Turf racing at Retama Park is about to embark on a new ambitious schedule as a result of a “fantastic” turf course. Ann Oliveri has been coming to the races at Retama since 1995, the track’s inaugural season, and this fan’s opinion about the track’s new turf course was laudatory.
“Wow the grass looks like it’s in the best shape ever. It’s looks fantastic,” said Oliveri.
A new and improved Rye grass was planted two months ago. Quality seed, easing of watering restrictions and a heaping helping dose of Mother Nature’s rain joined forces to create a beautiful setting for grass racing through December 28.
“Right now we are running one grass race each night. Next week it goes to two races each night, then the week after, we go to three races per night,” said Retama Park Racing Secretary James Leatherman.
Saturday night’s grass race is a tough open $10,000 claiming event filled with older hard knocking horses that have made their money the hard way. “They earned it,” as the man from Smith Barney would say on television.
Texas-bred Only Man in Town is making his 78th career start and his lifetime earnings are just south of $150,000. The 8-year-old gelding is coming off a big effort in a $17,000 stakes at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds on August 25. Rallying from next to last to miss by just half a length, Only Man In Town proved he is fit as his effort came on dirt, which not his favorite racing surface. Marinous is French-bred grass runner with $417,385 in the bank and will provide tough competition to Only Man In Town. Marinous is a Group 2 stakes performer at the storied French courses of Longchamp and Deauville.
Live racing runs every Friday and Saturday at 7:15pm. For more information, go to www.retamapark.com.