Thoroughbred season closes at Lone Star Park

Posted Sunday, Jul. 08, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Topics: Lone Star Park

Tags:

A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

GRAND PRAIRIE -- Lone Star Park's 2012 thoroughbred meet came to a quiet close on Sunday evening in front of a modest crowd of 4,907. The track showed signs of promise in its first season under the new ownership of Global Gaming Solutions, buoyed by a surge in simulcast wagering due in part to the overhauled Bar and Book area.

The leading trainer title went down to the wire with Danny Pish besting longtime rival Bret Calhoun for his first title at Lone Star Park.

"I came to this game as a horse lover and not a gambler," said a smiling Pish. "Everyone has their own way but that's the way I approach it. From the hot walkers to the grooms all the way down, they were all an invaluable part of our success."

Despite strong turnouts on concert and promotional days, Lone Star Park suffered a 3.2 percent decrease in overall attendance with all-sources handle down a disappointing 7.5 percent, roughly $6 million less than last year's numbers.

Lone Star has struggled in recent years to attract top-level horses and trainers that are lured to other tracks with larger purse structures. With purse size directly related to a track's overall handle, Lone Star faces an uphill battle.

"A lot of tracks like us that don't have the benefit of slot machines struggle to be competitive," said Lone Star Park president and general manager Drew Shubeck.

"You have to have the tools the big boys have."

In the off-season, management plans to add a state of the art 60-foot high-definition video board to the infield, additional seating and picnic tables along the grandstands.

Despite the numbers, Shubeck is optimistic about Lone Star's 2013 thoroughbred campaign.

"We are looking to have 50 live racing days with the same purse structure of $140,000 a day and waiting to finalize the negations [with the Texas Horsemen's Partnership] to get that done."

Jockey Cliff Berry added a fifth riding title to his résumé as Lone Star's all-time leading jockey, which follows his 2011 riding title at Remington Park. The self-effacing Berry, who turns 50 next month, shows no signs of slowing down.

"I struggled early in my career so I don't take any of this for granted. That's what a guy wants to do, be a leading rider. If you can get in with the right trainers that's all it comes down to."

Berry will return to Remington Park in the fall to defend his title and attempt to notch his 4,000th career win.

"I love Lone Star. There are a lot of good people here and I think [Global Gaming Solutions] has big plans. I'm hopeful," said Berry. "But I'm just gonna take it one race at a time."

Lone Star Park's 2012 Fall Meeting of Champions for Quarter Horses will start on Sept. 14 and run through Nov. 10.

Jared L. Christopher

817-390-7760

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
Texas «5Final | Box
Miami4
Seattle3Final | Box
Philadelphia «4
Toronto «9Final | Box
Milwaukee5
NY Mets «8Final | Box
Oakland5
Houston5Top 9th | Box
NY Yankees2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-HOU, YES
Atlanta2Final | Box
Pittsburgh «3
Arizona2Bottom 9th | Box
Washington2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, MASN
LA Angels7Bottom 7th | Box
Boston3@theBallpark | TV: FSN-W, NESN, ESPN 2
Detroit «6Final | Box
Tampa Bay0
Cincinnati0Delayed | Box
St. Louis5@theBallpark | TV: FSN-OH, FSN-MW
San Francisco8Top 7th | Box
Chicago Cubs2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, WCIU
Baltimore4Bottom 8th | Box
Chicago WSox3@theBallpark | TV: MASN 2, CSN-CHI
Cleveland3Top 7th | Box
Minnesota0@theBallpark | TV: STO, FSN-N
Kansas City2Top 6th | Box
Colorado1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-KC, ROOT-RM
San Diego0Bottom 1st | Box
Los Angeles0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-SD, SNLA, ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: NFL Network, KDKA, 6ABC
Friday
Jacksonville 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: WXYZ7
Carolina 7:30 PM ET
New England TV: Panthers TV, WBZ
NY Giants 7:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS 2
Oakland 8:00 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Chicago 10:00 PM ET
Seattle TV: NFL Net, FOX32, Q13FOX
Saturday
Tampa Bay 4:30 PM ET
Buffalo TV: NFL Network, WFLA
Tennessee 7:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: WKRN, CW69
Dallas 7:00 PM ET
Miami TV: KTVT, CBS11, CBS4
Washington 7:30 PM ET
Baltimore TV: NBC4, CSN-DC, WBAL
St. Louis 8:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: WKYC
New Orleans 8:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Minnesota 8:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: KARE 11, KCTV
Houston 9:00 PM ET
Denver TV: KTRK, KUSA
Sunday
San Diego 4:00 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
Cincinnati 8:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: NBC
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard