06/24/2011 3:50PM

Lone Star Park: Cosmo Girl pointing to Princess Rooney at Calder


Cosmo Girl is in the best form of her career, and next month she will get her first shot at Grade 1 rivals in the $350,000 Princess Rooney at Calder. The six-furlong handicap for fillies and mares is July 9.

“That’s what we’re thinking,” said Joe Petalino, who trains Cosmo Girl for Baccari Racing Stable.

Cosmo Girl is one of the quickest fillies in the region. She wired the field in the $75,000 Carousel at Oaklawn on March 27. Cosmo Girl then set a blistering pace May 30, when second in the $75,000 Valid Expectations at Lone Star Park, a race in which she was edged by a late-runner.

“She ran a big race,” Petalino said. “The horse that beat her came back and won a stakes in California the other day, Irish Gypsy.”

Irish Gypsy took the $76,000 Desert Stormer at Hollywood Park on June 19. As for Cosmo Girl, she equaled her highest Beyer Speed Figure, an 87, in the Valid Expectations. Lindey Wade, the third-leading rider at Lone Star who rode Cosmo Girl for the first time in the Valid Expectations, has the mount in the Princess Rooney.

Petalino has been working to coordinate flight arrangements for Cosmo Girl. Other stakes-bound runners for his barn include Kick On, who is being pointed to the $100,000 Governor’s Cup at Remington Park on Aug. 20.

Louisiana, Texas racing bills

A couple of bills concerning racing in Louisiana and Texas have progressed in the last week. A bill that would allow all the tracks licensed by the Louisiana Racing Commission to conduct account wagering was sent to Gov. Bobby Jindal for executive approval on Wednesday. Fair Grounds already has account wagering in place by virtue of past legislation, so the new bill would make account wagering available to Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs, and Louisiana Downs.

In Texas, a bill that provides for an annual series of rich derbies beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015, has been signed by Gov. Rick Perry. There will be races for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

“What is unique about the Texas Derbies is that two of the four races will only be open to Texas-bred horses,” said bill author Rep. Harvey Hilderbran. “We’re going to see tourism dollars from all four races, and we’re also going to have an extra economic boost due to the fact that two of these races encourage local horse breeding.”

Funding will not come from existing purse accounts, but through programs like stallion and foal nominations. A portion of admissions and concessions also could be tabbed for the series. The Texas Racing Commission will award the races to the state’s tracks. Officials said the 2015 launch date is in order to give time for a large amount of funds to be built up for the series.

Zia announces stakes schedule

The $200,000-added Distance Championship is the richest of 17 Thoroughbred stakes to be offered during the Zia Park mixed meet that opens Sept. 10. The Hobbs, N.M., track will race through Dec. 4.

The Distance Championship, a 1 1/8-mile handicap for 3-year-olds and up, is Dec. 4. Other major stakes include the $150,000 Zia Park Derby, a 1 1/16-mile race Dec. 3.

The $2 million-estimated New Mexico Cup, a program of divisional stakes races for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, is Oct. 30.

The chief offerings for Quarter Horses include the Grade 1, $200,000-added Southwest Juvenile Championship on Nov. 27 and the Grade 1, $150,000 Distance Championship at 440 yards Dec. 4.

Fundraisers set for MacBeth Fund

The Lone Star riding colony has planned a couple of fundraisers to benefit the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund that assists injured and disabled riders. First up is a softball game between the jockeys and Lone Star employees on Tuesday. It will be held at the Texas Rangers youth ballpark located alongside Texas Rangers stadium in Arlington. The double-header begins at 7:30 p.m., with suggested admission a $5 donation. On Wednesday night, there will be a dinner, dance, talent show, and live and silent auction fundraiser in the Champions Room at Lone Star. Tickets are $20.

Handle spikes at Will Rogers

Will Rogers Downs near Tulsa experienced a surge in average daily betting on its races during the 32-date Thoroughbred meet that wrapped late last month. Will Rogers handled an average $438,738 a day on its races from all sources, up from $243,553 from 2010. Purses at the track, which has gaming, averaged $135,100 a day.

◗ My Homey, an 11-length trial winner for the $136,426 Mountain Top New Mexico-bred Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, should start as a strong favorite for the five-furlong finale Sunday.

◗ The New Mexico Racing Commission has awarded Ruidoso a 60-date mixed meet for 2012, from May 25-Sept. 3. The track, which this year changed its schedule to include Mondays, will again race on a Friday through Monday schedule most weeks in 2012.