Sixes Liaison
-photo by Sandra Beck/Coady Photography

-photo by Sandra Beck/Coady Photography

Favored Sixes Liaison Victorious in the Grade 1 $346,700 Sam Houston Futurity at SHRP

(Houston, Texas - Friday, July 2, 2010) - Sam Houston Race Park kicked off the July 4th holiday weekend with live racing featuring over $500,000 in total purse money, including the Grade 1 $346,700 Sam Houston Futurity and the Grade 2 $113,250 Sam Houston Derby, on Friday, July 2, 2010. Trials for both stakes races were run on June 18th and 19th.

The $113,250 Sam Houston Derby was the seventh race on the night’s 10-race card and showcased three-year-olds racing a distance of 400 yards on a muddy track.

Favorite Acorn broke sharp and gained command early on, charging at the final pole for a clear win. The three-year-old brown gelding, fresh off his win as the fastest qualifier in the trial races for the Sam Houston Derby, topped his qualifying time tonight and finished in :19.647. Ridden by one of The Park’s veteran jockeys, James Brooks, and trained by top trainer Janet Van Bebber, Acorn notched his fifth overall win and fourth at The Park.

“I think the team we have with the jockey and owner of this horse is one of the best,” commented Van Bebber. “The communication between this team is phenomenal, and I think we owe a lot of the success to that.”

Acorn is owned and bred in Texas by Rose Mary Chandler.

Final placement in the Sam Houston Derby featured Azoomin With Jessie in second and Heza Hotdoggin in third, followed by Gallant Corona, Jess Navigating, Straight Stoli, Zoomin On By, Ragazzo, Corona Mild and Turbulenz.

The ninth race on the night’s card was the $346,700 Sam Houston Futurity, the richest purse of the 2010 Quarter Horse meet at The Park, showcasing two-year-olds sprinting 350 yards on a sloppy track.

The fastest qualifier for the Sam Houston Futurity was Sixes Liaison, who proved best in the final tonight. The two-year-old gray colt broke sharply and gained command in a fight to the finish line.

A stewards' inquiry regarding a bump at the starting gate was made, and after deliberation and review, Sixes Liaison was declared the winner, finishing in a time of :17.557.

“The horse slipped a little at the first but came through okay,” commented jockey Saul Ramirez, Jr. “He’s now three for three - a really awesome colt that’s hard to find!”

Sixes Liaison is trained by Bobby Martinez and owned by Ted G. Abrams, Sr.

“He’s been training really good,” commented Martinez. “We worked him at Manor, and I kept saying ‘He’s a stakes horse, I know it.’”

Abrams Sr. noted, “Bobby has trained him really well, handles him well, and doesn’t overwork him. Next up we’re looking to take him to the Dash for Cash at Lone Star or to Ruidoso.”

Sixes Liaison remains perfect with a three-for-three record and paid his betting fans $5.40 for the win tonight.

The remainder of the 10-horse field featured Zoomarco in second and Aquafina in third, followed by DM Oak Tree Special, Run Naked, Jumpn Shake, Eyezoom 123, Awe Contraire, Flyers Copy and Tell Who What.

Friday’s events also featured Vans Warped Tour, a day-long music and extreme sports festival featuring multiple stages and more than 80 bands performing.

In addition to live Quarter Horse racing events on Friday night, The Park hosted 50¢ Draft Beer Night, presented by Houston Press, featuring 50¢ draft beer available from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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