10/04/2012 3:31PM

Lone Star Park: Refrigerator lures Quarter Horses from four states


Quarter Horses from Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, and all around Texas have descended on Lone Star Park near Dallas for Saturday night’s Grade 1, $75,000 Refrigerator Handicap. The race, to be run over 440 yards, carries an automatic berth into the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Dec. 15.

The Refrigerator drew 10, led by Jls Mr Bigtime who last raced at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., and Chi Ter, in from Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. They are the starting co-highweights at 126 pounds. The field also includes Priceless Feature, winner of the Grade 2 Heritage Place Derby at Remington Park in Oklahoma City; Prospect to the Top, winner of the Grade 3 All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico; and Charal Kid, a Grade 3 winner last out at Retama Park near San Antonio.

Jls Mr Bigtime faced reigning world champion Cold Cash 123 two starts ago in the Grade 1 Remington Park Invitational and finished second by three-quarters of a length. One start later, Jls Mr Bigtime won the Grade 2 Louisiana Classic at Delta Downs. Since that July 14 race, he has been freshened and for his return he worked a bullet 220 yards in 10.98 seconds at Evangeline Downs Training Center near Lafayette, La. The move was the fastest of 34 at the distance Sept. 8.

Jls Mr Bigtime, the All American Futurity favorite in 2010 who missed by a nose to Mr Piloto, drew a favorable post for the Refrigerator in gate 10. Raul Ramirez Jr. has the mount on the horse, who is the field’s highest earner with a bankroll of $947,797. Jls Mr Bigtime is owned by Jls Speed Horse Ranch and trained by Sleepy Gilbreath.

Chi Ter has won 4 of 7 starts this year, beginning with a stakes win at Hialeah in Florida and including scores in Oklahoma and Iowa. Chi Ter last raced Aug. 18 and led throughout to capture the Grade 3 Keokuk at Prairie Meadows. He is a past winner over the Lone Star strip and will break from post 7. Debbie Freeman has the mount for Mary Passmore Kirby and trainer Jackie Kirby.

Priceless Feature last raced at Ruidoso, where he won a trial Aug. 17. Prior to that start, he was second by a head in the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby. Ochoa won that race and would go on to become Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading earner in September. Eddie Willis trains Priceless Feature who along with Im the Key and Royal D Corona are the 3-year-olds facing elders in the Refrigerator.