07/20/2017 3:16PM

Texas Chrome aims for million-dollar mark in Assault Stakes

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Texas Chrome, pictured training at Oaklawn in April, has the chance to push his earnings over $1 million on Saturday at Lone Star Park.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Texas Chrome has earned just about 100 times his $10,000 purchase price. He can make it official on Saturday night. Texas Chrome will become a millionaire if he runs first or second in the $50,000 Assault at Lone Star Park.

The Assault is one of four restricted stakes worth $300,000 in total on the card. The program features an appearance by Galactica, who can claim the highest Beyer Speed Figure among all 2-year-olds in 2017. He goes in the $100,000 colts-and-geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity.

Texas Chrome was the 2016 Texas-bred Horse of the Year for owner Danny Keene after winning the Super Derby and Oklahoma Derby. The Assault is something of a homecoming for the horse, who has invaded from Prairie Meadows off a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap.

“Mr. Keene wanted to try to go over $1 million [at home],” said trainer Allen Milligan.

Keene purchased Texas Chrome during the Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling and mixed sale in October 2014 at Lone Star. The horse has since won eight of 19 starts and earned $990,762, with seven of his victories in stakes. Texas Chrome has also been notable in defeat, finishing second to eventual Met Mile winner Mor Spirit in the Grade 3 Steve Sexton Mile in May at Lone Star. In the Cornhusker, Texas Chrome finished two lengths behind Iron Fist.

“We lost a little ground having to go wide,” Milligan said. “I thought he ran a great race. He came with his ‘A’ game, which is what we were looking for. It was not the best of trips.”

Texas Chrome will break from post 5 in a field of seven that includes Supermason, who counts last year’s Assault among his five stakes victories. Supermason is the one to catch off a wire-to-wire win at a mile at Lone Star. Lindey Wade retains the mount.

Richard Eramia, who won five races at Lone Star on July 15, has the mount on Texas Chrome, who is backing up from 1 1/8 miles for the Assault.

“I hope he’s tracking,” Milligan said. “I don’t expect him to chase Supermason but stay within striking distance of him.”

Galactica meets California shipper

Galactica earned an 89 Beyer when he won a maiden special weight for Texas-breds on July 4 at Lone Star in his second start. But the number is not scaring away the competition, as Galactica will meet 11 others in the five-furlong Texas Thoroughbred Futurity.

Almeria, a half-brother to stakes winner U S Officer, invades from Southern California following a runner-up finish in his debut at Los Alamitos on July 7. Aceguitar enters off an 8 3/4-length debut win June 24 at Lone Star.

Galactica was a $52,000 purchase at the Texas Thoroughbred Association auction of 2-year-olds in training in April. Carl Moore, who co-owns the horse with Brad Grady, said he liked Galactica’s deceptively strong gallop-out after his work during the under-tack show he attended with trainer Bret Calhoun.

“I clock from the wire all the way out,” Moore said. “I’m really looking for athletes, seeing how they move. The way he did it in his gallop-out, the three-eighths gallop-out, I looked at Bret, I thought I made a mistake [clocking]. That sucker, the way he did it, he looked special.”

Galactica won his five-furlong maiden race by more than four lengths in a quick 57.78 seconds. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the mount on the son of Uncle Abbie from post 7.

◗ Patrona Margarita, a half-sister to Texas Chrome, goes in the $100,000 fillies division of the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity. She was a debut winner at Churchill Downs and is coming off an eighth-place finish in that track’s $100,000 Debutante, in which she was stopped on the turn, said trainer Calhoun.

◗ Zippit E gets a rematch with My Master Plan in the $50,000 Valor Farm.