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Richard Spooner Wins 1st and 2nd Place in Lexus $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix

DEL MAR Fairgrounds - Riding two different mounts, Richard Spooner took first and second place in last night's Lexus $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix at the 58th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show.
With 61 competitors, the Surfside Grand Prix was the largest field of Grand Prix riders this year in California and the most competitive class on the Pacific Coast Circuit.
The $25,000 Lexus Grand Prix is a qualifying event designed to eliminate all but the top 30 contenders who will go on to compete in the Del Mar National Horse Show's premier event, the $75,000 HBO Grand Prix of Del Mar presented by Budweiser, an AGA event on Saturday, May 3, at 7 p.m., in Del Mar Arena.
During the Surfside Grand Prix, 13 of the 61 riders had clean rounds.
Duncan Mcfarlane on Ezrah made the first clean round going 8th in the order, but held the lead for only a few minutes until Spooner and Robinson blistered the course. Spooner rode a brilliant pace on Robinson for a time of 65.080, and almost duplicated it with a great round on Bradford for a finish of 66.702. The ride on Bradford as the 47th entry moved them into second place. Spooner held 1st and 2nd to the end of the 61 entries.
Last year's Surfside winner, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson on El Campeon's Petri, had two rails and ended with 8 faults and a time of 71.644. They finished 29th, and made the cut for the Grand Prix of Del Mar.
Finishing with 4 faults and a time of 78.676, was Jenni Martin and Pop-Socks, last year's winners of the Grand Prix of Del Mar, who will have the chance to defend their title Saturday night.
Course designer Peter Holmes put together a challenging course of 12 jumps, with a time allowed of 85 seconds. During the competition, three horses were pulled off the course and retired early. One was eliminated.
With 13 clean rounds posted in the Surfside, the competition for the Grand Prix of Del Mar on Saturday night will be even keener.
Grandstand seating for Saturday night's final $75,000 HBO Grand Prix of Del Mar are still available. Prices range from $8 to $15, and are on sale through Ticketmaster by calling (619) 220-TIXS (8497), or at the Del Mar Arena Box Office.
Media wishing to cover the Grand Prix of Del Mar should contact the Del Mar Fairgrounds Information Officer by calling 858-792-4262.

The top 12 finishers of the 2003 Lexus $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix are:

Place No. Horse Owner Rider Faults Time
1 741 Robinson Halfmoon Bay Richard Spooner 0.00 65.080 Investment Group
2 739 Bradford Kenly Farms Richard Spooner 0.00 66.701
3 605 El Campeon's El Campeon Farms Will Simpson 0.00 68.044 Ado Annie
4 164 Mr. Pacific Molly Talla Molly Talla 0.00 68.148
5 564 Air Jordan John Pearce John Pearce 0.00 68.325
6 606 El Campeon's El Campeon Farms Eva Gonda 0.00 69.840 So Long
7 521 Ezrah Kathie Cheatham Duncan Mcfarlane 0.00 70.334
8 356 Millenium Cathy Mendez John French 0.00 70.870
9 23 Contendor The Contendor Group Hugh Mutch 0.00 71.662
10 115 Kijoy Forever Brookwood Stables Sarah Baldwin 0.00 72.271
11 542 Cellist Ali Nilforushan Ali Nilforushan 0.00 73.582
12 433 Kilkenny Lesandra Kilkenny Crest Gail Greenough 0.00 76.081


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