|Lone Star Opener Goes To Bailey and Cascio; Attendance & Handle Up
A crowd of 14,123 attended the opening night of races at Lone Star Park
at Grand Prairie's 2002 Thoroughbred meet on Thursday. Those fans were
treated to an exciting night highlighted by the homecoming of Texas native
and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who teamed with trainer Bubba Cascio
to win the $50,000 Premiere Stakes with Lights on Broadway.
Bailey, a Dallas native who grew up in El Paso, won two races from his four mounts on Thursday night. He won the first race of the meet in taking the Premiere Stakes, and he won a claiming race on Kris's Sleigh later on the card.
In the Premiere Stakes, Joe A. McDermott and George Slater's 5-year-old Lights on Broadway was sent off as the heavy 7-to-10 favorite under Bailey. The son of Majestic Light stalked the pace set by Won C C and Smiling Prince early, but he had grabbed a narrow lead by the time the field had gone a half-mile in :49.20. He edged away to a daylight lead in the stretch, but Captain Countdown came flying late and almost spoiled Bailey's homecoming. Lights on Broadway dug down and held off Captain Countdown by a half-length at the wire, completing the mile race in 1:38.25. Won C C held on to finish third, 1 ¾ lengths behind Captain Countdown.
Bailey, who had idolized Cascio when he was an apprentice jockey at Sunland Park in 1974, was thrilled to finally have a chance to ride for the trainer. He explained happily after his victory in the Premiere, "It took me 28 years, but I finally got together with him."
The crowd of 14,123 represented a 3% increase in attendance compared to Lone Star's opening night last year. Handle figures were also up. On track handle of $1,057,607 was an 8% increase over last year, with all-source handle of $3,143,719 also representing an 8% increase over opening night in 2001.
Lone Star Park's 2002 Thoroughbred meet runs through July 14.