the year for 2004 after leading all statebreds in points on a scale developed by the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

Leaving on My Mind, who is trained by Danny Pish, was also the year's top Texas-bred 2-year-old. He won four stakes for earnings of $299,873. He also finished a troubled third in the $125,000 Texan Juvenile. Leaving on My Mind races for his breeder, George Wolff.

Yessirgeneralsir was the leading older male Texas-bred, with his biggest win coming in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap in May for his owner and breeder, Jim Jackson. Other divisional champions are Berdelia, 2-year-old filly; Native Annie, 3-year-old filly; Charming Socialite, 3-year-old colt or gelding; and Fleeta Dif, older filly or mare. The winners will be honored in June, said Denis Blake, a spokesperson for the TTA.

The TTA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, typically honors the champions at its annual meeting in January. But this year the banquet and annual meeting will both be held in June.

* Mannered, who was a winner last March at age 12, will make his first start as a 13-year-old in the second race Saturday night at Sam Houston. The $5,000 claiming race will be run over one mile and 70 yards. Diego Saenz, the leading apprentice at Sam Houston, has the mount for owner-trainer Barbara Sloan. Mannered vans in from Huntsville, Texas, for his races.

"I keep him home, and he does very well that way," said Sloan. "Houston is our closest track, and he performs better there than at the other tracks in Texas. It's just a one-hour haul to Houston."

* Michael Gill, the nation's leading owner in wins and earnings in 2004, said Wednesday that he has sent eight horses to Sam Houston with trainer Bret Calhoun. Gill said some of them are grass horses. Calhoun is the fourth-leading trainer at the meet, behind co-leaders Pish and Steve Asmussen, and John Locke.

* Millibar, a 3-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon, will make the move to two turns Friday night in the featured eighth race. The mile-and-70-yard allowance for 3-year-old fillies who have never won two races drew a field of 11.

Millibar won her debut in her last start, when she closed from midpack to win a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race for statebreds Dec. 1. Ted Gondron was aboard for the win, and has the mount again Friday. Millibar, who is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Sling Shot, races for her breeder, Stonerside Stable.

* The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and 33 of its affiliates will be in San Antonio later this week for its winter convention. The four-day program begins Saturday.

* Bob Bork, the president of Sam Houston who has been among the leaders in the push for video lottery terminals at racetracks in Texas, was at the state Capitol in Austin on Tuesday for the opening of the Texas legislative session. Sam Houston will conduct an educational seminar on VLT's at Sam Houston on Jan. 22. The seminar is open to the public.

* There will be a free, $2,500 online handicapping contest with a prize at www.shrp.com for the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup on Jan. 22. Nominations for the race closed Wednesday, and among those nominated are Midway Road, defending champ Sir Cherokee, Pie N Burger, and Wally's Choice.