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McIngvale's idea for race broadens twist

Event’s purse would escalate if top horses run

    

By HAL LUNDGREN For the Chronicle,

Aug. 21, 2009, 12:36AM


Zenyatta is 12-0 after winning the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on Sunday.

Sam Houston Race Park officials met with Jim McIngvale on Thursday and initiated a plan they hope will bring Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra or both here for a Dec. 5 race.

According to McIngvale, Gallery Furniture's owner, the race will be open to outstanding fillies and mares. The “Gallery Furniture Distaff” will carry a base purse of $100,000. Dollars would spike significantly as the field's quality increases.

If Zenyatta, the undefeated mare, or Rachel Alexandra, the colt-smashing filly, enters, the value will jump to at least $750,000. If Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra join the field, the race would be worth at least $1.5 million, McIngvale said.

It would be a major event on SHRP's Texas Champions' Day program.

“We had a good meeting,” McIngvale said. “We now have an aggressive plan. Sam Houston will be working on it. So will I.”

McIngvale suggested that “having seven or eight horses in the field” should interest Jerry Moss, Zenyatta's owner. While welcoming the opportunity to take on Rachel Alexandra, Moss has spurned pitting them a match race.

Rachel Alexandra's principal owner, Jess Jackson, wants no part of racing on a synthetic track, where Zenyatta has scored 11 of her 12 wins.

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