|Final Weekend of Live Quarter Horse Racing
at SHRP Features the Sam Houston Futurity and Derby
Sam Houston Race Park American Quarter Horse Meeting will conclude on
Saturday, September 8 and two major stakes races will highlight the final
weekend of the season.
On Friday, September 7, 2-year-olds will take center stage with the
running of the $341,700 Sam Houston Futurity. Fastest qualifier XO Kate,
who made her first start of the meeting in trials two weeks ago, will
face a field of nine, including TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity winner
Pool. Saturday night’s card will feature the finals of the $114,400
Sam Houston Derby with My First Passion leading the field of 3-year-olds.
XO Kate, trained by Heath Taylor, is 5-2 on the morning line and will
break from post position two under G. R. Carter, Jr. Pool, who has won
each of his three starts here this meeting, is 7-2 for trainer Ricardo
Hinojosa and rider Manuel Garcia. Pool drew the rail and Dirt Track Date,
who won the $372,662 TQHA Sale Futurity on July 28, is 8-1. Trained by
Tooter Jordan, Dirt Track Date is the highest earner in the field with
$171,415 in purses since she began her racing career on May 13.
The Sam Houston Futurity will run as the eighth race of the Friday night
card, with post time set for 9:02 p.m.
Sam Houston Race Park conditioner, Janet Van Bebber, who has won five
training titles at the northwest Houston racetrack, will saddle Snowy
Alibi in Saturday night’s $114,400 Sam Houston Derby. A standout
as a 2-year-old, Snowy Alibi captured both the TQHA Sale Futurity and
2006 Sam Houston Futurity for owner D D Lightsey. Voted 2006 Sam Houston
Race Park Horse of the Meeting, Snowy Alibi will break from the far outside
post under rider Alfonso Lujan on Saturday.
“This horse seems to like running on the outside,” said
Van Bebber of Snowy Alibi, who was installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite.
“He ran a good race in the trials and came out of that race very
well. My First Passion will be a formidable foe, but Snowy Alibi loves
this racing surface, so we’ll hope for a good effort this weekend.”
My First Passion, trained by Taylor, was the fastest qualifier and ran
third in the 2006 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. Taylor has named
J. R. Ramirez to ride the California-bred son of First Down Dash for owner
Owner, Trainer and Jockey Titles to be Decided on Saturday
The 2007 American Quarter Horse Meeting will come to an end on Saturday
and the race for leading rider of the meet could go down to the final
race! Arturo Puga, Russel Hadley and Rodrigo Vallejo are in a competitive
battle for top honors. It would be the first Sam Houston Race Park title
for each of the three jockeys who have had their share of highlights and
stakes wins since the season began on June 29. Puga, 18, was the leading
rider in the 2007 Retama Park meeting and made a solid team with trainer
Bobby Touchet this season. Puga’s mentor, Vallejo, 41, also from
Jalisco, Mexico, has ridden first call for trainer Judd Kearl and is the
only rider in the history of Sam Houston Race Park to win the Sam Houston
Futurity (G1) three times. Hadley, 25, had shipped in for stakes here
in the past, but remained in Houston for the entire meeting and has been
successful for a number of trainers including Jesse Yoakum and Heath Taylor.
Judd Kearl, who was the top Sam Houston Race Park trainer in 2006, is
poised to clinch his second training title here. He leads Janet Van Bebber
by 9 wins with Heath Taylor and Bobby Touchet tied for third in the standings
heading into the final weekend of racing.
"I owe a lot of credit to (assistant trainer) Melinda Garcia and
our crew," said Kearl.
Owner A. D. Maddox of Houston, Texas is the leader in wins with 7 victories
and could win his second leading owner title as he captured the top honor
in the 2005 American Quarter Horse Meeting. Bernardine and Gordon Haslam
are second in the standings as their intrepid Texas-bred Wassup T Doc
has won each of his five starts at Sam Houston Race Park.
John Buchanan Wins All American Derby with Dont Let Down
Dont Let Down, a son of Stoli, trained by John Buchanan and ridden by
Juan Vazquez, won the $504,692 All American Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs
on Sunday, September 2. Owned by Bobby D. Cox of Fort Worth, Don’t
Let Down was the second fastest qualifier and earned $252,346 for the
This was the second All American Derby win for Buchanan, who has been
one of the leading trainers at Sam Houston Race Park. His homebred, champion
Brimmerton, won the race in 2004. With the victory in the All American
Derby, Don’t Let Down earned a berth in the Grade 1 Champion of
Champions in December at Los Alamitos.
Simulcast Action at Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park is open for simulcasting daily with action from
tracks across the country.
The New York circuit shifts to Belmont Park and Saturday’s action
will be highlighted by the running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Man o’
War and the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap for fillies and mares.
Admission to Sam Houston Race Park is only $4 for adults, $2 for Senior
Citizens and children 12 and under are admitted free. For a complete listing
of the simulcast schedule, call 281-807-8740 or visit www.shrp.com.
John Jacinto Wins the 1,000th Race of His Career
Thoroughbred jockey John Jacinto, who was leading rider at Sam Houston
Race Park in 2002, won his 1,000th career race on Monday, September 3
at Louisiana Downs. Jacinto guided Superior Storm ($7.40), a 2-year-old
filly to victory in the opener on the Labor Day card.
Born in Lima, Peru, Jacinto came to the United States in 1999, making
his debut at Calder Race Course. He has had success not only on the Texas
circuit, but in Louisiana, Kentucky and Arkansas. In addition to his Sam
Houston Race Park title, he won leading rider honors at Louisiana Downs
in 2005 and Oaklawn Park in 2006.
September VIP Specials at Sam Houston Race Park
VIP Club members receive perks, rewards and incentives every month at
Sam Houston Race Park. There are plenty of promotions for the month of
- Monday: Double Reward Points on all Dog Wagers
- Wednesday: Free Greyhound Stat Attack Tip Sheet
- Thursday: $100 Showvivor Handicapping Contest – 1:00
- Saturday: $100 Road to the Breeders’ Cup Handicapping
- Sunday: $1 Draft Beer During the Houston Texan games
To become a VIP Club member, visit the Players Lounge located at the
North end of the Grandstand on the Paddock Level. For more information
about the benefits of the VIP Club stop by the Players Lounge or call