The $88,740 John Deere Juvenile Texas Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park Highlights Action for the Final Weekend of Live Racing

(Houston, Texas - Wednesday, May 11, 2011) - The final weekend of the Sam Houston Race Park American Quarter Horse meet is set with live racing Friday, May 13, Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15. The 30-day live racing season began on March 11 and will conclude Sunday evening with the presentation of the end of the meet honors for leading owner, trainer and jockey.

Trainer Lewis "Tooter" Jordan Credits Breeder Joe Kirk Fulton for Strong Trio of Finalists in the $88,740 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge

On Saturday night, prominent Texas horseman, Joe Kirk Fulton will be well represented in the finals of the $88,740 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge.

Three of the ten starters, Pandorum, Sweet Oblivion, and Body Of Evidence are bred and owned by Fulton, who was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in 2011. The native Texan has been a renowned owner and breeder of American Quarter Horses for decades. His homebreds have earned in excess of $16 million and he has owned 72 stakes winners. Lewis "Tooter" Jordan trains the three juveniles for Fulton.

"I've know Mr. Fulton for years," said Jordan. "A few years ago I started training a few of his horses. Whenever you can train horses for a Hall of Famer, you will get some well-bred horses."

Eleven trials were run on April 29 and it was the final trial of the evening that produced the fastest time. It was one of Fulton's, Pandorum, who exploded to a 2 1/4 length victory in a time of :17.688. The Tres Seis filly out of the Strawfly Special mare Daring Diversion was impressive in her debut.

Pandorum was ridden to victory by Jose Alvarez and Jordan gives Alvarez much of the credit for her dazzling showing in trials.

"The truth of the matter is that Jose Alvarez did a tremendous job," said Jordan. "He has known all of these since they were yearlings; he haltered and saddle broke them. Jose was key to them performing so well in their first start."

After qualifying three for Fulton and Jordan, it is no surprise that Alvarez chose Pandorum as his mount in the final. She will break from post position one, the complete extreme to her far outside winning post in trials.

"That's kind of the way it goes," said Jordan. "Typically you don't want to draw the rail or far outside in a debut, but how can you say anything negative about the way she ran in her trial? She is just a super nice filly and I expect her to do well anywhere she draws."

Jordan will give a leg up to Jacky Martin who will ride the filly and eighth-fastest qualifier, Sweet Oblivion and David Alvarez aboard tenth-fastest qualifier Body of Evidence. Both are progeny of Mr Jess Perry.

"We look for all three to improve," adds Jordan. "The trials were the first starts for each and all three are paid into the All American Futurity."

The standout field includes Latin Six, bred by Mauro Lozano, who had a breakthrough effort in securing the second-fastest qualifying time of :17.899 in the tenth trial. Jonathan Castaneda trains Latin Six, who will be ridden by Julian Cantu. Third-fastest qualifier, Jess A Comment crossed the wire in:17.925 for trainer Guy Hopkins. The gelded son of First Comment will be ridden by Luis Ramirez for owner T.I. Cattle Company.

The John Deere Juvenile will be run as the ninth race of the card with an estimated post time of 10:29 p.m. The winner earns the opportunity to represent the region in the $150,000 John Deere Racing Challenge Juvenile Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos Race Course on October 29.

Painted Sable Leads the Field for the $52,920 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge

Saturday evening will also mark the final of the $52,920 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge. In trials run on April 30, Painted Sable rallied gamely in a 20 mph head wind and won in :20.221. The 3-year-old daughter of Pyc Paint Your Wagon is owned by Dr. Tommy Hays and Bobby Barnett. She was making her 2011 debut after qualifying and running in the $1 million Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park. Luis Vivanco rode the bay filly for trainer Bobby Martinez.

“She pulled up really good and is very sound,” said Martinez. “We vanned her back to the farm and she has had a few light gallops. She'll ship back to Houston on Saturday.”

