09/22/2011 3:52PM

Retama Park: Sword Trick back at one turn on dirt for Texas Stallion Stakes


Sword Trick has never been beaten in a main-track sprint, and those are the conditions he will be getting back to Saturday night in the $100,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park near San Antonio.

The six-furlong race for 2-year-olds is one of two stakes on the card. There also is a $100,000 division of the race for fillies, with both races restricted to the offspring stallions nominated to the Stallion Stakes.

Sword Trick is cutting back to one turn and returning to dirt after a turf route appearance in the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo at Louisiana Downs in his last start Aug. 6. He was prominent for a while, before finishing seventh. It was his first career defeat in three starts.

“I think the last race he was rank,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains Sword Trick for his breeder, Clarence Scharbauer Jr. “I don’t think the turf was necessarily bad for him. He didn’t want to rate. He never relaxed.

“He’s had time between races and is doing very well.”

Calhoun on Saturday night is hoping to see a performance similar to Sword Trick’s efforts this summer at Lone Star Park. The horse won his debut by more than three lengths May 7, then came back and took a $100,000 division of the Texas Stallion Stakes by more than eight lengths July 9. He earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 78 for the stakes score, and the performance also garnered him champion 2-year-old honors at Lone Star.

“Both of his sprint races were pretty impressive,” Calhoun said. “He had tactical early speed and drew off. He just kind of dominated in those one-turn races.”

Cliff Berry invades from Remington Park to ride Sword Trick, who will face a field that includes four entrants from trainer Steve Asmussen.

Asmussen also will be represented in the fillies division with three starters, including Miss Lederhosen. She will be seeking her second Stallion Stakes win behind the Lone Star division in which she rallied for a head score in her last start July 9.

“This is what she’s been intended for, the Stallion Stakes,” Asmussen said. “She’s a nice little filly. I think she’s fairly versatile.”

Asmussen has given the mount to David Bourque.

The field also includes Nothinbettertodo, who finished second as the 3-5 favorite in the Stallion Stakes at Lone Star.

“She’s peaking for this race,” said Calhoun, who has given the mount to Berry.