With average daily handle of more than $3.3 million for three days of racing last week, Lone Star Park proved a popular option with bettors after it instituted a Monday-to-Wednesday schedule for its 2020 Thoroughbred season.
It remains to be seen if this spike in popularity will be sustained as the weekday schedule is expected to get more congested as more tracks re-open from the COVID-19 shutdown. However, the rapid revision and implementation of afternoon racing during the week has at least given Lone Star a head start over other incoming signals.
Another attraction is the the 12% takeout on Lone Star’s Late Pick 5, offered on the last five races each day.
Lone Star’s 36-day meet now runs through Aug. 2 with a daily post time of 2:35 p.m. ET. In addition to the Monday-to-Wednesday action, Lone Star will also run a few select Saturdays (June 27, Aug. 1) and Sundays (June 14, 28 and July 5, 26).
Sundays will be the primary stakes days. Texas Champions Day, which was cancelled at Sam Houston on Mar. 21 due to a blown transformer, has been rescheduled for this Sunday, June 14. The July 5 and 26 cards will also feature numerous stakes restricted to Texas-breds.
A trio of open $75,000 stakes — the Lone Star Park Turf, Grand Prairie, and Lone Star Mile — will be held June 28.
Through the first six days of racing, Steve Asmussen and Karl Broberg are, unsurprisingly, in a tight battle for leading trainer. The jockey standings is led by dual classic-winning veteran Stewart Elliott and David Cabrera.
Here are some horses of interest for the Monday, June 8 program.
#9 ALWAYS SECRET (9-2) was stuck behind a pedestrian pace second out but managed a third-place effort despite that and being forced to check at a crucial point. She has room for further improvement in this low-level maiden claimer.
Although he lacked a punch facing a few of these last time after a wide trip, #10 GRAY HOPE (9-2) has proven a generally reliable sort on grass with a 4-for-6 record. Has shown speed in recent works at Louisiana Downs, which suggests he could come out firing following a three-month layoff.