05/24/2010 11:00PM

Wasted Tears to defend Ouija Board title


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Since winning last year's Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff at Lone Star Park, Wasted Tears has battled her way back from a serious illness and defeated a champion. On Monday, she will be back to defend her title in the Ouija Board and should go favored after upsetting Forever Together in last month's Grade 2 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland.

The Oujia Board is one of seven stakes that will make up the annual Lone Star Million Day card. It is the program's richest offering for fillies and mares and will be held at a mile on turf. Other top races on the card, which is worth more than $1 million, include the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap.

Wasted Tears, who has won her last five starts, set a course record in the Ouija Board a year ago when she won the race in 1:32.80. She was then pointed for a start in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine at Hollywood Park in July, but those plans had to be scrapped when she contracted a staph infection, according to owner and trainer Bart Evans.

"We thought we had it knocked out of her and later in the summer it popped up," he said.

"But everything worked out. She's had a very nice year in a short period of time."

Wasted Tears made her first start since the staph infection on Jan. 28, winning a $100,000 optional claimer on the turf at Gulfstream Park. From there, she took the Grade 3 Honey Fox there, also on turf, in February. Wasted Tears then traveled to Kentucky and won the Jenny Wiley over champion Forever Together in her last start April 10. She earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 99.

Evans said Wasted Tears was to have her final work for the Ouija Board on Wednesday. She is based at Lone Star and will likely be ridden by Cliff Berry on Monday. Wasted Tears, who is by Najran, would surpass $500,000 in earnings with a win on Million Day.

Blanket policy in place at Lone Star

Lone Star Park has adopted a handful of new track policies for horses loaded into the starting gate wearing blankets, following a May 15 incident that led to a race being declared a no-contest. In that race, a horse broke from the gate and shed her blanket while crossing over to the lead.

"It turned out to be uneventful, without injury," said Bart Lang, Lone Star's director of racing. "We wanted to put new policies in place for the safety of all riders and horses in the future."

Lang said Lone Star will now utilize a house blanket and will require horses to school in the gate in one at least once prior to each start. Before a race, assistant starters are to remind jockeys to make sure the blanket is shed coming out of the gate. If it is not, jockeys must pull up their mounts.

Lone Star also is refitting its starting gate with clips that attach to the blanket's ties, so that when a horse breaks the blanket stays at the gate. In the past, assistant starters used shanks to hold blankets at the gate.

The policies go into effect immediately, Lang said.

Bionic Shadow, who was second in the "blanket race" on May 15, will run back Thursday night in the seventh at Lone Star.

Casner to sign Super Saver photos

Bill Casner, a resident of north Texas who co-owns Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, will be at Lone Star on Monday to sign free winner's circle photos of the horse's classic victory May 1. The autograph session will be held at the east entrance of the grandstand from noon to 1 p.m.

Casner also will accept a $2,500 donation from Lone Star to The Race for Education, which provides college scholarships to children of racing industry employees. Casner also will make the winner's circle presentation for the Lone Star Handicap.