04/29/2006 12:00AM

Preachinatthebar takes Texas Mile

Lone Star Park
Preachinatthebar earned $165,000 for his win in the Texas Mile, which was his eighth victory from 23 career starts.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Jon Court shipped into Lone Star Park last year and won five stakes and on Saturday picked right up where he left off by guiding Preachinatthebar to a gutsy neck win over Stockholder in the Grade 3, $300,000 at Lone Star Park.

"I always enjoy coming to Texas," Court said. "So far it's been great and hopefully it continues."

Preachinatthebar ($6.80) raced in fifth early as Play The Chime, Dominguin and Yes He's a Pistol contested an opening quarter of 22.95 seconds. The eventual winner moved in on the leaders as they traveled a half-mile in 46.67, and put a head in front midway on the final turn. Preachinatthebar was diligent through the stretch as Stockholder gained ground, and he covered the distance over a track rated good in 1:36.81.

"He's just a class horse and when he's on his game, he's going to give it to you," said Court, who rode the winner for trainer Bob Baffert.

Court was riding Preachinatthebar for the second time Saturday. One start prior, he was aboard the horse when he won the Grade 3 Tokyo City Handicap at Santa Anita.

"It kind of set up very similar," Court said of the Texas Mile, "and with that being said, it just ended up the same way, too."

Preachinatthebar gave Baffert and owner Mike Pegram their second win in the Texas Mile. They teamed to win the inaugural running of the race in 1997 with Isitingood. The win Saturday was Pegram's fifth in a Lone Star stakes. Baffert has now won 11 stakes at the track, and the victory by Preachinatthebar capped a big day for him as he also won the $114,000 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs with Record.

Court has won a total of seven stakes at Lone Star.

Preachinatthebar earned $165,000 for his win in the Texas Mile, which was his eighth victory from 23 career starts. He has now earned $638,240. Preachinatthebar is a 5-year-old horse by Silver Charm.

Texcess finished a troubled third in the Texas Mile, a neck behind Stockholder. The remaining order of finish was Nakayama Kun, Halos Sailing Sain, Dominguin, favorite Yes He's a Pistol, Charming Socialite, High Strike Zone, Mr. Trieste and Play the Chime.

Double for Hamilton

Jockey Quincy Hamilton won both of the undercard stakes, with Kip Deville ($10) in the $75,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge and Cookin's Cast ($32.60) in the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station Stakes.

Kip Deville turned in an impressive performance in the Turf Challenge for 3-year-olds, when he set the pace throughout over soft going, winning the one-mile race in a strong 1:36.32. He led through fractions of 23.38 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.10 for the half-mile and 1:11.70 for six furlongs, winning by four lengths over favorite Desert Wheat.

"We really expected at least one other horse to go with us," said Hamilton. "We were really quick into stride and turned up the backside all by ourselves. It was just loping from there."

Mike Neatherlin trains Kip Deville and co-owns him with Roy Cobb. The horse earned $45,000 for his second stakes win, with his other coming on dirt in the $40,000 Texas Heritage at Sam Houston. He has now won 4 of 8 starts and $95,062. Kip Deville is a son of Kipling.

In the JEH, Cookin's Cast closed well through the stretch for a neck win over Tizzy Girl in the six and a half furlong race for fillies and mares bred in Texas. She covered the distance over a track rated good in 1:18.55. Alan Love Sr. trains Cookin's Cast for his daughter, Christie Love. It was the first career stakes win for Cookin's Cast, who is a 5-year-old by Fashion Find.

* Attendance ontrack Saturday was 14,437. Handle on the 11-race card was $2,916,553.