Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005
Heart Commander Was In Command at the $11,400 Kontiki Arabian Texas Bred Stakes For Colts and Geldings
(Sam Houston Race Park Jan. 29, 2005)
Don't let the term "Texas-Bred" fool you. This field of seven colts and geldings were far from just the well-known Texas bloodlines we have seen racing in Texas in years past. This group of tough competitors were a mix of some top imported French, pure Polish and domestic bloodlines that have been making a name for themselves a far away as Delaware Park and Los Alamitos. The former track just happens to be the racetrack where the heart stealing, Heart Commander, made his first marks on Arabian racehorse history.
Coming from way off the pace out of the first postposition, Heart Commander worked his way through his rivals getting up to fifth position by the ½ pole. The 1999 chestnut gelding, by Alongtheway out of JC Bas Paso, saw only the Makzan colt, Mags Mad Max, as he pulled into the stretch. Mags Mad Max was 5 wide at the turn and although finished willingly, could only capture second against the now 5-½-length lead of Heart Commander. His winning time was 1:35.67 for the seven-furlong race.
Final Answer battled with Ontario HF for third and fourth place respectively. Amazing Proof, Genghis Kong and Heres The Deal also ran.
Heart Commander is owned by Mandolynn Hill Farm, which had just been awarded the 2004 Texas Arabian Breeders Association Owner of the Year title earlier that afternoon. Michelle Morgan, owner of Mandolynn Hill Farm with husband Mickey Morgan, said, "We are very proud of this, his first stakes win. He didn't start until he was four. He was a very big colt and we just took our time with him." Looked like it paid off.
The trainer of this outstanding gelding is Michelle Lovell. In all graciousness, Ms. Lovell was quoted, " I've only been training Heart Commander for a short time, but he has responded well." The jockey who got the job done was Deirdre Panas. "I wish all my races were that easy. I saw the six (Ontario) had a big lead on us, but he made up the ground so easily. He was a pleasure to ride."
Cathleen Garner aboard Mags Mad Max had this to say on her second place finish," I think it was a very good trip. He did very good. I always thought he could be a little stakes Arabian. I'm glad I got the chance to ride him and he did good. There were some tough little boogers in here and I thought if I could get a second (place) and be competitive, then we have a good horse. He's coming around stronger every time he runs. (Trainer Mike Furr) is very happy."
Amanda Crandall aboard the favorite for the race, Ontario HF said, "He ran his race. That was just a little far for him. He did win at that distance at Retama, but when I won with him (in the Independence Sprint) at Retama, it was a 6 furlong. He is really quick from the gate and was a bit fresh, but it was more the distance being too far for him."
The Clear Winner Was Clearly Classic at the $12,200 Kontiki Arabian Texas-Bred Stakes For Fillies and Mares
(Sam Houston Race Park Jan. 29, 2005)
If the racing fans at Sam Houston Race Park, on January 29, in Houston, Texas, thought the field of colts and geldings in race four, the Kontiki Arabian Texas-Bred Stakes, was tough, the fans were in for some real excitement with the field of twelve no-holds-barred fillies and mares in race six of this Arabian stakes series. Coming from back of the pack, Clearly Classic not only caught up to MW Scarlet Lady, who is no stranger to stakes wins herself, but "C.C." passed her to win by a length in 1:39.46 over seven furlongs.
MW Scarlet Lady by K A Czubuthan, looked to have a comfortable spot in the stretch running just two lengths off the leading horse Queen Kong, but it was Clearly Classic’s determination to make up her fourth place behind Connie O and 8 lengths behind the leading position. By the finish, Clearly Classic, a Pepton daughter out of the stakes producing mare, Organtyna, showed her mettle in "classic" form.
Larry Taylor was aboard the 5-year-old winning filly. She ran a good race tonight," he said. Last time I got stopped two or three times. Today I just got her out where she could run. She was the best horse in the race. I won a stake on her going a mile so I figured that seven furlongs would help her."
Clearly Classic's very happy and accomplished trainer, Elizabeth Brand, said, "She just needs to go long and we don't get the opportunity to run long that often. Tonight was her last race; she's going to be retired and go to the breeding shed."
Owners, Dan and Everetta Woods, explained their long range plans for this exceptional mare, "She'll stay in Texas and we hope to breed another generation just like this one." Part of their optimism for generations to come from Clearly Classic could have begun that afternoon at the Texas Arabian Breeders Association's 2004 awards banquet. Clearly Classic won Champion Accredited Texas-Bred Four-Year-Old Filly for 2004.
Second place finisher, MW Scarlet Lady, was ridden by Adrian Ramos who had this to say about his trip, " She closed nice and I thought we were going to win, then that other horse whoosed by us. I didn't even see her til right at the wire. That was my first time to ride her and she really liked the distance. She will probably do good at a mile."
Amanda Crandall, aboard third place filly, Queen Kong, explained, " She wouldn't switch. I tried about two times and she wouldn't do it. Then she finally switched right before the wire, but I don't think that affected her very much. I think when I went back to reach her and those horses started coming, I think the pressure made her slow down a little bit. I think if we would have had a dry track I think we could have won it because everything is coming from off the pace. It's really heavy right now."
The rest of this highly competitive field ran in the following order: Conni O, Ms Jolly, Banders Naomi Ku, MW Princess Z, FMR Ozark Eklipse, Kalsera, Destinees Star and Ambyrsheik.