04/13/2011 3:26PM

Lone Star Park: Autrey has plenty of contenders on Friday's card


Those that didn’t hear Cody Autrey had returned to train at Lone Star Park need only look at Friday’s card there for a reminder. He has five horses entered in four of the nine races, including favored Stand in the featured fifth race, a $25,000 second-level allowance scheduled for 7 1/2 furlongs on grass.

His entries are all among the favorites. Unexpected Valor is the 5-2 morning-line choice in the opener; the Midwest Thoroughbreds-owned entry of Dublin Da’bet and Galactic are 4-5 in race 2; Stand is 8-5; and Carson’s Honor is the 7-2 second choice in the eighth race.

Autrey is locked and loaded, certainly Friday, and seeming for the rest of the meet. He has one of the larger Lone Star stables: 55 horses, with 35 of them owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds, the leading owner in the country last year by wins.

Yet it is Stand, a horse that carries his own colors, who may give his best chance of victory Friday. The 4-year-old Stand, whom Autrey claimed for $17,500 for himself in January, won two in a row for him at Fair Grounds, with his latest victory coming for a $40,000 claiming tag there March 11.

That race was contested on dirt after being originally scheduled for turf, the surface on which Stand is most accomplished.

“He’s been a good claim so far,” said Autrey, a 31-year native of Waxahachie, Texas. “He ran two good races at Fair Grounds. I’m just not so sure for the 7 1/2-furlong distance.”

All 12 of Stand’s races have been at a mile or longer. Denny Velazquez rides.

In the second race, Autrey said he would start both halves of the Midwest Thoroughbred-owned entry, noting Dublin Da’bet and Galactic are returning from layoffs and have “already had enough time.”

Autrey, who topped the trainer standings at Delaware Park in 2009 after being among the leaders at Lone Star in the mid 2000s, said he decided to return to Texas this spring to come home and with hope that an expansion of gambling to allow slot machines at Texas tracks may eventually be passed in the state.

“This is where we want to be,” he said.

◗ Texas-bred veteran Scrappy Roo, who won the Grade 3 John Connally Handicap at Sam Houston in 2008, is entered in the eighth race, a starter allowance, for owner-trainer Steve Asmussen. An 8-year-old claimed by Asmussen last May for $10,000, he comes off an allowance victory at Sam Houston on March 5.