09/30/2010 12:25PM

No easy task for Stolis Winner to overtake Refrigerator on all-time money list


Stolis Winner will have to defeat a field that includes two of the nation’s top older horses in Saturday night’s $100,000 Refrigerator Handicap at Lone Star Park in order to become Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading earner.

Jess You and I and Swingin’ Daddyo are the chief threats in the Grade 1 race that also offers its winner a berth into the $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.

“I’ve been coming to this race for a lot of years and this is the toughest, deepest Refrigerator Handicap from top to bottom that I’ve ever seen,” said Heath Taylor, who trains Stolis Winner for Jerry Windham. “This is as good an older horse race as there’s been in the country this year.”

Stolis Winner has been chasing the record held by the horse Refrigerator, a three-time winner of the Champion of Champions who ran out $2,126,309. Stolis Winner needs $28,579 to surpass that mark, and with a win Saturday would earn $55,000. The runner-up in the Refrigerator, which is run over 440 yards, gets $17,000.

Stolis Winner, who was the world champion in 2008, won three Grade 1 futurities that season, including the All American, Rainbow and Heritage Place. He comes into the Refrigerator off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Sam Houston Classic on Aug. 13. He was beaten a neck, and will face half the field from that race again on Saturday.

“He stumbled coming away from the gate and had a significant bump that cost him some ground and time,” Taylor said of the Sam Houston Classic.

Stolis Winner, a 4-year-old gelding by Stoli, will be ridden by G.R. Carter Jr. The horse is co-highweighted at 126 pounds with Jess You and I, who has won back-to-back Grade 1 races in his last two outs, both at Remington Park.

Jess You and I, who will be making his first start since May, is ranked fourth in the nation on an American Quarter Horse Association poll covering older horses. Swinging Daddyo, who has won his last three starts, including the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby, is ranked fifth. Stolis Winner ranks sixth in the poll that was released Wednesday.

Others in the Refrigerator include Comin Thru, who has won his last four starts, including the Sam Houston Classic.

The card also includes the $42,570 Merial Distaff for fillies and mares at 400 yards.