04/27/2013 6:39PM

Lone Star Park: Master Rick takes charge in Texas Mile


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Master Rick has found his niche.The horse who has tested his skills over a handful of different distances took down the biggest race of his career Saturday when he rallied for a 1 1/4-length win in the Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park.

“I think he showed what he needs is a two-turn mile,” said Steve Asmussen, who trains Master Rick for Richard L. Davis.

The Texas Mile was the first major stakes of the Lone Star meet, and it drew a competitive group of six older horses. Master Rick was content to stalk the pace in fourth as Good Lord jumped out to the lead and took the field through fractions of 23.96 seconds for the opening quarter and 47.27 for the half-mile, pushed along by favorite Prayer for Relief.

Master Rick, meanwhile, advanced on the final turn and kicked on through the stretch to overtake the top pair. He covered the distance on a track rated fast in 1:36.01.

“My horse ran a perfect race,” said Ricardo Santana, Jr., who was aboard Master Rick. “When I asked him at the three-eighths [pole], I knew I had a lot of horse. When I let him go in the stretch, when he sees the clear, he goes.”

Prayer for Relief held second to give Asmussen a one-two finish in the Texas Mile, while it was another two lengths back in third to Good Lord. Get in Da House was fourth, followed by Majestic Harbor and Donoharm.

Asmussen said the next-race plans for Master Rick are to be determined. The horse has long been pointed toward the Texas Mile, since a sharp win in an Oaklawn allowance at a mile in February. Master Rick picked up $122,000 for his win in the Texas Mile, to improve his career record to 4 wins from 16 starts for earnings of $351,363.

Master Rick is a 4-year-old by Master Command. He was bred in Florida by English Ranch Farm.

The Texas Mile was the first leg of a bonus series tied to next month’s Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap and the $200,000 Governor’s Cup at Remington Park in August. The horse who accumulates the most points for finishes in the three races will earn a $15,000 bonus to be divided equally between his owner and trainer. The series is called the Global Gaming Triple, for the parent company of Lone Star and Remington.