04/12/2002 11:00PM

Texas Glitter works hard for turf record

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Texas Glitter outgamed Joe's Son Joey and set a course record in the process, posting a hard-fought head victory in Saturday's $75,000 Yankee Affair Stakes at Gulfstream Park. But the performance was tempered by the fatal injury suffered by 3-5 favorite Kipperscope, who broke down on the far turn and was euthanized after the race.

Texas Glitter and Kipperscope dueled through an opening quarter-mile of 21.76 seconds when Kipperscope went down suddenly on the far turn. Texas Glitter inherited a clear advantage at that point but was quickly joined by Joe's Son Joey approaching the stretch. The pair went head to head from the top of the lane to the wire with Texas Glitter proving narrowly best.

True Love's Secret, Kipperscope's entrymate, raced wide and rallied mildly to finish third, another two lengths behind Joe's Son Joey.

Kipperscope broke the cannon bone in both front legs and was humanely destroyed. His jockey, Cornelio Velasquez, was conscious and alert but complaining of pain in his right shoulder, arm, and leg following the incident and was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.

Texas Glitter paid $5.20. His final time of 55.68 seconds was .25 of a second faster than the previous record of 55.93, set by Really Traveling in 2000.

"We were going really fast and all of a sudden I heard a crack," said jockey Eibar Coa, who rode Texas Glitter to victory for trainer Todd Pletcher. "It was very loud. I knew the other horse had broken down. I felt like he hit me, so I slowed my horse down a bit to make sure he was okay, then asked him to run again."

When Joe Bravo, on Joe's Son Joey, came to challenge, Coa said, Texas Glitter "was good enough to give me another run."

The victory was the first for Texas Glitter since he won the Calder Turf Sprint Handicap in July and came in his first start of his 2002 campaign.

"It was pretty exciting to see him win like that and set a track record, although I was a little shook up because of what happened to the other horse," said assistant trainer Cindy Hutter, who saddled Texas Glitter in Pletcher's absence. "He really had been training excellent up to the race."

Hutter said Texas Glitter will ship to Kentucky and is expected to make his next start in the $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on May 3.