04/08/2007 12:00AM

Mending Fences holds on in Connally Cup


Mending Fences became a stakes winner on Saturday night, when he held off Embossed by three-quarters of a length to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf at Sam Houston Race Park. General Charley finished third, a neck behind Embossed.

The Connally was one of three stakes on the closing night card at Sam Houston.

Mending Fences ($8.20) broke on top in the mile and an eighth race run over yielding turf, and led the field through fractions of 24.42 seconds for the opening quarter, 48.52 for the half-mile mark, and 1:14.05 for six furlongs. He went on to cover the distance in 1:52.34.

"He broke great and settled in perfectly and whenever I called on him, he was all there," said Quincy Hamilton, who rode Mending Fences for trainer Marty Wolfson. "I saw the horse coming at the end, but my horse was very game."

Mending Fences earned $128,400 for the win in the Connally. He has now won 7 of 26 starts and $231,400. Mending Fences races for Farnsworth Farm, and is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Tropicool.

Silver Tree, the highweight and 4-5 favorite in the Connally, finished fifth. He did not handle the yielding turf, according to John Gaver, assistant to trainer Bill Mott.

Cat Genius wins Turf Sprint

In other stakes on the card, Cat Genius ($4.20) led throughout for a half-length win over Chief What It Is in the $50,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint. Corey Lanerie rode the winner for trainer Bret Calhoun, who also saddled third-place finisher Orphan Brigade. Proven Cure, 13, was among four horses scratched from the Turf Sprint.

* Fairwell Madrid ($20.60) overcame trouble on the final turn to win the $50,000 Jersey Lily by three-quarters of a length over La Raine of Terror. It was another neck back in third to Wild Encounter. Paul Nolan rode Fairwell Madrid for owner-trainer Donna McCullough.

* Attendance was 7,128. Handle on the 10-race card from all sources was $2,339,662.