|Chipeyed Charlie Wins the First
Stakes of the 2005 Sam Houston Quarter Horse Meeting
June 24, 2005) - Live American Quarter Horse racing returned
to Sam Houston Race Park this evening. The well-attended opening
was bolstered by Biker Night and Jerry Jeff Walker performing in
the first of eight Bud Light Texas Music Explosion concerts.
In tonight’s feature, the $14,000 Stephen F. Austin Stakes,
Chipeyed Charlie ran one of the best races of his career, defeating
his seven rivals in the accredited Texas-bred stakes. Mark Page
had the mount for trainer John Buchanan and guided the 5-year-old
gelding to victory from the far outside post. Chipeyed Charlie closed
powerfully, covering 350-yards in a final time of :17.850. This
was the first stakes win for the 7-year-old gelding, bred in Texas
by Jimmy and Karen Powell.
“I rode him last year and he finished in a dead-heat for
the win,” said Page. “He tried to get in the last time
I rode him. Today, he left better. John did an awesome job with
this horse; he was a superior gate horse today.”
“He had a little better part of the racetrack,” commented
Buchanan, who also saddled second-place finisher, Lil Bit Rowdy.
“This horse ran a good race; he’s never had much confidence
in himself, but we ran him in some cheaper races and he showed his
Rider Alex Baldillez, Jr. was able to overcome some bumping out
of the gate and finished second on 16-1 longshot, Lil Bit Rowdy.
"He's a lot better horse now,” said Baldillez. “They
took the blinkers off of him tonight and he ran the first time without
them. He ran real big tonight."
Ronas Wind Dancer, ridden by 2004 Sam Houston Race Park leading
rider, Danny Lavergne, ran third. He was the betting favorite, but
may have been compromised by the delay in the start of the race
when Eyes Moving Easy became agitated and had to be backed out of
the starting gate and reloaded.
“He stood okay in the gate even with the commotion,”
said Lavergne. “He broke hard and took the lead about mid
stretch. When the five (Lil Bit Rowdy) went by, he took a deep breath.
He was just a little tired at the end.”
Chipeyed Charlie, sent off at 5-1, returned $12.40 to win. The
8-5 exacta returned $197.40 and the trifecta paid $780.40. Eyes
Moving Easy, Rowdy O Toole, Sir Speedy Duncan, Ima Streakin Val
and Fancy Maple Sugar completed the order of finish.
Live racing continues at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, June
25 with 11 trials for the TQHA Sale Futurity. Post time is 7:00
p.m. Opening weekend will wrap up with live racing on Sunday, June
26 with a special 1:30 p.m. post time. The 2005 American Quarter
Horse meeting at Sam Houston Race Park continues through September
News and Notes
Trials were held for two MBNA Challenge races earlier in the evening.
In the John Deere Texas Distaff Challenge for fillies and mares,
La Torch ridden by Danny Lavergne was the fastest qualifier, completing
her 400-yard trials in :20.183. Trained by
Roy Roberts, La Torch will return to Sam Houston Race Park on July
9 for the finals. A Toast To Lightning with John Hamilton riding
for trainer Janet Van Bebber was the second fastest qualifier, crossing
the wire in :20.423
Kathys Star Quest, winner of the 2004 Manor Downs Futurity, was
the fastest qualifier in trials for the Bayer Texas Derby Challenge.
Trained by Frank Ramirez and ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo, the 3-year-old
filly cruised to victory in a time of :20.137. Little Kool Barbie
with Gilbert Ortiz aboard was the second fastest qualifier, winning
her trial in :20.141.