Vivanco qualified both Painted Sable and Prime Idol, the seventh fastest qualifier, for the final. He opted to ride Prime Idol, a filly trained by Yasmine Medina-Fierro, who will break from post position seven. Martinez secured the riding services of 2010 AQHA champion rider, Jacky Martin for Painted Sable, who drew post position ten.

Sam Houston leading trainer Judd Kearl qualified two runners for the final: Eyes Blew By You was clocked at :20.233; the second fastest time and Money Hungry Cartel was the tenth fastest qualifier. Rodrigo Vallejo will ride Eyes Blew By You and Juan Vazquez will pilot Money Hungry Cartel. Awe Contraire, winner of the 2010 John Deere Texas Challenge last May at Sam Houston, was the third fastest qualifier. The Corona Cartel filly is trained by Eusevio Huitron and will break from post two under rider Santos Carrizales.

The winner will advance to the $200,000 Adequan Racing Challenge Derby Championship (G1) on October 29 at Los Alamitos Race Course.

Saturday's action will also include the running of the $30,305 Colors of Houston Futurity (G2), with a field of ten Paints. General Gordiz broke his maiden here on April 15 and will be ridden by top Sam Houston jockey, Luis Vivanco. Trainer Francisco Javier Vega, Jr. will saddle General Gordiz and entrymate Capitan America, who will make his debut under rider Luis Ramirez. Trainer Sandra Garnett sends out the entry of Judys Spice and Such Eye Appeal.

Post time for Friday and Saturday is set for 7:00 p.m. Sunday night's finale, which begins at 5:00 p.m., includes the $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon and the Colors of Houston Derby.

Stolis Winner Wins the $107,190 Bank of America Oklahoma Championship

Stolis Winner, bred and owned by Jerry Windham of College Station, Texas, ran impressively on Sunday, May 8 to win the $107,190 Bank of America Oklahoma Championship at Remington Park. Jacky Martin, who was aboard for his second-place finish in trials, had the return call.

The five-year-old gelded son of Stoli, trained by Heath Taylor, won the 2010 Bank of America Texas Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park and was fourth in this year's edition of the $100,260 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship here on March 26. Both Windham and Taylor were thrilled with the performance of the all-time leading money earner in American Quarter Horse racing, feeling that Sunday's performance was his best in the last year. His career bankroll now stands at $2,221,911 and he will represent Oklahoma in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos on October 29.

Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

The final weekend of the meet will decide the leading rider title and it may go down to the final race on Sunday. Luis Vivanco who surged past previous leader David Alvarez to take command of the jockey standings, has a narrow advantage with three days remaining. Vivanco has 41 wins from 202 starts; Alvarez won seven races last week, including both stakes on Saturday follows closely with 39 victories. Luis Ramirez is third in the standings with 23 wins and Jose Alvarez follows closely with 22 victories. Rider Santos Carrizales rounds out the top five with 15 trips to the winner's circle.

Judd Kearl saddled five winners last week and remains the leader in the training standings with 22 wins. With the victory in the $600,000 Sam Houston Futurity, Kearl is the leading money earner with $423,823 in purses. Jorge Haddad, who returned to the winner's circle on Saturday with stakes winners The Louisiana Cartel and Jakes Charming Jody, is second with 16 victories. Abel Morin and John Buchanan are tied for third place with 11 wins. Angel Sanchez and Juan Carlos Saucedo follow with nine victories each.

In the owner standings, Haddad tops the standings with ten wins from 32 starters. Bobby Cox and Sherrie and JB Morace, leading owners from 2010, are tied for second place with 7 victories and Richard McGehee has moved into third with six wins. Filimon Saucedo and A.D. Maddox are tied for fourth with five wins each.

Brandon Rhyder in Concert This Weekend

The final post race concert as part of the 2011 Verizon Wireless Concert Series on the Bud Light Stage is set for this weekend. Brandon Rhyder is the featured performer on May 13. Ticket prices are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.

Sunday, May 15, is Dollar Day at the Park where admission, live racing programs, draft beer, ice cream, hot dogs and sodas are all just one dollar.

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