Wrenice Voted Horse of the Meeting for the 2006/2007 Thoroughbred Season at Sam Houston Race Park

Wrenice, the talented Texas-bred filly and winner of three stakes in the 2006/2007 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred season, was voted Horse of the Meeting.

The 3-year-old filly is owned and bred in Texas by Stewart Hamblen of Canyon, Texas and was undefeated this season at Sam Houston Race Park for trainer by Randy Mayfield. She began the meet with a victory in the $45,000 Houston Chronicle Stakes, in which she drew off by nine lengths and returned two weeks later with an impressive win in the $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes on Texas Champions Day. Her next test was the $125,000 Two Altazano Stakes on February 17. It was the first time in her career that she had attempted the distance of one-mile and she went to the lead under regular rider Bobby Walker, Jr. and held off the fast-closing effort of Stage Stop. In addition to her honor as Horse of the Meeting, Wrenice was also voted Champion Filly/Mare of the Meeting and Champion Texas-Bred. She is the pride and joy of Hamblen and his family and will return to action on April 28 at Lone Star Park in a 3-year-old filly race which will serve as a prep for $125,000 Got Koko division of the Texas Stallion Stakes on May 12. If Wrenice can emerge victorious in the mile and one-sixteenth distance of that race, she’ll become the first horse ever to capture all four legs of the Texas Stallion Stakes. She won the first two legs at Lone Star and Retama Park last year and was honored as the 2006 Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Filly by the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

Student Council, owned and bred by Will Farish was voted Champion Colt/ Gelding of the Meeting. The 5-year-old Lane’s End homebred won the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup on January 27 for trainer Neil Howard. It was the first stakes victory for the late-developing son of Kingmambo, who ran impressively under rider Robby Albarado.

Fairwell Madrid slipped under the radar in the early stages of the Sam Houston Race Park meeting. The 5-year-old Canadian-bred mare is owned and trained by Donna McCullough and made seven starts here, winning four races including two turf stakes. Purchased two years ago by McCullough, Fairwell Madrid had an affinity for the Connally turf course and ran especially well in her wins over the yielding turf in the $25,000 Allen’s Landing Stakes and the $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes. She was the lone horse in McCullough’s barn, who has trained horses for over 20 years at Fort Erie, Ontario.

Claimer of the Meet honors went to E’ Carte’, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding, owned by Virginia Heizer. Trained by Nathan Hatcher, E’ Carte’ made 8 starts at Sam Houston Race Park and won five races from November 19 – March 22. Rider Filemon Rodriguez won four of his races and Amanda Crandall was aboard for his December 23 claiming victory. Hatcher indicated that E’ Carte’ will ship to Keeneland and has been invited to compete in the annual Claiming Crown which will be run at Ellis Park this August.

Danny Pish won his second consecutive training title at the northwest Houston racetrack, finishing the meet with 44 wins. He has been second to five-time leader, Steve Asmussen for several years, but broke through last year for his first Houston title. This year, he only had one stakes win, saddling Daddy Warbucks in the $50,000 Groovy Stakes, but was solid with claiming and allowance horses. Bret Calhoun finished second in the trainer standings with 42 wins. John Locke was third with 33 victories and Asmussen finished fourth with 23 wins.

Bruno Schickedanz won 14 races and was honored as Leading Owner of the Meeting. This was the first year that the Canadian owner had sent a string of horses to Sam Houston Race Park with trainer Mark Fournier. Three owners were tied for second place with 10 wins each: Tbd Owners, LLC, Colt Racing, Inc and Stephen R Baker.

Larry Taylor won the Leading Rider title; his first at Sam Houston Race Park. He was leading rider last fall at Retama Park and built on that momentum at Sam Houston Race Park, winning 63 races throughout the 2006/2007 Thoroughbred meeting. The 40-year-old Taylor has been a longstanding member of the Sam Houston Race Park jockey colony and ranks sixth in the all-time standings. Paul Nolan returned to Houston this year and had an exceptional meet, winning 56 races and Roimes Chirinos was third with 55 wins.

Sam Houston Race Park will host its annual American Quarter Horse Meeting beginning Friday, June 29, 2007.

2006/2007 Thoroughbred Award Recipients

Horse of the Meeting - Wrenice

Turf Champion - Fairwell Madrid

Champion Filly/Mare - Wrenice

Champion Colt/Gelding - Student Council

Champion Texas-Bred - Wrenice

Champion Claimer - E’ Carte’

Leading Jockey - Larry Taylor - 63 wins

Leading Trainer - Danny Pish - 44 wins

Leading Owner - Bruno Schickedanz - 14 wins

2006/2007 Thoroughbred Meeting End of the Meeting Figures
November 17, 2006 – April 7, 2007

Total Attendance - 196,908

Total Live Handle - $7,663,688

Total Off-Track Handle - $117,446,305

Total Guest Handle (live only) - $29,177,329

Total Handle (live, host, guest) - $154,287,323

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