|This Snow Is Cold Captures the $115,650 MBNA America Texas Challenge Championship at SHRP
(July 8, 2006) - A late afternoon storm hit northwest Houston
rendering two inches of rainfall in a 30-minute time span, but there
was no raining on the parade of This Snow Is Cold, as she won the
won the $115,650 MBNA Texas Challenge Championship (G1) tonight
at Sam Houston Race Park.
The 5-year-old mare is owned by Los Ladrilleros Horse Racing Company
of Houston, Texas and trained by Melinda Garcia. She was the fastest
qualifier in trials run on June 23 and dominated her seven male
rivals tonight, closing gamely under regular rider, Armando Andrade.
She covered the track, which was upgraded to good, in a final time
of :21.374, just short of the track record for 440-yards of :21.350
set in 1994. Her speed index was an impressive 105.
This was the second stakes win of the year for the Texas-bred
daughter of This Snow Is Royal who already earned a berth in the
$300,000 MBNA America® Challenge Championships on Saturday,
November 11 at Lone Star Park.
“She's all heart,” said Garcia. “She gives it
all she's got to the wire. Armando knows this mare so well. He broke
her in Mexico and the owners have confidence in him. She's run hard
here and in Oklahoma so we don't know if she will make another start
before Lone Star. We might consider the Sam Houston Classic (on
“She was very calm during the post parade and very concentrated,”
added Andrade. “She had a strong break and finished well.”
Multiple-stakes winner, First Comment, was sent off as the favorite
and was motoring well in the center of the racetrack under rider
Rodrigo Vallejo. The 4-year-old colt is owned and bred by Wes Owens
and trained by Jeff Acuna, finished second.
“He's been really good, but Rodrigo said he got a little
sore at the end,” said Acuna. “I didn't think they were
going to catch him, but he got sore after about 400 yards. He was
limping off the track pretty good. This was a really good field;
that mare can really run.”
Surprisingly Special, the longest shot on the board at 49-1,ran
a career-best effort for trainer Judd Kearl and rider James Brooks
to finish third. The classy field also included 2005 AQHA World
Champion DM Shicago, who finished fourth.
“I don’t really know this horse too well, but that
was an incredibly fast race,” said conditioner Heath Taylor.
“He didn’t get a bad break, but it wasn’t too
good. He got left behind about a length and used up all he had to
catch up with them. I talked to Juan (Vazquez) and he said (DM Shicago)
warmed up well and felt good and seemed sound and happy. He was
ready for the big race. I’m real disappointed that we didn’t
finish like we thought we would, but this is a tremendous horse
with tremendous accomplishments.”
This Snow Is Cold left the gate as the second betting choice and
returned $6.00, $3.80 and $3.00 across the board. The 7-4 exacta
paid $13.20 and the 7-4-2 trifecta returned $201.60. DM Shicago,
Valors Gold, Gray Invasion, La Jollaroid and I Make Em Shake completed
the order of finish.
Sheza Dashing Disco Beats the Boys in the $69,030 Bayer
Legend Texas Derby Challenge (G3)
Sheza Dashing Disco, owned by Jodie and Johnny R. Johnson of Tomball,
Texas and trained by J. Benny Pennington, won the $69,030 Bayer
Legend Texas Derby Challenge (G3). Rodrigo Vallejo, rode the 3-year-old
filly to victory in her trial and again in the final. She completed
the 400-yard stakes over a muddy track in a time of :19.929.
“We have taken our time with this filly and it has paid off,”
commented Pennington. “We are so happy Rodrigo chose to ride
her in this final; he is such an underrated rider; one of the best
in the country. He fits this mare so well.”
Sheza Dashing Disco ($3.60) earned $34,516 for her victory. El
Zapatista was second and Way Up There was third.
My Prince of Strides Repeats in the $24,705 Red Cell Distance
Six distance specialists led by defending champion My Prince of
Strides competed in the $24,705 Red Cell Distance Challenge. Trainer
Matt Baker saddled the 6-year-old, who is owned and bred by Warner
Croft of Austin, Texas. He broke well and held on for the victory
under rider Jeff Jerman.
“That was a pretty close finish,” said Jerman. “He's
a total professional; didn't do anything wrong. Just got a little
tired on the end, but he really showed his class. Matt's done a
wonderful job with him.”
My Prince of Strides, who was sent off at 13-1 in 2005, was the
prohibitive favorite this year, paying $2.60 for the win. He crossed
the wire of the 870-yard contest in :44.958. Apollos Dasher was
second and Strider Man, full-brother to the winner, ran third.
Eye Caughtcha Peeking Draws Off in the $26,010 John Deere
Texas Distaff Challenge
There were no trials for the $26,010 John Deere Texas Distaff Challenge
but Eye Caughtcha Peeking lived up to her morning-line favorite
status and was an impressive winner under Jose Alvarez. Trained
by Bobby Martinez, the 4-year-old Oklahoma-bred filly has won four
of her five starts this year for owner Randee Fagan.
“Her previous owner decided to sell her in the Heritage Place
sale,” said Fagan. “I bought her and took her home (Del
Rio, Texas) and rested her for a year and she came back running.
We wanted to qualify her for the national championship and probably
won't run her again before Lone Star. Bobby's a wonderful horseman;
that's why I sent her to him.”
Eye Caughtcha Peekin covered the 400-yard final in :20.099 and
paid $4.20 for the win. Shesastreakinlady was second and The Long
Straw completed the trifecta.
$26,280 Professional’s Choice Texas Claiming Challenge
Fastest qualifier Ida Snow Man, owned by Joe and Joyce Platt of
Desirable Properties of Wimberley, Texas and trained by Michael
Zingelmann, won the $26,280 Professional’s Choice Texas Claiming
Challenge. The 3-year-old gelding shot to the front in his final
strides and completed the race in a winning time of :17.464. Juan
Vazquez, who rode him to victory in the trials, returned for the
“Not too bad for a $5,000 claiming horse,” said a very
happy Zingelmann. “This is a really nice horse. We got him
a little late last year and he's done nothing but improve. We ran
him in the championship at Remington and had all kinds of bad luck.
Truth be told, I think this horse will just keep getting better.”
Ida Snow Man went off as the heavy betting choice and paid $3.40
for the win. He completed his 350-yard sprint in :17.464 over Streak
Foe Me and Off The Dasher.
News and Notes
Live handle for the ten-race card was $620,612, the highest of
the current Quarter Horse Meeting at Sam Houston Race Park. Live
racing resumes on Sunday, July 9 with a post time of 1:30 p.m. The
2006 Quarter Horse Meeting will continue through September 9.