07/03/2007 11:00PM

Trainer makes big drop in distance


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Sharon Barker spent part of her horse career as an endurance rider in 100-mile races. Nowadays, she has one of the quickest 3-year-old fillies on the grounds at Lone Star Park.

Barker co-owns and trains Moneyinmywranglers. A winner of all three of her starts at the meet, the filly is the one to beat Saturday in the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes. The race will be run over six furlongs, and it is for 3-year-old fillies bred in Texas. In all, there are six restricted stakes worth a cumulative $475,000 here Saturday as part of the annual Stars of Texas Day.

Barker, 58, competed in endurance races around the country before turning her attention to Thoroughbred racing in 1994. She has come full circle, going from preparing a horse for a 100-mile race, to sending out Moneyinmywranglers to win three straight six-furlong races, her last two in a sharp time of 1:10.60.

"I went from really long distances to sprints," she said.

Moneyinmywranglers has improved with each of her starts. She won a $30,000 conditioned claiming race by four lengths April 20. One start later, Moneyinmywranglers won a first-level allowance for Texas-breds by 4 3/4 lengths. In her most recent out, she was a 2 1/4-length winner over open company in a first-level allowance June 7. Moneyinmywranglers has been ridden all meet by Richard Eramia.

"The first two races here, I believe she just drug Richard to the front," Barker said. "And then the last race, she relaxed a little bit more. I think she's getting more professional."

Barker will be seeking her first career stakes win Saturday. Moneyinmywranglers will be just her second starter in a stakes. She is the star of Barker's four-horse stable at Lone Star.

"I ran my first horse in 1994, in Houston," she said. "And then I quit, and then I came back. My husband retired from his job, so we decided we couldn't just not do anything. So we went back to horses, and we bought this one from a friend of mine."

Barker, who races Moneyinmywranglers with Ray Whitley, said the filly was purchased privately from Bill Luke following her maiden win at Sam Houston Race Park last November. Bred by Hugh Tucker, Moneyinmywranglers is by the Saint Ballado stallion Proud Halo.

"We feel real blessed to have her," Barker said. "She's been the kind of horse that's just done everything you've asked her to do, and done it right."

Barker competed on a national level in the endurance races, from 1988 to 1996. Her mount, Adabra, qualified for the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The mare also was one of the top-ranked endurance horses in the United States in 1991.

"It's one horse, one rider, for 100 miles in less than 24 hours," Barker said. "They're vet-checked every 15 to 20 miles. If your horse is not in condition, you're pulled. You do not get to finish the race."

Barker's first competition took her 23 hours to finish, and she was second. She trained Adabra for their races.

"Most people compete in 50 milers down here before they actually go in the 100 milers," she said. "It took me about 3 1/2 years to get her conditioned to go 100 miles."

Moneyinmywranglers will just have to travel three-quarters of a mile in the Valor Farm.

"She's doing quite well here," Barker said. "I am so excited. I can't even tell you how excited I am."

The Stars of Texas Day card is led by a pair of $125,000 divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds. Trainer Steve Asmussen will send out Texas Thoroughbred Association winner Namesake in the colts and geldings division, which also is expected to draw 11-length maiden winner Gold Coyote.

Dreamsandvisions is scheduled to defend his title in the $75,000 Assault, which also could draw two-time winner Goosey Moose and past Texas-bred horse of the year Skip and Go.

* Fast on Friday will be looking for his second win at the meet in the featured ninth race Friday night, a first-level allowance at a mile on turf. He won a first-level allowance for statebreds on the grass on May 17. In his most recent start, Fast on Friday was second by three-quarters of a length at this level June 2. Trainer Cody Autrey has given the mount to Luis Quinonez.