Flying Avalanche Wins the TQHA Sires' Cup Stakes at SHRP

(Saturday, August 16, 2003) - Flying Avalanche, a 4-year-old colt owned by Pheenix Shaw & Sylvia Pittman, won the first stakes of his career tonight as he captured the $14,600 TQHA Sires’ Cup Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. Trained by John Buchanan, Flying Avalanche crossed the wire of the 400-yard contest in a time of :19.822.

Juan Vazquez, who had a successful trip to Ruidoso Downs, qualifying horses for both the All American Futurity and Derby, returned to Houston and rode Flying Avalanche to victory. The gray son of Strawfly Special broke from the seventh post position and closed powerfully, defeating his six rivals and earning a speed index of 100.

"He had a lot of little problems when he was younger so we had to wait to run him until he was older," said Buchanan. "We’d like to run him in the Sam Houston Classic and think he’d give a good showing."

Devils Wrangler, owned by Saul Bejarano, had won the last two editions of the TQHA Sires’ Cup Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park, but had to settle for second this evening.

"He stood in the gate well and left running hard," said rider J. R. Ramirez. "We got the lead for a moment, but that winner was just a better horse tonight."

Post time favorite, Big Red Tequila from the barn of Janet Van Bebber, stumbled out of the gate and finished fourth.

"Our horse fell leaving there and it is too hard with a class of horses like this to have any kind of bobble to overcome," commented Van Bebber. "He tried and he made a game effort. I'm proud of him for his effort. This is a really nice horse and I asked (Jerry Lee Yoakum) to ride him and he accommodated me. Bubba (Brossette) had to be at Los Alamitos tonight."

Flying Avalanche, sent off as the second betting choice, paid $9.20 to win, $4.80 to place and $3.20 to show. The 7-6 exacta returned $37.20 and the trifecta with Barnmaster Sprint winner, Turfinator, paid $267.60. Rare Fasteroid and First Place Bayou rounded out the field. Shes Jess Special was an early scratch.

In earlier action on the Saturday night card, Intrinsic Winner was the fastest qualifier in trials run for the $10,000-added Color of Houston Futurity (G3)for Paints and Appaloosas. Owned by Victor Villarreal, the 2-year-old filly is trained by Joseph Vacca. She completed the 350-yard trial in a time of :18.078 under rider Alex Baldillez, Jr. The finals of the Colors of Houston Futurity will be run on Saturday, September 6, the final night of the 2003 American Quarter Horse meeting.

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