05/26/2017 3:26PM

Statebred star Texas Chrome has wide appeal

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Texas Chrome will be honored as 2016 Texas-bred of the Year on June 24 at Lone Star Park.

Texas Chrome will have a good deal of local support on Sunday when he takes on Southern California invader Danzing Candy in the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. Texas Chrome represents the best of his home state’s breeding program, and on June 24 at Lone Star, he will be honored as the 2016 Texas-bred of the Year.

Texas Chrome won a pair of Grade 3 races last year in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs and the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. He also won two other stakes last season, including a division of the Texas Stallion Stakes in a 10-length romp at Lone Star.

“He’s got a lot of fans,” said J.R. Caldwell, who trains Texas Chrome for Keene Thoroughbreds. “Through the Super Derby, he’s got some Louisiana fans. He’s got some Texas fans. And through the [Oklahoma] Derby, he’s got some Oklahoma fans.

“It’s because of who the horse is – the heart and the try and what he’s done for a $10,000 purchase.”

Texas Chrome would become a millionaire with a win in the Lone Star Park Handicap. He was a $10,000 buy at auction in October 2014 at Lone Star.

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The Texas Thoroughbred Association will put on the awards ceremony next month, and during the banquet the organization also will dole out divisional awards. In addition, the member of the year award and a lifetime achievement award will be presented.

Caldwell will be looking for his first win in the Lone Star Park Handicap, and his barn has been hitting on all cylinders this spring. He had won with 10 of his last 15 starters at Churchill Downs through Wednesday and overall is 11 for 17 this year in Kentucky, when factoring in a win at Keeneland. Caldwell also has a division at Lone Star, which is the current base for Texas Chrome.

Danzing Candy will attempt to give trainer Bob Baffert his third win in the Lone Star Park Handicap. Baffert won the race in 2002 with Congaree and again in 2007 with Bob and John. Only one other trainer has won the race twice, Tim Harder with Mocha Express in 1998 and 1999.

◗ Lone Star Park will induct three individuals into its Hall of Fame during the races Sunday. Jockey G.R. Carter, the all-time leading rider of Quarter Horses, will be honored during the third race. Steve Sexton, the late racing executive who was part of the original management team at Lone Star, will be honored during the fourth race. Cliff Berry, a retired jockey who is the all-time leading rider at Lone Star, will be honored during the fifth race. Berry, Carter, and people close to Sexton are scheduled to make the trophy presentation for the Lone Star Park Handicap.

◗ The fourth annual Remember Me Rescue fundraiser will be held next Saturday at Lone Star. The gala and auction supports the retraining of retired racehorses. It will start at 5 p.m. Central. Peter Lurie of TVG will be the host and auctioneer, while Margaret Ransom, the winner of the Stan Bergstein Writing Award, will be the guest speaker. Tickets are $75 and can be secured through trainer Dallas Keen or his wife, Donna.

◗ There is a special live card Monday at Lone Star.