First Raise Returns to the Winner's Circle in the $15,250 Miss Houston Stakes at SHRP

(Saturday, July 19, 2003) - First Raise, bred in Texas by Jerry Windham, scored her first stakes win in the $15,250 Miss Houston Stakes. The daughter of First Place Dash is owned by Eve Hopkins and HSC, Inc. and trained by Guy Hopkins.

Eleven fillies went to the starting gate but faced a delay when the Heath Taylor -trained Deadly flipped in the gate and was scratched from the race. When the horses were reloaded after a five-minute delay, First Raise was all business, breaking alertly and drawing away under rider Jerry Lee Yoakum. The daughter of First Place Dash crossed the finish line of the 350-yard stakes in a time of :17.820.

"She got a little hot, maybe a little more than usual," said Yoakum. "I think having to back her out of the gate helped her more than anything because she wouldn’t settle for me the first time. When the gates opened, she just kicked in."

First Raise bled as a 2-year-old, so last June, Hopkins turned her out and she has come back as a sound 3-year-old. She won an allowance race at Sam Houston Race Park on July 3 and returned to the racetrack tonight and was impressive in her stakes effort.

"My wife picked her out at the 2001 TQHA Yearling Sale," recalled Hopkins. "She came back to the barn and said she saw a filly that she really, really liked. When we went to buy her, Jerry Windham was also bidding on her. I thought, ‘well, he’s going to keep her.’ Fortunately, Jerry walked off and Eve got the last bid. He must have wanted us to have her."

Adelaides Secret, at odds of 25-1, closed gamely under rider Alfonso Lujan to complete the exacta.

"She’s a nice mare," said trainer Dave Correll. "Looking down the road I hope to be able to run her in the (Sam Houston) Derby. I think she will be better going longer. I’ve been trying to convince the owners to run (in the Derby trials) and this may help me convince them."

"She could have got away a little better, but she got going fast," added Lujan. "She lugged out a little from the mirror (at the finish line) and I had to take a hold or we may have won. I think she will do better with more distance."

MJ Gold from the barn of Duane Hartsell, surged to the lead, but was caught at the wire by the fast-closing Adelaides Secret.

"I think the delay kind of helped her out a little bit," said regular rider, J. R. Ramirez. "She seemed kind of funny, but the second time she walked in, she was great. It sure did help her. She ran a great race, she just got caught there in the end."

First Raise paid $16.60, $8.80 and $4.80 across the board. The 7-1 exacta returned $496.80 and the 7-1-2 trifecta paid $3,952.60. Waiting On Royalty, Apollos Darlin, Joyalty, Solavino, Toastizit, Findin Hope and Call Misty Day completed the order of finish.

Hopkins indicated that First Raise was nominated for the Sam Houston Derby and would return for trials on August 23.

Trials Completed for the Sam Houston Maiden Classic

Seven trial races were run Friday evening at Sam Houston Race Park for the Sam Houston Maiden Classic. The fastest qualifer was Treysandtriggers, owned by Trevian Edwards. The 3-year-old sorrel gelding, ridden by Gilbert Ortiz, crossed the wire of the 350-yard trial in a time of :17.691.

Trained by Wilbert Roberts, Treysandtriggers, and the other nine qualifiers, will return to Sam Houston Race Park on Sunday, August 3 to compete in the finals.

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