“It’s great to see the response from horsemen as we are set to open,” said Leatherman.
A total of 98 horses are entered including the venerable Midnight Explosion. The 11-year-old gelding, a former Horse of the Meet at Retama Park, is making his 78th lifetime start with 25 coming at the Selma oval.
The most competitive race of the night may be the eighth where eight fillies and mares travel six furlongs for an allowance purse of $23,000. It appears the one to beat is Texas-bred Ruby’s Big Band, a 5-year-old mare with over $301,000 in career earnings. Trained by Charles Smith and owned by Terry Propps, Ruby’s Big Band won the $50,000 JEH Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park in May, took a $25,000 stakes at Fonner Park in Nebraska and is coming off a solid second-place finish in the $50,000 Matron Stakes at Assiniboia Downs in Canada.
Three new faces in the barn are area trainers Paul Parson from Prairie Meadows, Kenny Powers from Louisiana Downs and James Kight from Nebraska.
Post time each night is 6:45 PM. Saturday is the first 50 cent Saturday of the meet. For more information, visit www.retamapark.com.