01/20/2013 12:38PM

Sam Houston: Coyote Legend repeats in Star of Texas

Coady Photography
Trainer Bret Calhoun and jockey Cliff Berry teamed up to win three stakes on Saturday's card at Sam Houston, including the $100,000 Star of Texas with Coyote Legend.

Coyote Legend wired the field in the $100,000 Star of Texas Stales at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday night to win his first start since earning 2012 Texas-bred horse of the year honors. The race was one of four Texas-bred stakes on the card, and Coyote Legend’s trainer, Bret Calhoun, and his jockey, Cliff Berry, won three of the races.

Coyote Legend ($2.60) took the initiative from the start of the Star of Texas, leading the field through fractions of 24.72 seconds for the opening quarter, 49.40 for the half-mile, and 1:14.18 for six furlongs. He proceeded to win the 1 1/16-mile race by 1 1/4 lengths, in 1:45.74. Cat’s Classy Rider finished second, 4 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher Halifax Flyer.

“He ran a very good race,” Calhoun said of Coyote Legend. “We knew [Cat’s Classy Rider] had speed and thought he would go and Coyote Legend could stalk him. But, that did not happen, so Cliff just let him go and he did what he was supposed to do.”

“He can run fast and run a long way,” Berry added of Coyote Legend. “He broke well, and relaxed for me. That was the key.”

Calhoun has now won the last three runnings of the Star of Texas, with Coyote Legend last year and Taptam in 2011. Coyote Legend races for his breeder, Clarence Scharbauer.

Earlier on the card, Calhoun and Berry teamed to win the $50,000 Spirit of Texas for older horses with Gold Element, who rallied from next-to-last for a half-length win over Solar Charge. Gold Element($3) covered six furlongs on a track rated fast in 1:09.93. The horse races for Wimp Free Racing Stable.

In the $50,000 Groovy for 3-year-olds, the Calhoun-trained Worldventurer ($3.60)  dueled and went on to a 4 1/2-length win over Breathethefire. The winner covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.74. Berry was aboard for Wesley Melcher.

In the other stakes on the card, Skip a Smile ($3.80) powered to a 6 1/2-length win in the $50,000 Richard King for older horses at 1 1/8 miles  on turf. He covered the distance on firm ground in 1:51.24. Glen Murphy rode the winner for Rose Mary Chandler and trainer Steve Asmussen.