09/26/2013 2:05PM

Lone Star: Feature Mr Bojangles can break losing streak in Grade 1 Refrigerator


Feature Mr Bojangles once won seven races in a row, including the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity for Quarter Horses. But the champion has been unable to get back in the win column in more than a year, a situation that can reverse itself Saturday night at Lone Star Park.

Feature Mr Bojangles looks like a solid favorite in the Grade  1, $75,000 Refrigerator Handicap, a 440-yard race for 3-year-olds and up. The eight-horse field also includes Loves Brown Sugar, a filly who is seeking her sixth consecutive win.

Feature Mr Bojangles was the champion 2-year-old colt of 2011 following a 6-for-7 season that included wins in the Rainbow at Ruidoso and the Grade 2 Hobbs America Futurity at Zia. He won his 3-year-old debut in a trial for the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby on May 26, 2012, which is the last time he landed in the winner’s circle.

But the eight-race drought has not been for a lack of effort. Feature Mr Bojangles has had some close calls, his latest a third-place finish in the $40,000 All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso on Sept. 1. He added blinkers for that race and was beaten only a neck. It was his first start for trainer Sleepy Gilbreath. The race also was his first out of the year.

Feature Mr Bojangles, who races for the partnership of R.D. Hubbard and Heysol Howlet, is to be ridden by G.R. Carter Jr. The horse drew well in post 7.

The Refrigerator has previously offered a berth into the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos, but it will not this season. There are, however, two qualifying stakes on the card for the Challenge Championships, each worth $30,000.

Yearling tops sale at $160K

A yearling colt by Walk Thru Fire brought $160,000 to top last weekend’s 35th annual Quarter Horse yearling auction put on by Heritage Place in Oklahoma City. There were 840 horses cataloged to the three-day event. The sales-topper is a half-brother to champion Miss Racy Jess. Terry and Irene Stennett purchased the colt consigned by Sunflower Supply.

The sale’s average was $13,512, up from $13,201 from the corresponding auction a year ago, according to figures provided by Spence Kidney, general manager of Heritage Place. Kidney said over the first two days of the sale, six horses sold for $100,000 or more, compared to two at that level over the same period in 2012.