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GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – Lone Star Park’s biggest day of the year is this Monday, and the $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3) – the highlight of the card – drew perhaps its strongest field in history. Several stars have entered, including multiple graded stakes champion sprinter C Z Rocket, who stretches out to try routing here.
The event, which shares the card with 4 other stakes races, is scheduled to run at 7:35 PM CT.
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Headlining this field is C Z Rocket, who ships to Lone Star Park after 2 impressive wins at Oaklawn Park going 6 furlongs. He’ll have to stretch out, which seems to be the biggest key to the race. He drew the far outside post 8 and will have Florent Geroux aboard for the third straight time.
His main challenger would have been By My Standards, who won the Oaklawn Mile Stakes last time out, but trainer Bret Calhoun is reportedly scratching him in favor of next weekend’s Met Mile (G1).
The trainer who usually dominates the Lone Star Park scene is Steve Asmussen, who sends out Silver Prospector. The gray colt hit the board just once in 3 starts this season but was facing ultra-tough competition at Oaklawn Park and Fair Grounds. He’ll get Ricardo Santana Jr. back aboard when he breaks from the rail.
The full field from the rail out: Silver Prospector, Sheriff Brown, By My Standards, Warrior’s Charge, Hunka Burning Love, Harvey Wallbanger, Mo Mosa, and C Z Rocket.
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#8 C Z Rocket – He comes into this race as the top sprinter in the country; however, this 1-mile distance is a big question mark. He has raced at the distance 4 times, winning only once, which came way back in 2017 at Churchill Downs. He’s transformed into a superstar since the magical Peter Miller claimed him last year, so perhaps he’ll stretch out successfully.
#1 Silver Prospector – This horse faced tough company all year long, and while this race is not easy, it could be seen as a bit of a class drop for him. Cutting back to 1 mile could be to his liking and he also gets Ricardo Santana Jr. back aboard, which is a big positive. With a big effort, he’ll play a factor in the outcome.
#5 Hunka Burning Love – This horse must always be respected. Last year, he won 8 of 10 starts after being claimed by the magical Karl Broberg, and 1 of his losses came on turf. This season, he’s picked up 2 wins and nearly won a stakes at Oaklawn Park. His best effort makes him competitive in this spot.
#7 Mo Mosa – Can this horse pull off the Fonner Park/Lone Star Park double? He always seems to be around in the end with a chance, no matter how where he runs, so expect no different in this spot. He’s probably not good enough to win, but he can hit the board at what should be a big price.
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#4 Warrior’s Charge – At one time, this horse would be one of the top choices in a race of this caliber. His first 2 starts this year at Oaklawn Park were not up to his normal standards, but at least this will be his third start off the layoff. He also cuts back in distance to a mile and gets a major jockey upgrade to Joel Rosario. All of these factors give him a chance to turn the tables – if he can get to the front down the backside.
#2 Sheriff Brown – He comes into the race hot, winning 3 straight against lessor competition. The jump up in class is significant, though, making it tough to see him being able to pull off the upset.
#6 Harvey Wallbanger – It’s hard to believe this horse is still around! We haven’t seen him at his best in quite a while; however, there is no doubt he is known for pulling off big upsets. With that being said, it’s hard to imagine him winning this contest.
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