Trials for the Sam Houston Derby and Futurity to be Contested This Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park

(Houston, Texas - Wednesday, March 30, 2016) - Live Quarter Horse racing resumes at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, April 1 with plenty of racing action, as well as the first post-race concert of the 2016 Quarter Horse meet.

Friday's card includes seven trials for the Sam Houston Derby (G3) and the $20,000 Miss Houston Stakes. Sam Houston Race Park has set a special early post time of 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 2 for the 17 Sam Houston Futurity (G2) trials. Following the conclusion of the Saturday race card, the Turnpike Troubadours will take to the Bud Light Stage for the first concert of the live racing season.

Full Field Set for the $20,000 Miss Houston Stakes on Friday Evening

A competitive field of nine fillies and mares will compete in Friday night's feature, the $20,000 Miss Houston Stakes, at a distance of 330-yards.

Trainer Judd Kearl will saddle Kitty Kat Galore B, a four-year-old daughter of Fdd Dynasty owned by Bryon Gardner. Winner of the Texas Classic Juvenile in 2014, the bay mare is off to a good start in her four-year-old campaign with two runner-up finishes in tough allowance company at Hialeah Park.

"She's sitting on a big race," said Kearl, who will give a leg up to Rodrigo Vallejo.

Cartel Arrangement, a five-year-old Carters Cartel mare owned by Humberto Amaro, returns to this stakes for the second year in a row, She was the favorite last year, finished third, but was placed second via a disqualification. This will be the 16th career start for Cartel Arrangement, who is trained by Javier Noel Contreras.

The field of accredited Texas-breds also includes Mary Lou Zoeller's My Glory Dash, who brings a two-race win streak in for trainer Butch Plunkett. The five-year-old mare will be ridden by "Jimmy" Guynes. The lightly raced Vital Temp will make just her fourth career start for 2015 leading trainer Angel Sanchez and Riskee Chic, a daughter of Tinys First Corona will try for her second stakes score. She won the Ben Keith last June at Retama Park for Iris Buchanan. Her daughter, Amanda Buchanan-Hadley, trains the four-year-old mare.

The Miss Houston Stakes will run as the ninth race on Friday evening.

Seven Trials for the Sam Houston Derby Trials Drawn for Friday Evening

The Friday evening card will feature seven trials for the $35,000-added Sam Houston Derby (G3). Several talented two-year-olds from the 2015 Sam Houston Quarter Horse meet will begin their three-year-old campaign in hopes of qualifying for the 350-yard final on April 23.

Texas horseman Angel Sanchez will saddle Ivan James, winner of the $621,000 Sam Houston Futurity last April. The three-year-old son of Ivory James was the fastest qualifier for the richest stakes of the Sam Houston Quarter Horse season, and won the final in convincing fashion for owner Jorge Meraz. He underwent surgery at the end of April to remove a chip from his ankle and did not race again in 2015.

"He's doing really well," said Sanchez. "He came back from the surgery fine and has posted three good works."

Last year, Raul Ramirez, Jr. rode Ivan James, who was named Horse of the Meet for the 2015 Sam Houston Quarter Horse season. He is riding at Remington Park this year, so Sanchez has tabbed Luis Vivanco to ride the bay colt. He drew post position six in the first trial, which will run as the second race on Friday evenng.

The trials will run as races 2-8 with the ten fastest qualifiers returning for the final on Saturday, April 23.

Special Post Time of 3:00 p.m. for 17 Trials for the Sam Houston Futurity on Saturday, April 2

There will be 17 trials for the $100,000-added Sam Houston Futurity (G2), on Saturday, April 2. As a result, Sam Houston Race Park has moved its evening. post time to 3:00 p.m.

Of the 170 juveniles to compete in the 330 yard trials, only 14 have made an official start for the year. But this race has consistently produced Quarter Horse champions who have made an impact on the national racing scene. 2014 winner, Conda Maze and Tyler Graham's Kiss My Hocks, headed to Ruidoso Downs, where he captured the $700,000 Ruidoso Futurity and set the fastest qualifying time for the $900,000 Rainbow Futurity. He was bumped out of the gate, but still rallied for second, and completed his year with a record of six wins from seven starts and earnings of $692,380. The Toby Keeton-trainee was honored as 2014 AQHA Champion Two-Year-Old.

Following her victory in 2013, Especially Tres, went on to compete in the prestigious $2.6 million All American Futurity on Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs. The talented filly, owned by Jim D. Pitts and trained by Trey Wood, ran fourth in the Grade 1 event.

Other noted champions include Azoom in 2004, All American Winner in 2005, and Snowy Alibi, who captured the 2006 edition of the Sam Houston Futurity.

The ten fastest two-year-olds will advance to the final on Saturday, April 23.

Kid Can Dash Fastest Qualifier in Trials for the $99,300 Sam Houston Maiden Classic

The Saturday, March 26 card featured 11 trials for the $99,300 Sam Houston Maiden Classic. The third trial of the evening produced the fastest qualifier when Kid Can Dash, a three-year-old son of Down N Dash, covered 350 yards in :17.577. Pete Scarmardo bred and owns the gelding, who came into the trials off two runner-up finishes at Lone Star Park and Evangeline Downs. Francisco Calderon was the winning rider.

His trainer, Leon Bard, reports that Kid Can Dash came out of the effort in good order.

"He's a very sound horse and ran a heck of a race," said Bard. "Last year, he only made six starts, and ran a couple of seconds. It's always nice to train for Pete."

The final will be run on Saturday, April 9.

Turnpike Troubadours Kick off the Q Morning Zoo Concert Series at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, April 2

The entertaining 2016 Post Race Concert Series returns to the Bud Light stage this weekend, with Turnpike Troubadours performing on Saturday, April 2. The series continues through May 14, and each concert is FREE with $7 live racing admission before 8:00 p.m., and $20 after 8:00 p.m. at the gate. Save $6 (Just $14) on after 8:00 p.m. admission by purchasing tickets online in advance at

The featured performers are:

April 2 - Turnpike Troubadours
April 9 - Cody Johnson
April 16 - Parmalee
April 23 - The Randy Rogers Band
April 30 - Blackberry Smoke
May 14 - Roger Creager

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