01/22/2012 12:37PM

Sam Houston: Coyote Legend cruises in Star of Texas

Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Coyote Legend wins the Star of Texas Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths.

The owner-trainer-jockey team of Clarence Scharbauer Jr., Bret Calhoun, and Cliff Berry teamed to win two of the four stakes on Saturday night’s Texas Champions program at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston. They accounted for the richest race on the card with Coyote Legend in the $100,000 Star of Texas and the featured race for 3-year-olds, the $50,000 Groovy with Sword Trick.

The four stakes on the opening Saturday card were all restricted to horses bred in Texas.

Coyote Legend ($4.40) took quick command of the Star of Texas, setting fractions of 23.90 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.71 for the half-mile, and 1:11.76 for six furlongs before going on to win the 1 1/16-mile race on a fast track in 1:43.45. Coyote Legend won by 2 1/4 lengths over Oak Motte, while it was another neck back in third to Skip a Smile.

“This horse is fast,” Berry said. “He can go fast for a long ways, and that’s kind of the way he wants to do it. That’s what we decided to do, and it worked out.”

Coyote Legend has now won 12 of 22 starts and $499,302.

Sword Trick ($3.40) was prominent throughout in the Groovy and won the seven-furlong race in 1:23.94. He scored by three-quarters of a length and led a Calhoun-trained superfecta: Canigotoo was second, followed by Indisputable and Lil Cherokee. The superfecta paid $132.

* Trainer Karl Broberg sent out the first two finishers in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas, when Solar Charge ($3) won the six-furlong race by a neck over his coupled entry, Southern Vintage. Solar Charge covered the distance in 1:09.85. Glen Murphy rode the winner for H and H Ranch.

“He knows where the wire is and does it on his own,” Murphy said.

* Scrappy Roo ($4.80) won his eighth race over the Sam Houston turf course when he darted to a 1 1/4-length win in the $50,000 Richard King. He covered the 1 1/8 miles on firm ground in 1:48.77. Luis Quinonez was aboard for owner-trainer Steve Asmussen.

“He’s got a big heart and knows how to win,” Quinonez said. 

* Handle on the 10-race card from all sources was $1,768,798.