||Simulcast of the Preakness Stakes with Special 1PM Live Racing Program set for Saturday, May 16 At Sam Houston Race Park
(Houston, Texas - Tuesday, May 12, 2015) - Sam Houston Race Park hosts its final weekend of live American Quarter Horse racing beginning Thursday, May 14. Fans can enjoy live racing on Thursday and Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. and a special 1:00 pm Saturday afternoon racing program in conjunction with the running of the 140th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 16.
Stakes action includes the final of the $35,247 Bank of America Texas Maiden Challenge on Friday night. Saturday afternoon's features will be the $77,760 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge (G3) and the $55,170 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge.
Racing fans are invited to stay and enjoy the final performances of the Post Race Concert Series; beginning at 6:00 p.m. Cody Johnson, along with special guests Cory Morrow and Gary P. Nunn will take to the Bud Light stage following live racing and the simulcast of the Preakness Stakes.
Sam Houston Race Park to Simulcast the 140th Preakness Stakes
American Pharoah's stellar victory in the Kentucky Derby has racing fans rooting for his chances to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. His next test will be the 140th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 16. The second leg of racing's prestigious Triple Crown takes place at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, and Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast the big racing event.
The Bob Baffert trainee is expected to face top Kentucky Derby finishers Firing Line, as well as his stablemate Dortmund and new shooter Diving Rod.
The big weekend begins on Friday, May 15 with "Ladies Day" at Pimlico when the Maryland racetrack presents the Grade 2, $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan, one of seven stakes worth $1.15 million on the 14-race card. Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast each of the Pimlico races, beginning at 11:00 a.m. (CT).
The first race on Saturday's Preakness Day card runs at 9:30 a.m. (CT).
For those fans unable to be a part of the festivities on Preakness Day, Sam Houston Race Park will offer advance wagering on Friday, May 15. Fans can place a bet by driving to the valet parking circle from 7:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. "Preakness Early Bird Wagering" will also be available on Saturday, May 16 beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Jess Too Tempting Leads the Field in the $35,247 Bank of America Texas Maiden Challenge
Jerry Chapman's Jess Too Tempting broke his maiden and set the fastest qualifying time on Friday, May 1 in trials for the $35,247 Bank of America Texas Maiden Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park. Trainer Vicki Lea McIlvain saddled the son of Tempting Dash, who covered 350 yards in :18.022 seconds under rider Luis Ramirez.
"We knew he could run, but as a two-year-old he just had some issues," said McIlvain. "We gelded him at the end of last year, and he's just come back a better horse."
Ramirez has the return call aboard the chestnut gelding. He will break from post position five and has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Time for Wine was the second fastest qualifier for owner Pete Scarmardo and trainer Leon Bard. The daughter of Mr Jess Perry broke her maiden in trials and drew the far outside post for the final. Zoomin Tac, a four-year-old son of Jess Zoomin won his debut in trials for owner Roberto Resendez and trainer Alex Villarreal. Jockey Rodrigo Vallejo has the mount, breaking from post position nine.
The $35,247 Bank of America Texas Maiden Challenge will be contested on Friday as the ninth race on the card.
77,760 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge Finalists to Vie on May 16
A very contentious field of 2-year-olds will compete in Saturday's $77,760 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge (G3).
Trainer Brian Stroud has two contenders, including fastest qualifier Tellereyematthebar. The son of Teller Cartel won his debut under Sam Houston Race Park's leading rider Damian Martinez, in trials held on April 23.
Bred in Texas by James R. Hrabovsky and Leann Nails, Tellereyematthebar covered 350 yards in :17.904, a neck ahead of second-fastest qualifier Sensual Queen.
"I thought he would run well," said Stroud. "We worked him against a nice four-year-old in April, and he outworked him. In his trial, he kind of stumbled out of the gate, but Damian did a good job picking his head up."
Stroud will saddle Tellereyematthebar, the 7-2 morning line choice as well as Pete Scarmardo's homebred This Bug Can Dash, who is undefeated in his two starts.
