Horse owner and part-time/retired Star-Telegram sports columnist Randy Galloway said he was hoping for some speed when the Premier Stakes went out Thursday night at Lone Star Park.
But by the time the bell sounded at the gate, it was Galloway’s horse Wagson that had to fight through a spring thunderstorm to win the 6 1/2-furlong $50,000 season-opening race.
It’s Galloway’s second horse to win Lone Star’s season-opening stakes race. Gold Element won on opening night in 2012.
“Being from Grand Prairie and a big supporter of the track, I think when you win this thing once, you figure that’s probably it,” Galloway said. “We spend the winter looking for a horse specifically to win this race and when it happens, well then the plan worked out.”
Jockey Lindey Wade held Wagson six lengths back on the backstretch as the horses ran directly into the east-moving storm.
At the turn, Wade asked for Wagson to make his move and the 6-year-old gelding responded, moving up and holding off last year’s winner Solar Charge down the stretch.
“It was kind of a chess match out there because I have ridden Solar Charge before and he likes to be on the outside,” Wade said. “So I kind of tried to hold him on the rail as long as I could and then we got lucky because he was flying up on us at the end.”
Wagson, claimed by Galloway’s Wimp Free Racing stable for $40,000, earned $30,967 to push his 2015 earnings to $44,657 and lifetime earnings to $248,231.
Wagson paid $7 to win, $4.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. Solar Charge paid $8.80 and $4.20; and He’s a Bling paid $2.80 in sloppy conditions.
“One thing about Wagson, he’s not a mudder,” Galloway said. “You know these jocks, they have a clock in their head, so considering the conditions, when Lindey turned the horse loose, he responded.”
Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze remained winless at Lone Star Park despite holding the record for most North American racing wins with 12,524.
Baze rode He’s a Bling to third place in the Premier Stakes and placed on Popalicious in the the second race on turf.
The next closest active jockey to Baze is Edgar Prado with 6,806 wins.