||Live Horse Racing Returns To Lone Star
Park Thursday Night, April 14
Ever since Ghostzapper posted
his electrifying win in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic last October,
horse racing fans in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have been eagerly awaiting
the return of live Thoroughbred racing to Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.
They'll get their wish Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. CT when Lone Star stages
its ninth annual Spring Thoroughbred Season, a 67-date run through July
It's been 5 ½ months since Lone Star staged the 21st Breeders'
Cup World Thoroughbred Championships before a record crowd of 53,717.
Gone are the 39,000 temporary seats that stretched around the final turn,
down the stretch and into the first turn. Back is the cozy environment
that has made Lone Star one of the nation's most visited racetracks.
The best bet of the upcoming Lone Star Park season? You'll have a good
time. Pounding hooves, heart stopping finishes, raucous crowds, big paydays,
post-race concerts, fireworks and old-fashioned fun - Lone Star Park will
have it all.
Anywhere from nine to a dozen races will be carded daily each Wednesday
through Sunday until July 17. The first live race on weeknights is 6:35
p.m. Weekend and holiday action will start at 1:35 p.m. CT (there'll be
a special 5 p.m. post time on July 3).
A total of 37 stakes races - the highest level of horse racing, featuring
the area's elite horses - are scheduled totaling $4.075 million.
"We plan to capitalize on the success we had and the relationships
we built during last year's Breeders' Cup," said Lone Star Park Vice-President
and General Manager Jeff Greco. "With that in mind and a well balanced
and lucrative stakes schedule in place, we have the makings of an exciting
The action-packed 14-week meeting features seven multi-stakes days and
is once again highlighted by four major events that traditionally attract
both local and national interest: Texas Mile Day on Saturday, April 30;
Walmac Lone Star Derby Day on Saturday, May 14; Lone Star Million Day
on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30; and Dallas Turf Cup Day on Saturday,
The Grade III, $300,000 Walmac Lone Star Derby, a 1 1/16-mile affair
for 3-year-olds, returns to a popular position on the racing calendar
- one week after the Kentucky Derby. It was staged there in 2002 and '03,
the year Dynever rolled to an impressive 1 ½-length win over a
dozen rivals. Last year, it was won by Pollard's Vision when conducted
the day before the Breeders' Cup.
The seventh annual Lone Star Million will feature six lucrative stakes
this year with purses totaling more than $1 million. The $150,000 Stonerside
Stakes for 3-year-old fillies has been added to the special Memorial Day
program that already includes the Grade III, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap
and Grade III, $200,000 WinStar Distaff.
Four stakes will be held on Texas Mile Day, the first major event of
the meeting. The last two winners of the Grade III, $300,000 Texas Mile
- a one-mile, two-turn test of speed and stamina - have gone on to finish
second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint: Bluesthestandard (2003) and Kela (2004).
The day's program also features the $75,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge
for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf, as well as $125,000 divisions of
the Texas Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Late in the meet, Stars of Texas Day on Saturday, July 9, will feature
2-year-old divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes, two of six stakes events
that day exclusively for Texas-breds.
A dozen of the stakes events are scheduled on turf, highlighted by the
$200,000 Dallas Turf Cup, a 1 1/8-mile race for older horses.
Additional proven favorites will be Kentucky Derby Day (Saturday, May
7), Preakness Stakes Day (Saturday, May 21) and Belmont Stakes Day (Saturday,
June 11). Another expected big draw at the meet is the Lone Stars &
Stripes Fireworks Celebration on Sunday, July 3, where one of the largest
fireworks shows in North Texas follows a special 5 p.m. twilight racing
program. The holiday extravaganza annually lures a crowd in excess of
One of the most popular promotions is Party At The Park, staged each
Friday night (except June 17) with live music and drink specials at the
outdoor Courtyard of Champions area. The first Friday of the meet (April
15) will feature a post-race concert by Texas country artist Gary P. Nunn.
Then on Saturday, April 16, country music superstar and fiddling phenomenon
Charlie Daniels of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" fame will
perform after the races. Other opening weekend entertainment includes
Icehouse (Thursday, April 14, 7-10 p.m.); Zane Lewis (Friday, April 15,
7-10 p.m.); B & G Band (Saturday, April 16, 12-4 p.m.) and Channel
15 (Sunday, April 17, 12-4 p.m.).
