07/16/2009 11:00PM

Todd's juvenile purchases prove shrewd buys


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - For a sum of $5,200 this past January, owner-trainer Jerry Todd came up with two of the more promising 2-year-olds at the Lone Star Park meet. Rich Pearl, who dominated maidens at two turns on turf, and Rich Elm, who was beaten just a half-length following a tumultuous trip in another turf route, both seem like horses who could develop into stakes performers.

Todd purchased Rich Pearl for $3,200 at Keeneland in January, the same auction out of which he plucked Rich Elm for $2,000. The horses have earned a combined $15,039 in three starts, and not too long ago Todd sold Rich Elm privately to high-percentage owner Carl Moore. Todd said this week that he plans to hang on to Rich Pearl, whom he is pointing for the $50,000 Donnie Wilhite at Louisiana Downs. The one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies is to be run Aug. 15.

"I'm 65, and I want to have something to have some fun with," said Todd, a lifelong horseman who has a small stable at Lone Star. "I think she's going to be pretty decent for me."

Rich Pearl had a blast in a maiden special weight at Lone Star on July 3, when she ran her competition off their feet in the first two-turn race of the season for 2-year-old fillies. She won by close to five lengths, and covered the 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:31.80. Her final time was quicker than both divisions of a split maiden turf route for 2-year-old colts here July 2.

"She's never made a mistake on the racetrack," Todd said of Rich Pearl. "This filly, she's smart. She's the type that whatever the boy tells her to do, she'll do it."

Rich Pearl is by Monashee Mountain.

Moore transferred Rich Elm to his longtime trainer, Bret Calhoun, after purchasing the horse. Calhoun said Rich Elm has been made a supplemental nominee to the $100,000 El Joven at Retama Park. The one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds will be run on Oct. 24. Rich Elm is a son of Olmodavor.

Sunland tabs Shamburg

Lone Star's racing secretary, Mike Shamburg, has been named the racing secretary for the Sunland Park mixed meet in New Mexico. He will continue to maintain his local position during the Thoroughbred meets at Lone Star, he said, and will also remain the racing secretary at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M. Sunland does not begin its meet until Dec. 11.

Shamburg replaces Norm Amundson, the longtime racing secretary at Sunland who has been named racing secretary and announcer for Yellowstone in Montana. Shamburg, 56, is a longtime racing veteran who has also served as racing secretary at Retama, from 1998 to 2005, and Remington Park, in 2005.

"My dad, Gene, was a trainer at Sunland back in 1959, so I've been in and out of El Paso, Texas, for years," said Shamburg.

The 77-date Sunland meet will run through March 28, 2010. Lone Star traditionally opens in April.

Infection sidelines Wasted Tears

Wasted Tears, who set a course record for a mile at Lone Star in May when she won the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff in 1:32.80, had been pointed for the Grade 2 Royal Heroine at Hollywood Park on July 11. The plans had to be scrapped, however, as she recently contracted a staph infection, according to her owner and trainer, Bart Evans.

Evans said Wasted Tears is still recovering from the infection. He has not yet laid out any comeback schedule for the filly.

"She's going to tell me when she's back," he said. "There's no rush."

Wasted Tears, who also won a turf allowance at the meet, is a 4-year-old daughter of Najran. She has won her last five turf starts, and to date has compiled a record of 6 wins from 11 starts for earnings of $230,798.

MacBeth fund benefit raises $12K

The riding colony at Lone Star has raised $18,284 to date this meet for the Don MacBeth Fund, according to Lone Star spokesperson Dan Leary. Of that amount, $12,365 was raised during a dinner and live and silent auction held Tuesday night at Whiskey Charlie's at the ballpark across from Lone Star. There were 200 tickets sold to the event.

During the dinner there was also an auction of 14 stick horses, and they brought a collective $5,775. The local jockeys also raised $1,000 for the charity during a recent softball game.

Waylay going for sixth straight

Waylay, who has done nothing but win this meet, will be seeking his sixth consecutive score Sunday when he starts in the fourth race. A $15,000 claimer to be run at a mile.

Waylay won a $7,500 conditioned claimer in his first start at the meet, and reeled off four more wins while changing barns a handful of times via the claim box. Sunday, he will seek his second straight win for owner-trainer Darrell Bravenec.