Trainer Angel Sanchez has a trio of finalists led by Dashin Dictorial, bred and owned by Ricardo Morales. Scarface Cartel and Bos Big Shamoom also qualified.
Undivided Atemption, a son of Tempting Dash, was an impressive 1-3/4 length winner in his trial under jockey Manuel Gutierrez. Owned by Quency Grant, Undivided Atemption notched the third-fastest qualifying time and impressed his trainer Rolando Almanza.
"He wasn't eating when we first began training him," noted Almanza. "We found he had ulcers, but once we got that diagnosed, he began gaining weight and training well. He ran awesome in the trials and came back great after the race."
He will also saddle Favored Fire, a Walk Thru Fire colt owned by Luis Miguel Albores-Gleason, who will be ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo.
Almanza is on a roll this year, with two horses, Daytona B and Moonin The Eagle, in the AQHA Racing-Horseplayernow.com National Poll for older horses. He has already shipped Moonin The Eagle to Ruidoso Downs, and Daytona B will make his next start in the Bank of America Challenge Championship at Ajax Downs.
The winner of the John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge will earn a berth to the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park on Saturday, November 7.
Freakin Runaway Fastest Qualifier for the $55,170 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge
The ten fastest three-year-olds from trials on April 24 will square off in the final of the $55,170 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge on Saturday afternoon.
Michael Amburn's Freakin Runaway ran a big race to nab the fastest time of the evening, covering 400 yards in :20.235 under rider Luis Ramirez. The son of Ocean Runaway has never missed a check in his seven career starts, completing his two-year-old campaign with a third place finish in the $151,500 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Prairie Meadows last October. Trainer Guy Hopkins who had conditioned the majority of Auburn's horses retired at the end of last year and Freakin Runaway was sent to the barn of Mike Robbins.
"He ran a really big race," said Robbins of his trial win. "Mike sent him to me in February. He was training well, but that was a big effort after a seven-month layoff."
Robbins is pleased to train for Amburn, who has been a big supporter of the AQHA Challenge program.
"What a neat guy!" Robbins stated. "I hope we can win on Saturday and send his horse to another Challenge final."
Florida-bred Ipolito recorded the second fastest qualifying time of :20.280, with Jerry Lee Yoakum riding for trainer Carlos Saldivar and owner Ignacio Garduno Soto. The son of Apollo (TB) will be making his fifth start of the year in the Adequan Texas Derby Challenge, which will run as the eighth race on Saturday's card.
The winner will represent Texas in the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park on Saturday, November 7.
Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings
Angel Sanchez is the leader in the trainer standings at Sam Houston Race Park heading into the final three days of the 2015 American Quarter Horse meet. The Texas horseman has 21 wins and is hoping to hold off Brian Stroud and win his second title here. Stroud is having a career-best season with 19 victories, and Leslie Padilla is third with 17 winners.
Damian Martinez is closing in on his first leading rider title. The 21-year-old has won 28 races from 148 mounts. Francisco Calderon and Luis Vivanco are tied for second with 23 wins each. Luis Ramirez follows with 18 trips to the winner's circle.
Pete Scarmardo is the leader in the owner standings with nine victories to date. A.D. Maddox is a close second with eight wins, and Eleazar Martinez, Wayne Stroud, Silvia Robles and Jorge Meraz follow with four wins each.
The leaders will be honored throughout the live racing program this Saturday.
Cody Johnson and Special Guests Close out the Spring Concert Series at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, May 16
The final performers for the Post Race Concert Series, Cody Johnson with Cory Morrow and Gary P. Nunn will take to the Bud Light stage Saturday, May 16 following live racing and the simulcast of the Preakness Stakes. The live performances are free with $7 live racing admission all afternoon, and $20 after 6:00 p.m.
Tickets are available online at www.shrp.com, at participating Houston-area Randall’s locations, or by calling 800-211-3381.