Get Solid to Defend his Title in the $35,000-added Governors' Cup Marathon at Sam Houston Race Park

(Thursday, September 2, 2004) - In addition to Saturday night's $50,000 Sam Houston Classic, at Sam Houston Race Park, two other stakes will be run over the holiday weekend. On Sunday, September 5, the northwest Houston racetrack will feature the $35,000-added Governors' Cup Marathon with the finals of the $84,077 Dixie Stallion Stakes Futurity set for Monday, September 6.

Get Solid, trained by Heath Taylor, is the defending champion in the 870-yard Governors' Cup Marathon. The 5-yard-old distance specialist is owned by Fred Yamaguchi and overcame his far outside post position draw to win last year, but will break from the two hole on Sunday. Rider Joe Martinez takes over for Gilbert Ortiz as he will be in Ruidoso to pilot Hadtobenuts for Taylor in Sunday's $699,017 All American Derby (G1).

"That race at Delta was a good tune-up for him," said Ortiz. "He'll be ready to defend his win in the marathon last summer."

Three of the nominees have already qualified for the M D Barns Distance Challenge Championship to be run at Sam Houston Race Park on MBNA Challenge Championship night November 6. They include Bobby D. Cox's Run And Pray and Seek N Destroy, owned by Walker, Ace and Buddy. Run and Pray won the $24,570 MD Barns Texas Distance Challenge on May 29 for trainer John Buchanan giving the 5-year-old gelding a record of 3-1-0 from 4 hook attempts. Seek N Destroy won a trial for the Texas Distance Challenge defeating Run and Pray then was second to Run and Pray in the finals. Trainer James Gerhards took the 4-year-old son of Calyx to Delta Downs where the bay gelding earned his spot in the finals with a win in the East Distance Challenge on August 15.

John Hamilton will ride Run and Pray and Mark Page has been given the call on Seek N Destroy.

Sam Houston Race Park leading rider, Danny Lavergne will guide My Victory Cup, a 4-year old Toast To Dash filly owned by J. Barton Crawford. Trained by Roy Roberts, My Victory Cup dominated open starter allowance company winning an 870-yard dash by 4 lengths and a 1,000-yard marathon by a length in her most recent two starts. My Victory Cup drew the far inside post. The field also includes the Janet Van Bebber trained Not Much Color, a stakes winner at Delta Downs and Worldly Warrior, a Chad Hassenpflug-trained son of Osceola Warrior with back-to-back wins at Delta Downs.

Post time for the Sunday night card is 5:00 p.m with the Governor's Cup Marathon carded as the eighth race. The special live Labor Day racing program gets underway Monday at 1:00 p.m. The day will feature ten live races, including the finals of the $84,077 Dixie Stallion Stakes Futurity.
There will also be live music performed by El Orbits on the South Apron stage, kids activities, including pony rides, a moonwalk, face painters, and a carousel and a free handicapping seminar with Martha Claussen and Dr. Reid McLellan.

Sam Houston Race Park will also offer fans a chance to enter the $25,000 All American Futurity Challenge, which will require the handicapping of the All American Futurity from Ruidoso Downs on Monday, September 6. Each contestant must place the entire field in exact order of finish. The deadline to enter is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 6.

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