|Pat Day Guides Turbo Tex to Victory in A Match Made in Heaven at Sam Houston Race Park
Pat Day added another milestone to his illustrious racing career this evening at Sam Houston
Race Park. The Hall of Fame rider won his first ever Quarter Horse race,
guiding Turbo Tex, a 4-year-old son of Runaway Winner, to victory in a
Quarter Horse match race entitled "A Match Made in Heaven".
The event was a fundraiser for the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America and
Day is on a national tour to create awareness for the organization.
Incorporated in 1972, the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America offers spiritually
based guidance and educational programs for track records. There are 50
Chaplains in racetracks across the country including Chaplain John Shumaker
at Sam Houston Race Park. Prior to his participation in "A Match
Made in Heaven", Day signed autographs and attended a benefit dinner
prior to the race.
"It's my pleasure to be here tonight," said Day. "I truly
believe in what the Racetrack Chaplaincy is doing as they are endeavoring
to bring Christianity to the people of the racing community. I applaud
their efforts and if I can help in any way, it makes me feel good."
"I think it was about 30-31 years ago that I rode a Quarter Horse
at Prescott Downs," admitted Day. "I'm looking forward to riding
against Danny, the leading rider here and it should be great fun."
Day and Lavergne did some good-natured ribbing prior to the running
of the "Match Made in Heaven" and Day was asked what advice
he got from Lavergne, who has ridden Quarter Horses for 30 years.
"He told me to take him back and make one run," quipped Day.
Day got the most out of Turbo Tex, whose owner Kathleen O. Matey and
trainer Jesse Yoakum were thrilled to be in the winner's circle with the
legendary rider. Turbo Tex, bred in Texas by Jerry Windham, is a full
brother to multiple-stakes winner, Turfinator. He crossed the wire of
the 400-yard race in :20.497 and paid $3.80 for the win. Lavergne was
two lengths behind on First Time Streaker, but enjoyed the experience.
"We wished each other a 'good ride' when we went into the gate,"
said Lavergne. "He told me thank you for doing this and I told him
thank you for coming to Texas for this cause. I was honored to be in the
gate with him. My horse left running and we were even for the first 100
yards but his horse just pulled away."
"I've always told my agent that if you put me on (a horse) ten
lengths the best, I can win by a length and look good doing it,"
said Day following his victory. "I think I was mounted on much the
best and he broke, I was fortunate to stay in the middle of him and he
got the job done. It was great fun."
"It was wonderful," said Matey. We were so thrilled to have
Pat Day ride for us and want to thank our trainer, Jesse Yoakum."
"Sunday we go to Finger Lakes as part of the tour, then to Remington
Park on Monday and onto Retama Park next Wednesday," said Day. "We
appreciate Sam Houston Race Park for hosting this and everyone involved
for making this a spectacular successful night. We praise God for that.
We want to continue to promote the cause and it takes funds to do that
and people working collectively to bring about an event like this. This
is a joy and privilege and pleasure on my part, just to be a part of it."