07/06/2013 9:04PM

Lone Star: Coyote Legend completes big stakes night for Calhoun


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainer Bret Calhoun won three of the four stakes that made up the closing day card at Lone Star Park on Saturday, sending out Coyote Legend to a gritty win in the $50,000 Assault, and sweeping both $100,000 divisions of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity with Closing Report and Circustown Flyer.

The stakes, which were all restricted, made up the annual Stars of Texas Day. Purses for the races were $300,000, making the program one of the richest of the meet at Lone Star.

Coyote Legend ($4) won the Assault for the third time in his career, when he fended off challengers on either side for a neck win over Ojos de Hielo. He was always prominent, pressing Ojos de Hielo through fractions of 24.40 seconds for the opening quarter and 47.90 for a half-mile before taking the lead through six furlongs in 1:11.81.

Coyote Legend then had a fight on his hands, withstanding a stretch bid to his outside from Cat’s Classy Rider, then dealing with a resurging Ojos de Hielo along the rail. Coyote Legend looked like he might be in jeopardy late, but had more and won the one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up bred in Texas in 1:37.59.

“He’s pretty smart,” said winning jockey Cliff Berry. “He got by that horse and he eased up a little bit. But that horse didn’t give up. He knew what he was doing. He knew he was winning. I think he knew he had them.”

Coyote Legend, who races for his breeder, Clarence Scharbauer Jr., is the reigning Texas-bred horse of the year. He was winning for the 18th time in his career Saturday, and picked up his 10th stakes win. Coyote Legend, a 6-year-old son of Gold Legend, won the Assault last year, and at 3.

Calhoun said next-race plans are to be determined for the horse, who will now head to Remington Park.

In the fillies division of the Sales Futurity, Closing Report remained undefeated in two starts when she drew clear by three lengths over Scooter’s Choice. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third to Discreet Girl, which gave Calhoun a sweep of the top three placings. Closing Report ($3) covered the five furlongs in 58.27 under Berry, the quickest clocking of the two divisions. She is a daughter of Closing Argument who races for Stephen Brown.

“We thought she was a very nice filly before she started the first time,” Calhoun said. “She proved it first time out, then came in against a better group today and handled them with as much ease.”

Closing Report gave Calhoun his fifth win in the fillies division of the Sales Futurity. He also picked up a fifth victory in the colts and geldings division when Circustown Flyer ($5.80) came back against 3-5 favorite Time Iz Flyin for a 1 ¼-length win.

“It’s one of the main attractions to run at Lone Star Park, the 2-year-old program,” Calhoun said. “The owners really enjoy competing in this futurity every year, and so we always target it.”

Circustown Flyer covered the distance in 58.30 seconds. Berry was aboard for owner Phil Adams.

Circustown Flyer, as well as Time Iz Flyin and third-place finisher Check Ride, are all by the stallion Early Flyer. The first three finishers of the race were also all bred by Scharbauer, who owns Check Ride.

Lasting Bubbles ($4.20) was a bounding, 7 ¼-length winner of the $50,000 Valor Farm for fillies and mares bred in Texas. She covered six furlongs in 1:09.63. Fabio Arguello Jr. was aboard for owner Judy Peek and trainer Kevin Peek.