Nearly 10 million customers have enjoyed elegant Lone Star Park's amenities,
which include fine dining, penthouse suites, 1,200 terraced dining seats,
luxurious box seating, landscaped outdoor areas and picnic pavilions.
Plus, there's the nearby world-class GPX Skate Park and Entertainment
Center (separate admission) that features skateboarding, in-line skating,
bicycling and roller hockey. Entertainment between the horse races and
easy-to-read racing programs help make the day enjoyable for the casual
Lone Star Park's world-class entertainment facility includes a seven-level,
glass enclosed/climate-controlled Grandstand, sun-shaded Courtyard of
Champions and state-of-the-art, Las Vegas-style Post Time Pavilion simulcast
center. The track is located approximately 12 miles west of Dallas, 20
miles east of Fort Worth and 10 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth International
Airport. It is situated a half mile north of Interstate-30 off Belt Line
Road in Grand Prairie at 1000 Lone Star Parkway.
TWO STAKES HIGHLIGHT OPENING WEEKEND - Yessirgeneralsir,
upset winner of last summer's Grade III, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap,
is expected to headline Thursday's $50,000 Premiere Stakes, one of two
stakes scheduled for opening week. The other is the $75,000 Irving Distaff
for fillies and mares at 7 ½ furlongs on turf on Saturday, April
16. The 5-year-old Patton gelding was sensational at Lone Star last summer,
but hasn't been seen in seven months. "We took a chip out of his
left knee, and he's responded nicely," said trainer Dallas Keen.
"We've had no problems and he's been training great." Lonnie
Meche will have the mount. Others that could surface in the race include
back-to-back defending champ Agrivating General; Charming Socialite, who
shocked Bwana Charlie in last fall's Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes; Assault
Stakes and Star of Texas winner Goosey Moose; Most Feared, best known
for winning the 2002 Arlington-Washington Futurity and his second place
effort in the 2003 Lone Star Derby; R B J's Blaze, winner of the Spring
Stakes at Sam Houston in his last start; and six-time stakes winner Rare
Cure, who defeated open company last summer at Lone Star in the $75,000
Bob Johnson Memorial Stakes. The Irving Distaff closed with 44 nominations
and among those under serious consideration are Destiny Calls, Due to
Win Again, Homemaker, defending champ Janeian, My Misty Princess, Outright
Buck, Queena Corrina, Sister Swank and Topango. Keen, who trains My Misty
Princess, is also looking forward to trying Conquistador's Joy against
stakes company in the Irving Distaff. "She's really come around,"
Keen said. "Her last two races at Fair Grounds were two really big
races against some pretty nice fillies. We're taking a chance putting
her back on turf, but she couldn't be doing any better than she is right
THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GRAND PRAIRIE? - Country superstar
and fiddling phenomenon Charlie Daniels, best known for his classic "The
Devil Went Down to Georgia," will perform in concert at Lone Star
Park after the races on Saturday, April 16. Admission to the concert,
presented by Budweiser, is just $3 before 5 p.m. and $15 thereafter. The
first live race that day is 1:35 p.m., with the final race scheduled to
go off around 6 p.m. Popular Texas country and western artist Sonny Burgess
will take to the concert stage immediately after the last race until it's
time for The Charlie Daniels Band to perform at 8 p.m. The stage for the
concert will be situated outdoors just outside the racing surface in front
of the sun-shaded Courtyard of Champions. The lawn area is first come,
first served, and there is limited patio table seating in the Courtyard.
Blankets and folding chairs are permitted outdoors. Also, revered Texas
country and western artist Gary P. Nunn will perform in concert after
the races on Friday, April 15 at approximately 11 p.m.
LONE STAR PARK SEASON AT A GLANCE
POST TIME: Weeknights, 6:35 p.m. CT; Weekends, May 30
and July 4, 1:35 p.m. CT; and July 3, 5 p.m. CT.
GATES OPEN: Weeknights, 5 p.m. CT; Weekends, May 30
and July 4, 11:30 a.m. CT; April 14, 4:30 p.m. CT; May 7, 10:30 a.m. CT;
and July 3, 3 p.m. CT.
ADMISSION: General, $3; Clubhouse (second and fourth
floors of Grandstand), $6. Children 3 and under admitted free.
