Kas Tempting
Kas Tempting is Fastest Qualifier for the $483,600 Sam Houston Futurity at Sam Houston Race Park

(Houston, Texas - Saturday, April 8, 2017) - Sam Houston hosted nine 330-yard trials on Friday, April 7 and another nine on Saturday, April 8, for the richest race of the 2017 Quarter Horse Meeting, the $483,600 Sam Houston Futurity (G2).

Friday, April 7 Recap

The eighth trial of the evening produced the fastest qualifier when Kas Tempting posted an impressive gate-to wire debut under rider Luis Vivanco. Bred by Francisco Javier Garza and co-owned by Garza and Roberto J. Laurel, the son of Tempting Dash out of the Make It Anywhere mare Beaukas is trained by Jose Sanchez. The bay colt won his 330-yard trial in :16.740 into a nine mph head wind by a margin of 2 1/2 lengths. He earned a 96 speed index.

Sanchez was not surprised by the exceptional debut by Kas Tempting.

"Back in January, we worked this colt in company with Blue Eyed Fance (winner of the $271,463 Mardi Gras Futurity at Louisiana Downs), and she beat him by a nose," said Sanchez. "He's a stud colt, and we weren't sure about gelding him, but he has a good mind, and with each work seems to be learning and doing better.

Kas Tempting was a $16,000 repurchase at the 2016 Heritage Place Yearling Sale in Oklahoma City.

Pete Scarmardo's homebred This Is A Deal Too set the second-fastest time of the nine trials, winning the fourth-race by 1 1/2 lengths under jockey Francisco Calderon. The son of Dealagame out of the First Down Dash mare Lady Lilia is trained by Leon Bard and broke his maiden in :16.740. Scarmardo has been honored as Sam Houston Race Park's leading Quarter Horse owner three times.

Three horses tied with the fifth-fastest clocking of :16.984 and the shake went to Capital Ice over Krash N Diamonds and Daddys Blushing.  Trained by Angel Sanchez, Capital Ice is owned by Jody Garcia.

Saturday, April 8 Recap

This is an Eagle, owned by Mary G. Lynne Thompson, won the fourth trial in a time of :16.757. The colt by One Famous Eagle out of the Frist Down Dash mare Lady Lilia was bred in Texas by Pete Scarmardo.  Francisco Calderon had the mount, breaking from the rail into a stiff 12 mph head wind and drawing off by three lengths over Gianni Bailes.

The speedy juvenile was purchased for $100,000 at the 2016 TQHA Yearling Sale, and trainer Leon Bard was pretty certain he would impress in his debut.

"I knew the first time we worked him," said Bard. "Mary Lynne is a great owner and stepped up to purchase this horse. Pete raised him; we think he's the real deal."

Calderon, who won last year's Sam Houston Futurity with Just Call Me Carter, is in total agreement with Bard.

"I told Leon back in December that this was going to be my best horse," said Calderon. "He is so fast, and good in the gates too."

Bard, who is always quick with an amusing comment, was asked if he had thought about which jockey might ride (Friday night qualifier) This is a Deal Too with Calderon choosing to stay on This is An Eagle.

"Heck, I've got riders who told me they'd come clean stalls if I gave them the mount," he replied.

Calderon, 23, was born in San Antonio, Texas, and has been riding professionally since 2012. In addition to winning the rich Sam Houston Futurity last year, Calderon was the winning pilot aboard Tee Chic in the 2015 Oklahoma Futurity at Remington Park.

To view the list of the qualifiers from Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 with owners, breeders, jockeys and trainers, click here.

The five fastest qualifiers from both evenings will advance to the final, which is set for Saturday, April 29. The winner will join a noted list of Sam Houston Futurity champions, which includes 2014 AQHA Champion Two-Year-old Colt Kiss My Hocks, Azoom, Snowy Alibi, Sassmaster, Jess Tee Off, and Just Call Me Carter.

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