05/09/2012 3:36PM

Lone Star Park notes: Texas-bred, Texas-sired runners get weekend spotlight


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Lone Star Park on Friday night begins a weekend of races spotlighting Texas-bred and Texas-sired horses. The richest offerings will be a pair of $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes divisions for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on Saturday.

The Texas weekend action starts in Friday night’s sixth race, when the promising 3-year-old Tamnation makes his first start in a year in a first-level allowance sprint for 3- and 4-year-olds bred in Texas. He is a half-brother to Taptam, a six-time stakes winner who earned more than $575,000. Tamnation has raced once and won a maiden special weight sprint in April 2011 at Lone Star.

Cliff Berry was aboard for the win and has the mount again Friday for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch and trainer Bret Calhoun. The field of seven also includes Semiconductor, a 4-year-old invading from Zia Park and thus getting a chance with Texas-breds after racing in New Mexico.

In the eighth race, Drunk Dial could control the pace in the $18,000 optional claiming sprint that carries first-level allowance conditions. The race is restricted to 3-year-olds and up bred in Texas.

Drunk Dial, who four races ago at Oaklawn faced eventual Grade 3, $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap winner Outta Tune, is riding a two-race win streak into Friday’s feature. Alejandro Medellin, a multiple title winner at Sunland Park now based at Lone Star, has the mount for Tom Durant and trainer Jack Bruner.

Purse cut for Stallion Stakes

Fields for both divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes were drawn Wednesday. The colts and geldings side of the race will go as the fifth on Saturday, with a field of seven led by Sword Trick. The fillies division drew eight runners, including stakes winner Cowgirl N Up, and goes as the seventh Saturday.

Each race was originally worth $100,000, but it was announced earlier in the meet that the purse for each division has been reduced to $75,000. In addition, the purses for the pair of 2-year-old divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star on July 7 also have been trimmed from $100,000 to $75,000.

A reduction in series nominations is said to be the reason behind the purse cut. It is not clear whether the purses for the divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes run at Retama Park and Sam Houston also will be reduced. A call to Dave Hooper, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, which administers the Texas Stallion Stakes, was not returned by press time Wednesday.