Texas has a long history of producing exceptional racehorses, including 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault, 1950 Kentucky Derby winner Middleground and legendary racemare Pan Zareta. However, the state has only produced a single millionaire in Groovy, the 1987 Eclipse Award winner for Champion Sprinter who banked more than $1.3 million. That could change on Saturday at Lone Star Park after Texas Chrome runs in the $50,000 Assault Stakes against his fellow Texas-breds. The 4-year-old colt by Grasshopper enters with earnings of $990,762 and will hit seven figures with a win or second-place finish.
“I wanted to bring him back here (Texas) to reach $1 million in earnings,” said owner Danny Keene. “He has a following here. The people here seem to really care about him and like to watch him race, so what better place.”
Keene purchased Texas Chrome for $10,000 at the Texas Summer Yearling Sale in 2014 from the consignment of Craig Upham and Sue Dowling’s Stoneview Farm. Upham also bred Texas Chrome out of the Texas-bred mare Margarita Mistress, who is by the late Texas stallion and former Stoneview resident Naevus. Texas Chrome’s sire, Grasshopper, previously stood at Lane’s End Texas and now stands at Valor Farm in Pilot Point, Texas.
“Obviously we wish good luck to all the Texas-breds in the race, but it would be great for local fans and horsemen to see Texas Chrome hit the milestone in his home state and at Lone Star Park, where he sold as a yearling, broke his maiden and won his first stakes race,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association.
Named the 2015 Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding and 2016 Texas Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old/Gelding, Texas Chrome has a career record of 19-8-4-3 while running at 10 different racetracks. He has won a pair of Grade 3 stakes, the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs and Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, and has placed in five other graded stakes. His stakes victories also include the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity and a division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star. In his most recent start he finished second in the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap. Richard Eramia has the mount in the one-mile Assault for trainer Allen Milligan.
Saturday’s card at Lone Star also features the Valor Farm Stakes for Texas-bred fillies and mares and two divisions of the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity.