A full field of Texas-bred colts and geldings competed in the $100,000 Gexa Energy Groovy Stakes, also run at six furlongs on the sloppy main track due to showers Saturday morning. James Stodola’s Vietnam Victory made the most of his outside post to win his third race and second stakes tally. Trainer Bret Calhoun gave a leg up to jockey Jose Alvarez who wasted no time getting to the lead before crossing the wire in 1.11.73.
“I was glad that we drew that post on a very wet track,” commented Calhoun. “You never know how a horse will handle an off track and he’s been off a long time. We thought he was good enough.”
Bred by CJ Thoroughbreds, Vietnam Victory ($16.80) is a son of Klimt out of the Smart Strike mare Real Strike. His owner was on hand for the trophy presentation.
“I love this horse and thank Bret for picking him,” said Stodola. “I fought in Vietnam and was honored with the distinguished flying cross and was just inducted into the Texas Veterans Hall of Fame. I had some victories in Vietnam; that’s how he was named.”
Dan W. McGough’s Lil Sweet Thang, who competed in both the Clever Trevor and Springboard Mile at Remington Park, rallied gamely for second under Reylu Gutierrez, a nose in front of Guitar Boy who shipped in from Zia Park with jockey Leandro Goncalves in the saddle.