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The Last Danse and Rolly Polly win the Texas Six Shooter and Yellow Rose--

Another sweep for trainer Loren Nichols, and a great reward for new owners Ken and Nancy Blewett

The Last Danse. Photo Credit: Coady Photography

SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK (Saturday, March 24, 2007) – Arabians put on quite a show tonight at Sam Houston Race Park as they competed in the middle leg of the esteemed Arabian Triple Crown, which began at Los Alamitos and will conclude at Delaware Park.

The colts kicked the evening off in the $40,000 Texas Six Shooter and it was a commanding performance by The Last Danse ($4.00), who despite not having a race since December 9, lived up to his post-time favorite billing as he drew off by five lengths. Trained by Loren Nichols and ridden for the first time by Roimes Chirinos, the Florida-bred colt crossed the wire of the seven-furlong stakes in 1:32.15 for Trackside Racing. He won by 9 ¼ lengths and set a new Arabian track record, besting the previous time of 1:33.50 set by Dynamite III on April 9, 2004.

"He is the best Arabian in the world," declared Chirinos, following the impressive performance of The Last Danse, who is half-brother to multiple-stakes winner, Tour de France.

The Last Danse was making his first start since his five-length win in the 21,000 Texas Arabian Futurity here on December 9.

"We wanted to run a prep, but no one would run against us," said Nichols. "So we just went in cold. I have to compliment Jerenesto Torrez, who has worked with this horse for the past month and a half. Roimes did a great job; he's riding at Gulfstream now and came here just to ride two horses for us. We're heading for Delaware and it won't be long."

Cromwell, part of a two-horse entry owned by Guy Neivens, closed for second under rider William Hollick.

"My horse ran a good race," commented trainer Ronald Martino. "He's just second best. He's just growing up a little more each time he runs. This was just his fourth (lifetime) start. The horse that won is tough, but we're going to go to the next leg (of the Arabian series) at Delaware in July. This is my third time here. I wasn't here last year, but I had a horse in the series the year before and the year before that."

Se Bunker Buster ran third for owner Jane R. Teustch and trainer Elizabeth Brand.

"He ran a good race," said rider Larry Taylor, who is the current leading jockey at Sam Houston Race Park. "He just couldn't outrun that one!"

Wish Again, Bush Hog, Fryvolous and Capitalist completed the order of finish. The Last Danse earned $20,000 for tonight's stakes win, boosting his lifetime earnings to $62,164 and improving his career record to four wins from eight starts.

Rolly Polly. Photo Credit: Coady Photography

There will be no Triple Crown for Rolly Polly, who gamely won the $40,000 Yellow Rose for Arabian fillies, which attracted a field of 12. Bred by Trackside Farm in Florida, Rolly Polly returned to the winner's circle tonight following her victory in the $21,000 Texas Arabian Futurity on December 9, where she won by seven lengths under ace Arabian jockey, Roimes Chirinos.

Trainer Loren Nichols made the decision to pass on sending her to Los Alamitos, but has no regrets.

"We're out of the Triple Crown; we didn't go to California," said Nichols. "I'm happy we didn't as it worked out real well for this filly. We made sure there wouldn't be a Triple Crown winner this year! She'll go to Delaware and should be really tough in the race."

"This filly likes to come off the pace," said Nichols. "She likes something to run at. She'll go up the rail, through horses; she doesn't care. She's just a fine filly. Both the colt and this filly are Darley Champions and have proven that they are the best 3-year-olds in the country. We're very happy that Sam Houston Race Park was part of that."

Rolly Polly's entrymate, Kittilina went to the lead under Larry Taylor, but could not hold off the fast-closing winner. Djenteel held on for third under jockey Joy Marie Scott, who was impressed with the running style of the Florida-bred filly trained by Courtney Sarris.

"This was my first time on this filly, and I love her," commented Scott. "She has a lot of adversity. She can't see out of one eye, and she has other things going on with her. She really is a good filly to be operating with all of that adversity. And she has a lot of heart. I didn't really use her hard at the start. I was sitting at a natural pace for her. That was probably that first big clean start of her life. So that really helped a lot. And she just kept going at the same pace. She never gave it up. She was pretty darn great."

Rolly Polly, sent off as part of a four-horse entry at odds of 1-9, paid $2.40 to win. Scoot, Café Latte, Cleopatrah, Caviyar, Dreamm Diva, Gizmoson Fire, Lely Roterra and Shes A Dandy completed the order of finish.

Nichols congratulated Ken and Nancy Blewett, TABA Board Members, who are now owners of The Last Danse and Rolly Polly. "Ken bought The Last Danse and Rolly Polly on Saturday," said Nancy. "Then they both won and I had a virtual heart attack! We have the potential for another great year!"

Martha Claussen
Publicity Director
Sam Houston Race Park
7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway West
Houston, TX 77064
Phone: (281) 807-8771
Email: mclaussen@shrp.com

Encouraging Growth of the Arabian Horse Industry.
TABA - Texas Arabian Breeders Association
P.O. Box 215.  Forney, Texas 75126
972-564-9430. Fax 972-552-3613