|Turbulenz Named 2009 American Quarter
Horse "Horse of the Meet" at Sam Houston Race Park
was voted Horse of the Meet for the 2009 American Quarter Horse Meeting
at Sam Houston Race Park. The two-year-old gelding made his debut on April
12, 2009, at Manor Downs, where he was knocked sideways on his way to
a sixth place finish, beaten 2 ½ lengths. He moved on to Sam Houston
for the track’s Quarter Horse meet and followed up his troubled
debut by three consecutive wins, including the $408,729 TQHA Sale Futurity
(RG1) on July 25.
After his three consecutive Sam Houston triumphs, Turbulenz, owned and
bred in Texas by Bobby D. Cox and trained by John S. Buchanan, moved on
to Ruidoso Downs to compete in the All-American Futurity (G1) trials.
Unfortunately, he was bothered by A Dream Catch in his trial, being forced
in and steadied on his way to a fourth-place finish as the $0.70-to-1
favorite. Though A Dream Catch was disqualified from second and placed
ninth and Turbulenz was moved up to third place, the son of Special Leader
and the Special Task mare Clearly Im Special did not qualify for the All-American
finals. Turbulenz’s record now stands at three wins in five starts
and earnings of $186,995.
“I’m really happy to have this horse,” commented Cox.
“The funny thing about it is when he was a baby, we made the decision
to sell him and the mare. The people who bought him raised him to a yearling
and sold him in the TQHA Sale here at Sam Houston. I saw him race at the
very beginning of this year’s meet and was blown away, so I started
negotiations with the owners to buy him back.”
After regaining ownership of Turbulenz, Cox put him in the TQHA Sale
Futurity where he dominated.
“That was a huge win for Turbulenz,” claims Cox. “We
took him out to Ruidoso after that, but he doesn’t like it out there
as much, so we’re bringing him back to Texas to compete in the Dash
for Cash (Futurity) and Texas Classic (Futurity) at Lone Star Park.”
Touchet Tops Trainers
Claiming his first title as Sam Houston Race Park’s Trainer of
the Meet was Bobby Touchet, with 36 wins in 151 starts and purse money
totaling in $228,748. Touchet’s charges finished in the money an
impressive 60.9% of the time, notching 34 seconds and 22 third place finishes.
Touchet has notched six career training titles overall, from Manor Downs
just outside of Austin to Retama Park in Selma, Texas.
Touchet noted one of his top accomplishments for the Sam Houston meet
included Calientes Wrangler claiming a new 300-yard track record on May
17, winning the race in a time of :15.30 and smashing the previous record
set by First Down Fame on August 11, 2000.
“I was really proud of Calientes Wrangler in setting a new record,”
commented Touchet. “Another one of my horses I was really impressed
with this season was Gray Invasion, who holds the 550-yard track record
at The Park, at Lone Star, and at Retama.”
Gray Invasion, a 10-year-old gelded son of Chicks Beduino out of the
Timeto Thinkrich mare Gislin, has won well over 10 stakes races in his
Touchet also added that he is “proud of this win most importantly
because of the great competition and top-notch trainers that come to Sam
Judd S. Kearl finished second in the trainer’s standings with
26 wins from 174 starters. Carlos Terrazas and C. Dwayne “Sleepy”
Gilbreath tied for third place with 23 winners apiece. Gilbreath achieved
that number with 74 starters, and Terrazas did it with 137 starters.
Owner Standings End in Tie
Owner of the Meet for the 2009 American Quarter Horse Meet ended in
a tie between owners A.D. Maddox and Jorge Haddad.
Haddad celebrated his first owner title at The Park in only his second
year of racing. Haddad, who owns and operates Haddad Ranch, said he was
“excited most about this win because this is the first year to have
my own crop racing,” which he breeds, owns and trains himself. Before
coming to race in Houston, Haddad ran horses at Los Alamitos in California
and various tracks in Mexico City. Haddad finished the 2009 American Quarter
Horse Meet with 11 wins out of 51 starts and a total purse of $61,137.
Maddox, a seasoned veteran at Sam Houston Race Park, finished the 2009
meet with 11 wins and a total purse of $63,884.
“I enjoyed this meet,” commented Maddox. “I felt operationally
it ran very smooth, which is easier on the horses and those that work
with them.” He also added that, “The dates picked up from
the Retama meet made it much easier for the horses and horsemen that live
here in Houston.”
Alvarez Leads Jockeys
Finishing with an unbelievable 81 wins, jockey David A. Alvarez was
awarded top honors as Sam Houston Race Park’s leading rider. Alvarez
was also one of the top jockeys for the 2009 American Quarter Horse Meet
at Manor Downs.
Alvarez finished the meet an impressive 34 wins ahead of the competition
and tallied $426,228 in purse money. His mounts were in the money 49.7%
of the time.
Luis Ramirez finished the meet strong to take second in the jockey’s
standings with 47 wins from 300 mounts. Gaspar Garcia finished third with
45 winners from 277 mounts.
Attendance was up on live racing days as compared to last year’s
Quarter Horse meet. Likewise, off-track and simulcast handle showed increases
over last year. However, live wagering decreased.
When asked by the Houston Chronicle, Sam Houston Race Park
President Andrea Young asserted, “We feel the drop in live handle
(dollars bet) was more an impact of Hurricane Ike's aftermath and our
extended closure than anything else.”
Young noted that the track’s summer concert series was “the
best of any to date.” She also reported that a customer satisfaction
survey of 3,000 indicated an average score of 4.7 on a scale of 5. Moveover,
Young said Dollar Days and wiener dog races brought out many new customers.
Winter Thoroughbred Meet Opens November 27
Sam Houston Race Park’s 2009/2010 Thoroughbred meeting will open
on Friday, November 27, 2009, and will continue through Saturday, April