10/09/2007 11:00PM

A Toast for Triple Crown trainers

EmailTrainers Carl Nafzger, Steve Asmussen, and Todd Pletcher, each of whom accounted for a leg of this year's Triple Crown, will be recognized with a special proclamation from Texas Gov. Rick Perry during ceremonies surrounding the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductions Saturday at Retama Park near San Antonio.

All three trainers have ties to Texas. Nafzger, who sent out Street Sense to win the Kentucky Derby, was born in the state, as was Pletcher, who accounted for the Belmont Stakes with Rags to Riches. Asmussen, who won the Preakness with Curlin, is a resident of Arlington, Texas.

Nafzger will also be inducted into the Texas Hall. He said he and his wife, Wanda, will be in attendance at Retama.

"We're looking forward to it," he said. "I've known San Antonio from the stock show to the rodeo to the days of the racetrack now."

Nafzger was one of the world's top-ranked bull riders before getting into racing. He said his first win as a trainer came in Texas, at Lubbock Downs in 1968 with a Quarter Horse named Sportmobile. These days, he keeps a retreat home near his native Plainview, Texas.

"We built a little place, and we're planning on spending a lot more time there," Nafzger said.

Also part of this year's class are Preston Carter Jr., a prominent breeder and owner, and the historic tracks of Texas. Induction ceremonies begin at 4 p.m. and precede the meet's richest night of racing. Retama is to card six restricted stakes Saturday for total purses of $485,000.

Wrenice is scheduled to run in the $45,000 Selma for 3-year-old fillies, according to her trainer, Randy Mayfield. It will be the turf debut for the seven-time stakes winner, who drilled a half-mile in 46.80 seconds this past Saturday. The move was the fastest of 75 at the distance at Retama.

Mayfield also plans to start Trade Zone in the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Other top races on the program will include a pair of $125,000 divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes.