|Coyote Legend Named Horse of the Meet at Sam Houston Race Park
- Tuesday, March 14, 2012) - Texas-bred Coyote Legend, who eclipsed the half-million mark in earnings on March 3, was named 2012 Horse of the Meet at Sam Houston Race Park. The five-year-old son of Gold Legend is bred and owned by Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. of Pilot Point, Texas. Trained by Bret Calhoun, Coyote Legend won the $100,000 Star Of Texas on Texas Champions Weekend. He then made his first start at the distance of nine furlongs in the $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup, running a game second to Cease, owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider.
Coyote Legend, cruised to victory in the Star of Texas Stakes in front-running fashion under Cliff Berry, earning $60,000 on January 21. With Chris Landeros aboard in the Maxxam on March 3, he picked up a check for $30,000, increasing his career bankroll to $529,302.
"We are very proud of him," said Calhoun. "He showed his exceptional cruising speed in the Star of Texas and ran his guts out in the Maxxam. A mile and one-eighth might be a little beyond his range, and Cease thrived at that distance. It's a great accomplishment for any horse to earn $529,000."
Both Calhoun and Ken Carson, the general manager of Valor Farm, where Coyote Legend was bred and raised, were delighted with the honor.
"That's fantastic news," said Carson. "We were glad to be part of such a great meet at Sam Houston."
Glen Murphy Wins His Second Sam Houston Riding Title
Glen Murphy began the 31-day meet with a strong showing on Texas Champions Weekend and built an insurmountable lead in the jockey standings at Sam Houston Race Park, concluding the meet with 46 wins and $724,563 in purses. This was the second leading rider title for the 44 year-old rider, who won 85 races in the sixth-month 1999-2000 Sam Houston Thoroughbred racing season.
Murphy's highlights have been numerous, with stakes wins aboard Joy's Paradise and Solar Charge for leading conditioner Karl Broberg, as well as his win with Cease in the $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup, the second richest race of the Sam Houston Thoroughbred meet.
"We had a better meet than I ever expected," said Murphy. "I'm just delighted that everything worked out the way it did. My agent, Kevin Johnson, did a great job and I am grateful to Karl Broberg for bringing me back down here, as well as all the trainers that named me on winners."
Murphy was joined in the winner's circle on Monday by his wife, Joy Rose Murphy, their one-year-old daughter, Noelle, and his mother-in-law, Louise.
"The Maxxam was my top highlight of the meet," added Murphy. "It's one of the most prestigious races here, and one that I had never won."
Murphy is headed to Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma and then to Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Apprentice Gerardo Mora was second with 31 wins. Larry Taylor had a strong season with 29 victories, and Roman Chapa won four races on closing day to finish with 27 wins, one more than Chris Landeros.
This is the second year in a row that Broberg's "first call" rider has clinched top honors. Last year, it was Quincy Hamilton, who chose to ride at Hawthorne Race Course this year.
Karl Broberg Top Trainer for the Third Consecutive Year
Two years ago, trainer Karl Broberg finished the Thoroughbred meet in a tie with Danny Pish. Last year, he won the title outright, and this year, he solidified his stronghold by winning 25 of his 99 starts.
His highlights included two Texas Champions Weekend stakes wins, as well as a consistent mix of claiming, turf, and allowance races.
Broberg saddled Joy's Paradise in the $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes and Solar Charge, who dominated in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes. His horses hit the board in 59 percent of their starts and earned $327.823.
"I've enjoyed the meet very much," said Broberg. "We wound up winning more races this meet on fewer starts than a year ago. I'm blessed with great owners that let me put them in the right spots. We love Houston."
He was very pleased that Murphy agreed to come to Houston.
"Glen was riding hard at Remington Park," said Broberg. "I knew he had success here before, and I asked him if he would be willing to make the move and ride the barn. It worked out well for both of us."
Broberg continues to have a multi-state racing operation with successful runs at Oaklawn Park, Fair Grounds, and Will Rogers Downs. He will have a full barn at Lone Star Park when its Thoroughbred meet kicks off on April 12.
Steve Asmussen was second with 20 wins. Joe Offolter saddled 16 winners, and Danny Pish finished the meet with 15 victories, including two wins on closing day, Monday, March 12.
Steve Asmussen Wins Third Owner of the Meet Title
Steve Asmussen captured his third Sam Houston Race Park leading owner title with nine wins. He capped off closing day with victories from Flexnow and Pickapocket to secure his lead over Jose Luis Espinoza and Pharme Racing, Ltd. His previous owner titles came in 2005 and 2010. Asmussen has been honored as leading trainer at Sam Houston Race Park a record five times.
Quarter Horse Meet Begins on March 22
Sam Houston Race Park will kick off its 2012 live American Quarter Horse meet on Thursday, March 22. The 27-day racing season will run through Saturday, May 19, with races every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. For the full calendar of Sam Houston Race Park's 2012 live race dates, visit www.shrp.com.