04/20/2008 11:00PM

Trainer profile: Jack Bruner


The fact that two of trainer Jack Bruner's four winners during the opening week of Lone Star Park were first-time starters was no surprise. Bruner spent several years breaking young horses before becoming a private trainer for prominent Texas owner Tom Durant in 2003. This season, their stable is heavy on 2-year-olds and unraced 3-year-olds, most of them homebreds for Durant, the meet's current leading owner who has won five titles at Lone Star.

"We have very few older horses," said Bruner, 44. "We're trying to prove some of our stallions and our mares. We're a lot stronger with our homebreds, the quality of them. We're trying to prove the three stallions we have standing in the state: Touch Tone, Supreme Cat, and City Street."

Bruner estimates that more than half of the 45 horses he has this meet at Lone Star are 2-year-olds. He said the first group of them will begin racing over the next few weeks. Their initial breaking and training came over the winter with Bruner, at Durant's farm in Granbury, Texas.

"We spend a lot of time just riding our horses, and teaching them," Bruner said. "We do a lot of groundwork, and let them mature and show us what we've got. They're kind of like kids. You don't let young kids, when they first start playing ball, throw too many pitches. That's what we're trying to do here.

"I love developing horses. I love taking young horses, showing them something, and you just kind of see a light bulb going on."

Speed Street, a 3-year-old by City Street, and Sidewalking, a 3-year-old by Touch Tone, both learned their lessons well. They won their career debuts opening week at Lone Star, each taking a maiden claiming sprint from just off the pace. No Other Tone, a 3-year-old filly by Touch Tone, won a maiden special weight opening night at Lone Star, April 10, in what was her second career start.

"She's out of a nice, stakes-winning mare, and I'm hoping to get her a stakes win, also," said Bruner.

He said No Other Tone is being pointed for $125,000 Got Koko division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star on May 10. Bruner's other winner from his eight starters opening week was Silver I.D., who was up for a neck win in a $7,500 claimer in his first start since November.

He is one of a handful of older horses in Bruner's barn. The best is Sing Baby Sing, the winner of last year's $50,000 Bob Johnson Memorial at a mile on turf at Lone Star, as well as the $75,000 Sprint Championship on dirt at Remington Park.

"I'm going to try and stay on the dirt with him this year," Bruner said of Sing Baby Sing. "His numbers are better on the dirt. I like him better on the dirt. When we were trying to go through his conditions, the dirt races wouldn't fill, and that's kind of why we went to the turf."

Sing Baby Sing, who won his maiden on turf at Lone Star, is 6 for 13. Another stakes prospect in the barn is Por Que, a son of Whywhywhy who closed out his 2-year-old season last year with a seven-length win in a $75,000 optional claiming race at Remington Park. Bruner said he will be considered for the $75,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds at a mile at Lone Star on June 28.