|Stolis Pro Tops the Field in the $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park
(Houston, Texas - Saturday, May 6, 2017) -
Sam Houston Race Park had sunny skies and a huge crowd on hand for an action-packed afternoon of live racing and the always thrilling simulcast of the 143rd Running of the Kentucky Derby. Two stakes were run, with the favorite prevailing in the $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon and a nice-priced winner in the $15,000 Texas Twister.
Stolis Pro Returns to the Winner's Circle in the $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon
Jerry Windham's homebred Stolis Pro won his second stakes of the 2017 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meet this afternoon with a very professional effort in the 870-yard $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon. Trained by Leon Bard, the six-year-old son of Stoli captured the $18,900 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship here on April 15 under jockey Francisco Calderon. The duo returned in fine form, breaking from post position two and crossing the wire in :45.676.
"He left great; but about three jumps out of the gate, his back end slipped a little," said Calderon. "But he got back into gear and ran perfect."
Stolis Pro is a brother to AQHA World Champion and All American Futurity Champion Stolis Winner. He made his debut here in 2014 and was making his 27th start this afternoon. With two stakes races this meet, his record now stands at 9-4-7 and earnings of $86,696.
"He's done real well since we started him at 870 yards," said Windham. "He's a good finishing horse. We'll plan on running him a little bit over the summer and hopefully get to Prairie Meadows (for the October 14 Bank of America Distance Challenge)."
Bard was very pleased with his performance as well.
"He's a pro and lived up to his name today," added Bard.
Stolis Pro was sent off as the betting favorite and paid $3.60 to win. Crown Racing's Corona La Jolla, a nine-year-old Texas-bred, ran second under Noe Villatoro. The Field Cricket was third, followed by Eyesa Shoofly Dandy and God I Am Handsome. Bet I Make U Famous was an early scratch.
Wild Tycoon Triumphs in the $15,000 Texas Twister
The $15,000 Texas Twister, at 110 yards, returned for its ninth renewal at Sam Houston Race Park. A field of ten went to the gate, and a very sharp effort from Wild Tycoon ensured the victory. Owned by Rogelio Marquez, Jr, of Rosenberg, Texas, and trained by Carlos Saldivar, the five-year-old son of Tempting Dash was making his 18th career start and first at Sam Houston Race Park. Raul Ramirez, Jr. got the call as Luis Vivanco was injured and will be out for the remainder of the meet. He won the "super sprint" in :6.920 seconds, earning a 102 speed index.
"It was a really good race for this horse," said Ramirez. "He broke pretty sharp; everybody was making so much noise in the gate, but it didn't seem to bother him at all. He beat them pretty easily."
Marquez was on hand for the victory and had confidence that the Louisiana-bred could win at the 110-yard distance.
"He set a 220-yard track record at Louisiana Downs, so we knew he was a specialist in short distances. Other distances as well; he set the fastest time for the Old South Derby (at Delta Downs). He's won eight races since we bought him, so we are really glad to have him!"
Morning-line favorite Katharsis, under Eddie Sanchez, finished in a dead-heat for second with defending champion, Red Corona Warrior, who was ridden by Luciano Duenez. 2015 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge winner Undivided Atemption completed the superfecta. Surviving Legend, Shezrealfast, Last Man Standin, On The Wagon, Shakem Valentine, and Shine Rock N Roll completed the order of finish.
Marquez said that Wild Tycoon ($22.00) would be pointed to the Gentilly Dash at the Fair Grounds in August.