Simulcast of the 141st Kentucky Derby and Exciting Live Quarter Horse Racing Set for This Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park

(Houston, Texas - Wednesday, April 29, 2015) - Sam Houston Race Park will present an action-packed weekend of live racing and the always-thrilling simulcast of the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. Live racing resumes on Thursday, April 30 at 7:00 p.m. On Friday, racing fans will be able to enjoy the running of the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks from Churchill Downs, followed by live Quarter Horse racing beginning at 7:00 p.m. Following the races, Jason Boland and the Stragglers will take to the Bud Light Stage.

To coincide with the Kentucky Derby, Sam Houston Race Park will host a special 1:00 p.m. afternoon live racing program on Saturday, May 2, which will include two stakes -the always exciting 110-yard $15,000 Texas Twister and the $22,000 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge.

Festivities Set for the 141st Kentucky Derby Simulcast at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park invites Houstonians to celebrate the heritage, fashion and excitement of racing's most prestigious day with the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2. The day-long sporting and social event will include live Quarter Horse racing, simulcast of the entire race card from Churchill Downs, a $500 hat contest, with winners selected by a panel of celebrity judges, traditional Mint Julep cocktails served in a commemorative Kentucky Derby glass and official Kentucky Derby merchandise!

Dubbed "the most exciting two minutes in sports", this year's edition of the Kentucky Derby is shaping up to be a very competitive event. With the third year of the point system in place to determine qualifying positions, International Star, trained by Mike Maker, tops the standings with 171 points. Other Thoroughbreds receiving attention include two from the barn of Bob Baffert, American Pharoah and Dortmund.

Houston fans will have an opportunity to enjoy all the Kentucky Derby festivities as well as 12 live American Quarter Horse races.

The schedule of events is as follows:

9:00 a.m. Gates Open
9:30 a.m. 1st Post from Churchill Downs
11:00 a.m. Buffet Opens
11:30 a.m. Hat Contest Registration Begins
1:00 p.m. 1st Live Sam Houston Race
4:00 p.m. Hat Contest Judging Begins
5:24 p.m. Running of the 140th Kentucky Derby
6:00 p.m. Running of the Texas Twister followed by the Merial Distaff Challenge

For those fans unable to be a part of the festivities on Saturday, Sam Houston Race Park will offer advance wagering on Friday, May 1 from 9:00 a.m. until closing. Fans can also take advantage of "Kentucky Derby Early Bird Wagering" ,where they can place a bet by driving to the valet parking circle from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2.

For more information, call 281-807-8760 or visit

Eight Sprinters Entered in the $15,000 Texas Twister

The $15,000 Texas Twister, at 110 yards, will return for its seventh renewal at Sam Houston Race Park. Real Bad Jetsie leads the field of eight accredited Texas-bred speedsters in the stakes that will be concluded in less than seven seconds! The four-year-old mare is owned by Eleazar Martinez, Sr. and will make her stakes debut off back-to-back victories last November at Lone Star Park. Luis Vivanco will ride for trainer Yasmine Fierro, breaking from the far outside post.

The Texas Twister will run as the tenth race with an estimated post time of 6:00 p.m. It will be the first of three live races to follow the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby.

Field of Eleven Set for the $22,000 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge

A competitive group of fillies and mares will compete on Saturday when Sam Houston Race Park presents the $22,000 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge.

Rodney J. Verret's Cartels Fortune will be in pursuit of her fifth consecutive win when she makes her first Sam Houston appearance in the Merial. The 400 yard stakes will run as the 11th race of the card. Trained by Roy Roberts, the daughter of Carter Cartel was in fine form last year, winning four in a row and completing her suberb showing in the $126,000 Evangeline Derby on December 20. Jockey Patrick Watson will ride Cartels Fortune, who has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite.

Last May, trainer Vicky McIlvain got a perfect Mother's Day gift at Sam Houston Race Park when Million Dollar Kiss delivered a classy performance in the $68,490 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge (G3).

Owned by Jerry Chapman of Waco, Texas, Million Dollar Kiss under Alejandro Medina, showed she belonged at the stakes level. The Jess Louisiana Blue filly ran a game second in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows on October 18.

"We ran her one more time at Evangeline Downs and then turned her out for 30 days," said McIlvain. "We felt that she needed a break."

This will be the 2015 debut for the sorrel filly, who has won each of her three races at Sam Houston Race Park. She will break from post position three under Medina.

"She seems to really like the Houston surface," added McIlvain.

The winner of Saturday's regional stakes will earn a berth into the $100,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) on November 7 at Lone Star Park.

Sam Houston Race Park to Support Fundraiser for the PDJF

Sam Houston Race Park will join the Kentucky Derby Day fundraising campaign to be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 25 tracks and racing venues across the U.S. to raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).

Each participating track will hold a silent auction of framed, autographed photographs of California Chrome (signed by jockey Victor Espinoza), Secretariat (signed by owner Penny Chenery), Wise Dan (signed by jockey John Velazquez), and Zenyatta (signed by jockey Mike Smith). The Silent Auction will open at 11:30 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m.

Proceeds from the collaborative effort by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA), PDJF, JockeyTalk360, and the Jockeys' Guild will provide aid for permanently disabled jockeys' health care and living expenses.

TRA-member tracks participating include: Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Delaware Park, Finger Lakes, Gulfstream Park, Harrah's Louisiana Downs, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Parx Racing, Pimlico, Portland Meadows, Prairie Meadows, Remington Park, Sam Houston Race Park, Santa Anita Park, Tampa Bay Downs, and Turfway Park.

Jason Boland and the Stragglers Perform Friday, May 1 in the Spring Concert Series at Sam Houston Race Park

The 2015 American Quarter Horse Meet features the entertaining Post Race Concert Series on the Bud Light stage, most Saturdays through May 16. These live performances are free with $7 live racing admission before 8:00 p.m., and $20 after 8:00 p.m. The following performers will follow the last of 10 Quarter Horse races each evening.

May 1 - Jason Boland and the Stragglers
May 9 - The Casey Donahew Band
May 16 - Cody Johnson * - Special Concert on Preakness Day:
Also featuring Cory Morrow and Gary P. Nunn
(*This concert will start at 6:00 p.m.)

Tickets are available online at, at participating Houston-area Randall’s locations, or by calling 800-211-3381.

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