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Snowbound Superstar awesome in Gold Rush

May 27, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

(photo by Los Alamitos Racecourse)
Los Alamitos Race Course, May 27 - Tom Brinkley's Snowbound Superstar posted the second fastest performances ever for a distance horse at Los Alamitos while coming just 3/100ths of a second from equaling legendary Griswold's track record at 870 yards in the $62,900 Gold Rush Derby on May 26.

Ridden by Cody Jensen for trainer Paul Jones, the Washington-bred Snowbound Superstar also enjoyed one of the easiest wins seen in a long time at the Orange County oval, as he romped to a 10 1/2 length decision over Shalimar Roger while going around the bend in :44.02. Griswold set the track record of :43.99 on February 1, 1991, which remained the world record for a Quarter Horse for more than 10 years. Heza Mystic Man set the current world record of :43.533 at Yavapai Downs in 2004.

Sent off at 1-5 odds, the Robert Pulse-bred Snowbound Superstar has done things so easy around the turn that it only seems like a matter of time before he breaks Griswold's local mark. Does he have it in him to challenge the world record?

"I'm scared to turn him loose," said Jensen of the horse that paid $2.60, $2.10, $2.10 after $92,128 was wagered on him to show. "I've yet to ask him for his best, so I'm very interested to see how fast he'll go when we ask him for everything he's got. He's just an unbelievable horse right now."

Sired by the Thoroughbred Snowbound, Snowbound Superstar is now a perfect three for three at 870 yards. He broke his maiden in his first race around the turn, winning that race in nine lengths while stopping the clock in :44.44. He then won his Gold Rush Derby trial by eight lengths in a time of :44.24. Both of those times ranked as the fastest of the meet but they now seem slow in comparison.

"I couldn't believe how fast he won his first start," Jensen said. "He has since validated himself."

Prior to the Gold Rush final, Jones was asked if Snowbound Superstar was the best sophomore Quarter Horse ever to race at Los Alamitos. The champion trainer responded by saying that "he was pretty close to it." Jones offered a different opinion after the Gold Rush Derby.

"My answer tonight is that he's not only the best 3-year-old ever to run 870 yards here but I think he's the best 3-year-old to ever race at 870 yards. He's a really spooky horse, so we have to be very careful with him. The first time he won we took off his blinkers as we were about the enter the winner's circle and he went crazy. He almost killed himself. We're not making that mistake again. He's something else. I could have ridden him tonight. He had a perfect race. He looked a lot smoother going around the turn.

"After we worked him at 660 yards I remember calling Tom and telling him, 'people are going to want to buy this horse. Please, please don't sell him,' " Jones remembers telling the owner.

Brinkley made it clear that his newfound 'superstar' is not for sale.

"I think we're going to keep this one," he added with a smile. "That was a pretty race wasn't it? He just keeps taking dropping a quarter of a second off his time. He's just an awesome horse and heck of a horse to watch. When I see him run I feel like if I'm watching Secretariat.

"I can't see why he can't take the world record. We'll take it slow with him because he's still just a baby after all. We'll turn him loose in December for the Marathon National. That's when we hope that we'll see him run his best."

If he does, Snowbound Superstar would follow Heros Call as Gold Rush winners that went on to win the Marathon. Heros Call, who held the previous stakes record in this race, was also named co-champion distance horse that year.

"We plan to keep Snowbound Superstar here all year," Jones added. "That's the distance race with the most money, so why go anywhere else and run for less money?"

Snowbound Superstar earned $28,305 for the win to take his lifetime earnings to $37,780. He's got three wins from six starts. Roxie Lucarelli's Shalimar Roger, who competed in the El Primero Del Ano Derby earlier this year, earned $12,580 for his runner-up effort. Damiens Spectacular picked up a $7,548 for finishing third. Dashing Baja, Bee Candys Girl, Talk Bac RM, I Like It Already and Rollin To The Party completed the field.