Saturday’s stakes lineup at Lone Star Park offers one of the top American Quarter Horse Association cards of 2022. The $1 million Texas Classic Futurity headlines the 11-race program that gets underway at 7:05 pm ET.
Horseplayers utilizing 1/ST BET and Xpressbet can play for an additional $5,000 in the late pick 4 (Races 8-11) in the Hit & Split promotion. Take home your parimutuel winnings along with your share of an additional $5,000 among only other players on those two platforms who also hit the wager. And note that the stakes, Races 6-10, offer a $10 money-back special with 1/ST BET and Xpressbet. If your win bet in those races finishes second or third, you’ll get a refund in wagering credits up to $10.
9:25 pm ET | Race 6 | $50,000 Yellow Rose of Texas Stakes
Win machine #5 SS Classyjess goes for her 25th score in her 50th lifetime start as the headliner in this Texas-bred matchup of mares. Her 7 Lone Star victories (from just 12 starts) is more than the field’s total of 5 local scores combined. Triple-digit speed figures and speed index numbers set her apart from these. #4 Best Moonflash finished on the favorite’s flank at Retama in July and being drawn next door can help drag along a rival to their maximum effort. That looks like the exacta.
9:53 pm ET | Race 7 | $50,000 B.F. Phillips Jr. Stakes
State-bred colts and geldings show down in the 400-yard Phillips, a race that essentially re-matches the field from a similar stakes September 24 against 2022 season returnee #9 Jet Black Grace, winner of last year’s $1 million Heritage Place Futurity and last seen fourth in the ’21 Texas Classic Futurity on this card a year ago. Jet Black Grace won 5 of 6 starts as a juvenile and has handled outside posts in the past. #5 His Time To Deal has won 3 of his last 5, including a win over 4 of these same rivals Sept. 24. He exits a solid fourth to the top-class Danjer in the Grade 1 AQHA Challenge Championship in Indianapolis 4 weeks ago. #8 Shott Gun was a Rainbow and All American Derby finalist a year ago and exits perhaps the fastest race of his career last out at Retama albeit in defeat.
10:21 pm ET | Race 8 | $50,000 Texas Classic Juvenile Stakes
The $5,000 pick 4 hit and split begins with the consolation to the Texas Classic Futurity, where qualifiers 11-20 compete in the Texas Classic Juvenile. Oklahoma and Heritage Place Futurity winner #8 Tres Crystals tries to get back to his spring form at Remington Park off back-to-back losses. #7 San Lorenzo Ivory also was one of the top 2-year-olds in Oklahoma City this spring, and he’s 7-for-7 in the exacta lifetime. Anyone beyond these two would be a surprise, though #9 JMG Apollitical Capo comes off a nice trial win and was runner-up in the Sam Houston Futurity final.
10:49 pm ET | Race 9 | $350,000 Grade 1 Texas Classic Derby
#5 KJ Desperado and #8 San Lorenzo Tay, 1-2 finishers in last year’s Texas Classic Futurity, are back at it in the Derby at 440 yards. San Lorenzo Tay is 0-for-3 at the trip, while KJ Desperado has won 5 of 6 with a runner-up in his 440-yard bids. Big advantage to the 6-5 morning line favorite KJ Desperado, who is 3-for-3 at Lone Star Park and towers over this field on numbers. All American Derby runner-up #6 Delight Us All is in career form right now, as is Ruidoso and Rainbow Derby finalist #1 The Big Favorite. But #5 KJ Desperado looks like a single in this sequence.
11:17 pm ET | Race 10 | $1,000,000 Texas Classic Futurity
Two nights of trials were held Oct. 27 and 28 to gather the 10 finalists for the 400-yard Texas Classic Futurity. Horses on Oct. 27 ran into a headwind; those from Oct. 28 benefitted from a tailwind. Don’t get too sold on raw times. #9 Doin It Just For Fun led the Oct. 27 qualifiers and its notable that he posted the day’s best time from post 3, while all other qualifiers were from posts 5-8. The outside of the track may have been better, and Doin It Just For Fun was still best on the Oct. 27. As for the Day 2 qualifiers on Oct. 28, note #10 Turcotte and #3 Rock a Jess V qualified earlier in the card when there was less tailwind, and the later-day trial runners had more favorable conditions to go faster. The morning line maker looks to have this one right with #9 Doin It Just for Fun at 7-5 and #3 Rock a Jess V at 8-5, but spruce up your exotics with #10 Turcotte at a juicy 20-1 offering as the ‘other’ qualifier for the jockey-trainer tandem of Juan Pulido and Santos Carrizales Jr.
11:45 pm ET | Race 11 | maiden
This late pick four looks focused with a 2x1x2 play into the finale, a maiden 2-year-old dash at 350 yards. Some of these drop out of the Texas Classic Futurity trials, including #10 Politics Gone Wild. Like the draw here and this is a well-meant gelding who was sent to the Rainbow Futurity and All American Futurity trials prior. This is not a typical, 5-race maiden resume. He was fourth at 6-5 in a local straight maiden 2 starts back, but that was from the rail. There’s room to breathe outside of this pack and he’s the play.