Inaugurated in 1997 as the Texas Mile Stakes, in 1999 it became the first graded Thoroughbred stakes race in Texas.
Beginning with the 2017 running, the race was renamed to honor Steve Sexton, a member of Lone Star Park’s original management team who had died the previous year. Sexton also oversaw Churchill Downs from 2002-2009 and was the 12th president in the track’s history. Sexton, an executive vice-president with Churchill Downs Inc., also served as president of Churchill Downs Entertainment Group following his time as track president.
Race 7. Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3). For three-year-old and up at one mile on the dirt. Purse $300,000.
|1||Title Ready||Richard Eramia||Steve Asmussen||5/2|
|2||G’s Turn||C.J. McMahon||Mindy Willis||30/1|
|3||Phat Man||Adam Beschizza||Joe Sharp||10/1|
|4||King Abner||Tyler Baze||Philip D’Amato||3/1|
|5||Analyze This Jet||Sasha Risenhoover||Terry Eoff||30/1|
|6||Air Strike||Joseph Talamo||Philip D’Amato||10/1|
|7||Forevamo||Iram Vargas Diego||Steve Asmussen||20/1|
|8||Minister of Soul||Lindey Wade||Esteban Martinez||6/1|
|9||Mocito Rojo||Filemon Rodriguez||Shane Wilson||9/2|
|10||Shotgun Kowboy||David Cabrera||C. R. Trout||12/1|
Title Ready is a stalker who has found the board in all three of his previous starts at one mile. From November-March he has been running at Aqueduct, where he ran second in last fall’s Discovery Stakes (GIII) and was second in the March 9 Stymie Stakes. He will be seeking his first Graded Stakes victory. He should be able to save ground on the rail and find running room in the center of track turning for home. He should finish in top two.
King Abner ran second in his last race the Tiznow Stakes for state-breds at Santa Anita at one mile. He has speed and most likely will by forwardly placed trying to control the pace the entire race. He has speed outside him but with a clean break should be able to be the pace setter. He has won twice with a pair of seconds in four efforts at a mile. He should be on the board.
Minister of Soul won the Phoenix Gold Cup Handicap at Turf Paradise earlier this year on the front end and came back to run second in a stakes at Sunland Park. He most recently contested the Sensational Star for Cal-breds at Santa Anita on the downhill course but weakened to finish fourth. He will be stretching out to a mile for the first time here. He should be the front and putting pressure on King Abner. He should be on the board.
Mocito Rojo is the other speed in the race. He comes off a front-running victory at Delta Downs and has been on the board 17 times in 21 starts—including 13 wins. He has four wins in seven tries at a mile. He should be able to sit behind the two other speed horse and try to catch the speed going into the turn for home. He should finish in top three.
Our Top Three Picks:
- Title Ready
- Mocito Rojo
- King Abner