SEATING: Grandstand apron boxes and Courtyard of Champions
patio tables, free; General Admission and Individual Reserved Outdoor
Apron Seat, $6; Clubhouse Admission and Individual Reserved Counter Seat
on second floor Terrace Level, $11; Clubhouse Admission and Reserved Table
for 4 in fourth floor Silks Dining Terraces, $48*; Clubhouse Admission
and Reserved Box Seating for 4 on second floor Terrace Level, $60; Clubhouse
Admission and Reserved Table for 6 in fourth floor Silks Dining Terraces,
$72*; Clubhouse Admission and Reserved Box Seating for 6 on second floor
Terrace Level, $90; Clubhouse Admission and Reserved Table for 8 in fourth
floor Silks Dining Terraces, $96*; Clubhouse Admission and Reserved Finish
Line Box Seating for 4 on second floor Terrace Level, $100; Clubhouse
Admission and Reserved Table for 10 in fourth floor Silks Dining Terraces,
$120*; Clubhouse Admission and Reserved Box Seating for 10 on second floor
Terrace Level, $150 (* plus $12.50 food and beverage minimum per person;
dress code applies); Thursday, Friday and Saturday Penthouse Suite Package
for 25, $2,150; Wednesday and Sunday Penthouse Suite Package for 25, $1,995.
For reserved seating options, call (972) 263-PONY or (800) 795-RACE. For
groups of 20 or more, call (972) 237-1197. Pricing subject to change on
Big Event Days.
PARKING: General, $2; Preferred, $4; Valet, $9.
OFFICIAL PROGRAMS: Lone Star Today, $2.50; Race Books
STAKES PROGRAM: 37 stakes races cumulatively worth $4.075
AVERAGE DAILY PURSES: Approximately $230,000 daily.
RACING HIGHLIGHTS: Grade III, $300,000 Texas Mile, April
30; Grade III, $300,000 Walmac Lone Star Derby, May 14; Grade III, $300,000
Lone Star Park Handicap, May 30; Grade III, $200,000 WinStar Distaff,
May 30; $200,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes, May 30; $200,000 Dallas Turf
Cup, June 18.
TRIPLE CROWN SIMULCAST DATES: Kentucky Derby, May 7;
Preakness Stakes, May 21; Belmont Stakes, June 11. Advance wagering offered
the day before each race.
HANDICAPPING CONTESTS: NTRA/DRF Handicapper of the Year
Qualifying Tournament, June 18-19.
PROMOTIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: Post-race Gary P. Nunn concert,
April 15; post-race Charlie Daniels Band concert & Budweiser Magnetic
Schedule Giveaway, April 16; Budweiser Magnetic Schedule Giveaway, April
17; Dollar Day, April 30; Jose Cuervo Cinco de Mayo Celebration, May 7;
Jose Cuervo Margarita Madness, May 21; post-race Cross Canadian Ragweed
concert, June 17; post-race fireworks, July 3; Fan Appreciation Day, July
CONTINUITY PROMOTIONS: Heineken "Party at the Park"
with live music and drink specials, every Friday except June 17; Budweiser
"True Music" Saturdays April 16, April 30, May 28, June 18 and
July 9; Senior Citizens' Days with free general admission for 62 and up,
Sundays except July 3; Dr Pepper Can Months in May and June for a $1 general
admission, free Dr Pepper and a chance to win American Airline tickets
with a redeemed Dr Pepper can.
MAJOR CHARITABLE EVENTS: "Welcome Back Party"
for Lone Star Park Charitable Foundation, April 13; "Dallas Symphony
Derby" benefiting the Education and Community Outreach Programs of
the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, April 17 (call 972-380-7332 for
more info); "Stars of Texas" benefiting American Diabetes Association,
April 21 (call 972-392-1181 for more info); "Racing for Sight"
benefiting the Retina Foundation, April 24 (call 214-363-3911 for more
TELEVISION: Live racing, HRTV (Dish Network Ch. 404).
LOCATION: 1000 Lone Star Parkway in Grand Prairie, Texas,
12 miles west of Dallas, 20 miles east of Fort Worth and 10 miles south
of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport just a half-mile north of Interstate-30
off Belt Line Road.
PHONE: General information, (972) 263-RACE; reserved
seating or reservations, (972) 263-PONY.