||Ivan James is Fastest Qualifier for the $100,000-Added Sam Houston Futurity (G2) at Sam Houston Race Park
(Houston, Texas - Saturday, April 4, 2015) -
Sam Houston hosted 19 trials today in preparation for the richest race of the 2015 Quarter Horse Meeting, the Sam Houston Futurity (G2). The tenth trial of the afternoon produced the fastest qualifier when Ivan James crossed the wire of his 330 yard trial in :16.748 under rider Raul Ramirez, Jr.
The son of Ivory James out of the Dashin Bye mare First Dashin Bye is bred and owned by Jorge Meraz of Bastrop, Texas. Trainer Angel Sanchez had a sensational night, winning six trials and qualifying three for the final.
"Jorge owns the dam and she was a very game racehorse," said Sanchez. “We had a very good feeling about this colt. His work in February at Retama showed us what he was capable of."
Raul Ramirez, Jr., who tied with David Alvarez for the leading riding title at the recently concluded Louisiana Downs Quarter Horse meet, had high praise for Ivan James.
"I came over here in February to work him, and he outworked them all," said Ramirez. "He did it easy. Angel has done a great job with his two-year-olds; this colt is the best."
Meraz owned First Dashin Bye, who won 9 of her 12 starts, completing her racing career in style in 2008 with a five-race win streak, ending with a victory in the $165,800 Delta Downs Derby.
Sanchez, Ramirez and Meraz also qualified Miss Aguilar, a Tres Seis filly who won the second trial in :17.009. Rider Luis Ramirez qualified the third Sanchez finalist, HI Hoppin, a Hi Class La Jolla filly, who won the sixth trial in :16.936.
It was far from the standard day at the races, but Sanchez had a solid team in place was pleased with winning six trials on the card.
"I had a crew of ten," explained the trainer. "They all worked hard, and it worked out very well."
Gerardo Medina's homebred Nexxus, secured the second-fastest time, winning the 15th trial in :16.840. The son of Tempting Dash was ridden to victory by Julian Cantu for trainer Barbara Alcantara.
Trainer Leslie Padilla and rider Rodrigo Vallejo combined to send two runners to the final. Alejandro Moya's Tempting This Snow, a Tempting Dash colt, recorded the eighth fastest time and E C Jet One, one of the promising colts by The Louisiana Cartel, rounded out the top ten qualifiers.
The ten qualifiers will return on Saturday, April 25 to compete for a purse in excess of $600,000. One will join a noted list of the Sam Houston Futurity, which includes two previous AQHA Champion two-year-olds: Kiss My Hocks (2014) and Azoom (2004). Other graded stakes winners include Snowy Alibi, Sassmaster and Jess Tee Off.
To view the list of the ten fastest qualifiers with owners, breeders, jockeys and trainers, visit stallionesearch.com.