|Sassys Tuffy to Defend His Title in the $107,550 Bank of America Texas Challenge at Sam Houston on Saturday
(Thursday, July 9, 2009) - Sam Houston Race Park will host
a full day of live American Quarter Horse racing featuring 12 live
races, featuring 117 horses and $308,025 in total purse money on
Saturday, July 11, 2009. The day’s race card will feature
six high-dollar stakes races including the $107,550 Bank of America
Texas Challenge Championship (G1).
The 440-yard race on the dirt track features fastest qualifier,
Diamond Tres Seis (3-1), as the favored pick out of the field of
10 qualifiers. The five-year-old gelding is trained by one of The
Park’s top trainers, Heath Taylor, and will be ridden by jockey
Gilbert Ortiz. The second favorite horse, Royce Rogers (5-1), had
the sixth fastest qualifying time and will be ridden by jockey Ricky
Ramirez. Returning champion, Sassys Tuffy, will look to win his
second consecutive Bank of America Texas Challenge title. Trial
races were held at The Park on Saturday, June 27.
Other horses to watch include: Jess My Moon (5-1), Easy Dashin
Sixes, Jess Got Bayou, First Down Devon, My Philosophy, Hydrostatic,
who prior to the trials had a string of four consecutive wins, and
A Stoli Mate (6-1), who will be ridden by The Park’s leading
jockey, David Alvarez.
The 2008 event was won by four-year-old gelding Sassys Tuffy,
who is trained by Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath, and owned
by his daughter Dawn Ivey and was ridden by Jose Alvarez. The horse
won in a final time of :21.645. Sassys Tuffy had the third fastest
qualifying time for the 2009 event.
The Bank of America Quarter Horse Racing Challenge is Quarter
Horse racing’s richest program, with the championship series
designed for “America's Fastest Athlete.” The goal of
the Bank of America Racing Challenge is to provide more racing opportunities
for older American Quarter Horses, ensuring them and their owners
the rewards of longer racing careers.
A total of 59 races take place in 11 regions across the United
States, Canada, Mexico and South America throughout the year. American
Quarter Horses compete in one of six different types of races, depending
on their age and ability.
The series culminates with a title night, featuring a total of
six championship events and six undercard races, where Bank of America
Challenge-enrolled horses are preferred for entry. The race boasts
a $5 million purse and bonus awards program, of which more than
60% is added money from American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)
corporate sponsors and host racetracks.
The 2009 Challenge Championships will be held October 30-31, 2009,
at Los Alamitos Race Track, Los Alamitos, California.