03/08/2012 4:19PM

Sam Houston: King Coral gets major class relief for Spring Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge


King Coral will be shaking a Breeders’ Cup winner on Saturday night when he drops in from graded stakes competition for the $50,000 Spring Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

The one-mile race for 3-year-olds is the final stakes of the meet, which runs through Monday.

King Coral hooked Secret Circle, winner of the BC Juvenile Sprint, last month at Oaklawn in the second division of the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest Stakes. Secret Circle won the one-mile race with a career-high Beyer Figure of 102, while King Coral finished eighth, eight lengths back, in what was his first start against graded rivals. Since the race, King Coral has worked back sharply, going a half-mile in 47.80 seconds. The move was the second fastest of 74 at the distance last Sunday at Oaklawn.

King Coral is accomplished at Saturday night’s mile distance, having won a first-level allowance at the trip at Remington Park in November. He also ran third in the $60,000 Prairie Juvenile Mile last August. Glen Murphy, who was aboard for both races, reunites with King Coral on Saturday for Mike Carson and trainer Allen Milligan.

Others making up the eight-horse field include Boca Bay and Patchwork, the second- and fourth-place finishers in the $100,000 Jim’s Orbit division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at a mile at Sam Houston on Feb. 18. The horses will start as a coupled entry, with Roman Chapa named on both halves by trainer Steve Asmussen.