06/14/2011 3:52PM

Lone Star: Calhoun has options for his recent futurity winners


Shocktime put up the year’s highest Beyer Figure for a 2-year-old filly last Saturday, when she earned an 83 for her 12-length romp in a division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park. It was the second blowout win for the filly, who could run next at either Churchill Downs, Louisiana Downs or Prairie Meadows. “There’s some options,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains Shocktime.

Right now, they are the Grade 3, $100,000 Debutante at Churchill on June 25, the $50,000 Princess the same day at Louisiana Downs, or the $75,000 Lassie at Prairie Meadows on July  16.

Calhoun on Tuesday was starting to weigh the pros and cons of each race, and said he does feel the Debuante “is coming back pretty quick,” as is the Princess.

“I feel very comfortable coming back in two weeks, for her to do it,” he said. “It’s just the fact that with young horses, you don’t want to run too many times too early.”

Shocktime has raced twice. She debuted in a maiden special weight for Texas-bred fillies at Lone Star on April 23, and won by nine lengths. Shocktime then broke like a shot in the Sales Futurity and went on to cover five furlongs in 58.60 seconds. Her time was a fifth of a second quicker than the colts and geldings division ran on the same card Saturday.

“I thought it was an impressive race,” Calhoun said. “I thought she did it very easily, obviously.

“She’s been straightforward mentally and physically from the beginning – never had a pimple on her, never had a setback, everything’s gone right. She’s talented, has a good mind, has lots of speed, and does things very easily. She’s got a lot of the ingredients it takes to be a good horse.”
Shocktime’s Beyer ranks fifth best among 2-year-olds so far this year, the highest being an 88 put up by the colt Sum of the Parts in a maiden special weight at Churchill on May 14.

Lil Cherokee won the male division of the Sales Futurity with an 80, and could be headed to Churchill. Calhoun said the Grade  3, $100,000 Bashford Manor there July 2 might be a good fit. He said the other options would be the $50,000 Minstrel at Louisiana Downs on June 25, or the $75,000 Juvenile at Prairie on July 16.

Lone Star plans all turf card

Lone Star plans to go green for its final card of the meet July 10. The track will make a full slate of turf races available to horsemen for the program, which will be drawn July 5. If the races fill, it will be the first all-turf card run at Lone Star.

“It’s just a different angle on things, something different for the last day,” said Mike Shamburg, the racing secretary at Lone Star. “It’s sort of the European style of racing in the Southwest.”

The offerings are led by a wide-open turf sprint allowance for 3-year-olds and up that has a purse of $30,000. There are also turf options for maidens. Shamburg has also written a few of the races for $4,000 and $5,000 claiming horses.

“It lets the lower-level horses try their own level on the grass instead of having to run against horses twice their value,” he said.

Star Guitar, Taptam, Clifton honored

The Louisiana and Texas breeding programs honored their top players from 2010 in separate ceremonies last weekend. Star Guitar picked up his second straight Louisiana-bred horse of the year title on Friday night at Sam’s Town in Shreveport, La., during a banquet put on by the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.

A day later, the Texas Thoroughbred Association held its annual awards program at Lone Star, and Taptam took home the award for Texas-bred horse of the year. Also during the luncheon, William Clifton Jr. was announced as the 2010 member of the year for the TTA, which has been very involved in the ongoing legislative push to try and win approval for electronic gaming at Texas tracks.

“Bill has worked on the legislative effort, more than just last year,” said Dave Hooper, executive director of the TTA. “It’s been for the last two years, and even longer before that. His guidance and suggestions have just been invaluable.”

Taptam, second to Zenyatta in last year’s Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn, was bred by Wayne Sanders. She races for Sanders and Larry Hirsch, and is trained by Calhoun.

Among breeders, Clarence Scharbauer Jr., took top honors in Texas for 2010, while Louisiana’s leading breeder last year was Foxwood Plantations.