Wed, 30 July, 1997
Well, the inaugural season at LSP has drawn to a close. What an exciting
meet it was. Lone Star lived up to the almost giddy expectations held for
it. But first, let me recap one of the bigger races since I wrote last time.
The Mid-South Futurity, a $200,000 race for 2yos from TX, Arkansas,
Oklahoma, or Louisiana was a great showcase for our young talent. Fobby O,
a No-Name Ranch bred colt by Fobby Forbes had won his trial by 10 lengths.
His most feared rivals were the Walesa colt Cowboy Dan, and the Bob Baffert
trainee Love N Money. The speedy Fobby O led the pack. Cowboy Dan had a
little manuevering to do to get around other runners, but once he got clear,
he zipped by Fobby O. Fobby O was second best, but still 4 1/2 lengths in
front of the next to cross the wire, the filly Cotton House Bay. Love N
money finished back in the pack.
Cowboy Dan was a fabulous buy at last year's TTBA sale, having sold for
$1,600. This spring, Danny Hutt caught notice of him, and the colt was
eventually purchased by a partnership for a price rumored to be somewhere
around a quarter of a million. Danny Hutt knew what he was doing, and the
colt just won back a hefty amount towards his purchase price. Amazing.
Lone Star's star sparkled this meeting, as did Lone Star itself. Lone Star
had 73 live days of racing. The average daily attendance was 9,762, with an
average daily handle of over $1.3M including money bet on the races through
simulcasting. The average per capita wager was $137 per day. These numbers
beat all the numbers from other opening meets of area tracks--tracks
including Retama, SHRP, Trinity Meadows, Remington, and LaD. The only
exception to that being the average daily attendance--at Remington, the
number was 11,130, although the per capita wagering was less than Lone Star's.
The top trainer of the meet was Dallas Keen, after a nose to nose battle
with Jim Gaston. Keen pulled ahead, though, after Gaston shipped his stable
to LaD when that meet opened July 4th. The highest win percentage seems to
go to Larry Robideaux with 38% of his starters winning, and an overall
standing of 4th. The top two jocks held their postions pretty firmly
throughout the meet, with Ron Ardoin coming in first with 92 wins (20%) over
Marlon St Julien's 87 (19%). Jockey Todd Glasser, 5th overall, had the
highest win percentage at 24% (I don't think it hurt him to ride alot of
Dallas Keen trainees).
As far as problems with the first season, the biggest problem, after having
secured rave reviews in the beginning, was the track surface. The main
track was very fast, and seemed not to handle water well. The turf course
was surprisingly speed-favoring-firm, firmer than should probably be. Other
problems, of course, were not enough stalls to accomodate many of the
horsemen that fought so hard to have racing in Texas. Also, overlap at
three tracks--LSP, LaD, and Remington, toward the end of the LS meet, meant
difficulty with fields. Although some of the races had short fields,
perhaps the biggest problem was the dilution of the quality of horses running.
LSP held a meeting with the horsemen directly at the conclusion of the meet.
These problems, I feel confident, will be handled. More work on the racing
surface itself--now that we can see how the track adjusted with the changes
in climate here, the surface can be modified. The track dates overlap would
be taken care of if LS receives the dates they requested from the TRC--dates
which would see opening two weeks earlier in the year. And as far as the
shortage of stalls, well that might just be in the process of being handled
too. Rumor has it that LSP has submitted a $1.85M bid on the defunct TrM
(didn't I suggest this earlier?). The bid would be discussed after
foreclosure proceedings have taken place. I actually just heard this news,
and I hope my resource is correct, as I think that would be the perfect
On a personal note, I loved going to LSP. I got to see some of the babies
we bred run there, got to meet some outstanding people, and just generally
had a great time. I can hardly wait for the mixed meet which opens October
3rd (just in time for my birthday). I also should mention that LSP's web
site has made some drastic improvements. Visit it at
. If you think of anything you'd like to see
on the site, I encourage you to respond to them (look in the fine print at
the bottom--they have a link to someone who can and will field your comments).
In the meantime, I am going on vacation for a couple of weeks. I'll catch
you up to date with the latest goings on after I get back!!