06/23/2006 12:00AM

Orphaned filly after 2nd stakes win


Cookin's Cast and her 20-year-old owner, Christie Love, each scored her first stakes win when Cookin's Cast captured the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station Stakes at Lone Star Park at 15-1. Now Cookin's Cast, who has gone from orphan to stakes winner, is being pointed for next month's $65,000 Allen Bogan Memorial.

The one-mile race for fillies and mares has long been a goal for Cookin's Cast, a 5-year-old mare, who rallied from sixth to win the JEH by a neck on April 29. It was a thrilling victory for Love, and her father, Alan Love Sr., who trains Cookin's Cast.

"My dad and I were crying," said Christie Love. "I hurt my hand on the rail I was hitting it so hard [rooting for Cookin's Cast]. The lady that sponsored the race said that's what it's all about."

Cookin's Cast was orphaned at three weeks of age. She was bottle fed by the Loves.

"Her mom colicked and died," said Alan Love. "She died about a mile from the vet clinic, with [Cookin's Cast] in the trailer next to her, and when she fell, she fell straight down, protecting her baby to the end."

Cookin's Cast was cared for by the Loves until she was about 6 months old and able to be turned out with other weanlings. At the time, she was owned by a family friend and client, her breeder, Joe E. Turner.

However, when it became time for Cookin's Cast to go into training, Turner gave the filly to the Loves in appreciation for their help raising her. Cookin's Cast showed talent early, winning her maiden by more than 10 lengths. She went on to become stakes-placed, then stepped up in a big way in the JEH.

"We were real proud of her," said Alan Love. "She managed to be best that day against fillies that she'd come up a little short against before. She'd been competitive with them, but for some reason she just didn't quite have the edge that she did that day. She ran as good a race as she generally does and was just a little better that day."

Christie Love earned $30,000 for the victory in the JEH.

"I got a new car, a brand new Mustang," she said. "And we put some money aside for school."

Christie Love, in part because of her experience raising Cookin's Cast, is studying to become a veterinarian. Her school plans got another boost on May 29, when Cookin's Cast rallied for third in the $100,000 Valid Expectations at Lone Star Park at 40-1. The mare earned $11,000.

Cookin's Cast will be moving back to Texas-bred company for the Allen Bogan and will be among the favorites. According to rankings kept by the Texas Thoroughbred Association, she is the points leader among Texas-bred fillies and mares. Points are awarded based on finishes in stakes, and the rankings are used to determine year-end champions among Texas-breds. The Allen Bogan will be run on July 8, just one day before Alan Love turns 50, and two days before Christie Love turns 21.

Tough allowance race Sunday

The featured eighth race Sunday at Lone Star figures to produce starters for a number of upcoming stakes. Among the leading contenders in the one-mile allowance is Stockholder, who was the runner-up in the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile. This race could serve as his springboard to the $40,000 Bob Johnson Memorial next month at Lone Star. Trainer Steve Asmussen has given the mount to Glen Murphy.

Others of interest in the race include stakes winners Agrivating General, Absent Friend, and Senor Amigo. The race could serve as a springboard to the $75,000 Assault for Texas-breds for both Agrivating General and Senor Amigo. Trainer Danny Pish has given the mount on Agrivating General to Casey Lambert. Justin Shepherd will ride Senor Amigo for Asmussen.

The seven-horse field also includes contenders Pass the Biscuits, Seainsky, and Lonesome Launch.

* The Houston Equine Research Organization, or HERO, has given a $14,000 grant to the organization LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers to establish a surgery fund for retired adopted racehorses. The funds are also earmarked for upgrades to outreach organization's ranch and adoption center near Austin, Tex.

The outreach organization has placed 425 former racehorses into new homes since 2003. HERO was founded in 1994.