|Live Thoroughbred Racing Returns to Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, January 25
(Houston, Texas - Wednesday, January 2, 2019) - Sam Houston Race Park will kick off its 2019 live racing season on Friday, January 25. The 32-day Thoroughbred meet will continue through Saturday, March 30.
Officials have announced that Friday and Saturday racing will begin at 7:00 pm (Central), and the Tuesday and Wednesday matinee programs will get underway at 12:00 noon. Post time for the Houston Racing Festival, which is the premier stakes day of the season on Sunday, January 27, will be 1:00 p.m.
The 2019 Thoroughbred stakes schedule will offer over $1.3 million in purses, and begins with the Houston Racing Festival, featuring two graded stakes on Saturday, January 27. Several modifications to the stakes schedule have been made for the upcoming racing season. The Maxxam Gold Cup will not be run in 2019, according to Frank Hopf, Sam Houston Race Park's Senior Director of Racing.
"Our goal for the 2019 Thoroughbred season is to bolster our overnight races to support our local horsemen and create full fields to the benefit of our loyal horseplayers," said Hopf. "The Houston Racing Festival and Texas Champions Day will anchor our stakes program, which remain very popular with local fans and horseplayers across the country."
The Houston Racing Festival, the meet's marquee event, will once again be anchored by the $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic (Gr. III) and the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup (Gr. IIIT). Rounding out the richest day of the 2019 meet will be the $75,000 Frontier Utilities Turf Sprint, the $50,000 Houston Turf Cup, the $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup and the $50,000 Jersey Lilly Turf Stakes.
Supporting Accredited Texas-bred racing remains a high priority for Sam Houston Race Park. The $65,000 Two Altazano Stakes and the $65,000 Jim's Orbit Stakes, part of the Texas Stallion Stakes Series, will be run on February 23. On March 23, Sam Houston Race Park will salute Texas breeders and owners with the annual Texas Champions Day. Six stakes for accredited Texas-breds will be contested: the $50,000 Bara Lass, $50,000 Groovy, $50,000 Richard King, $50,000 Yellow Rose, $50,000 San Jacinto and $50,000 Spirit of Texas.
Sam Houston Race Park will also feature Arabian racehorses on February 2 with the running of the $30,000 Texas Yellow Rose and the $30,000 Texas Six Shooter. The $48,500 Amethyst Jewel (GI) and the $28,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarack LWC will follow on March 9.
Matt Crawford returns for his third year as racing secretary for the northwest Houston racetrack.
Sam Houston Race Park is in compliance with the Texas Racing Commission ruling of September 10, 2018 stating that Clenbuterol is prohibited in all breeds of racehorses.
2019 Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule
January 27, 2019 - Houston Racing Festival
$300,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) - 4&up F&M Distance - 1 1/16 Mile
$200,000 John B. Connally Turf (G3) - 4&up Distance - 1 1/2 Mile (T)
$75,000 Frontier Utilities Turf Sprint - 4&up Distance - 5 Furlongs (T)
$50,000 Houston Turf Cup - 4&up Distance - 1 1/16 Mile (T)
$50,000 Jersey Lilly Turf - 4&up F&M Distance - 1 1/16 Mile (T)
$50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup - 4&up Distance - 6 Furlongs
February 2, 2019
$30,000 est. Texas Six Shooter (GII) - Arabian- 4&up C&G Distance - 7 Furlongs
$30,000 est. Texas Yellow Rose (GII) - Arabian- 4&up F&M Distance - 7 Furlongs
February 23, 2019 - Texas Stallions Stakes
$65,000 Jim's Orbit - 3yo Distance - 6 Furlongs
$65,000 Two Altazano - 3yo F Distance - 6 Furlongs
March 9, 2019
$48,500 est. Amethyst Jewel (GI) -Arabian - 4&up Distance - 7 Furlongs
$28,000 est. HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarack LWC - Arabian - 4&up F&M Distance - 7 Furlongs
March 23, 2019 - Texas Champions Day
$50,000 Bara Lass Stakes - 3yo F Distance - 6 Furlongs
$50,000 Groovy Stakes - 3yo Distance - 6 furlongs
$50,000 Spirit of Texas - 4&up Distance - 6 Furlongs
$50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes - 4&up F&M Distance - 6 furlongs
$50,000 Richard King - 4&up Distance - 1 1/8 Mile (T)
$50,000 San Jacinto - 4&up F&M Distance - 1 1/16 Mile (T)