|Fastest Qualifier First Smart Winner Captures the $111,640 TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity at Sam Houston Race Park
(July 14, 2006) - For the first time in the last three years,
the fastest qualifier prevailed in the final of the $111,640 TQHA
Sires’ Cup Futurity. First Smart Winner, a 2-year-old colt
owned by Ernesto Perez of Austin was the fastest qualifier in trials
run on June 30, completing his 350-yard trial in :17.715. He returned
tonight and won the final in a photo finish, crossing the wire in
Rider Rogelio Izquierdo picked up the first stakes win of his career
on the gray Texas-bred colt for trainer Jesse Aguilar. It was just
the second stakes win for the 23-year-old Aguilar, who saddled three
of the horses in tonight’s feature. The gray son of First
Smart Money has made considerable progress since making his racing
debut at Manor Downs on April 9. The trip notes for the race indicated
that he bucked repeatedly and stopped, finishing tenth by 18 lengths.
Since that less than fortunate beginning, First Smart Winner has
won three races, including the TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity this
“We knew this horse was the fastest of the three,”
acknowledged Aguilar. “He was a late maturing colt and ran
pretty good today. It was a tough race, but I had a lot of help
from the owners and the people on the farm.
Mystical Promises, trained by Judd Kearl and ridden by James Brooks,
was second. Sent off at 18-1, the sixth fastest qualifier in trials
ran impressively tonight for owners Terri and Bennie Jeter.
"If they don't sandwich me away from there, I win it,”
said Brooks. “Both sides got me. I couldn't tell if I won
it, it was that close. Since we put the blinkers back on, it's made
a different horse of him."
"He ran a good race, but there was some early bumping,”
added Brooks. “It was really close. We lost by a nose. He
got bumped twice early, and that probably cost him the win."
First Smart Winner, sent off at odds of 2-1 paid $6.40 for the
win and picked up a check for $44,656 for tonight’s victory.
The 1-5 exacta paid $135.40 and the trifecta with La Jolla Maid
returned $941.00. Ace Mudslinger, Iam Little Strawfly, Jc First
Sip, Smarty Stoli, Ace Back to Zoom, Double Kandu and Red Hot Lass
completed the order of finish.
Aguilar commented that he would see how First Smart Winner comes
out of the race before determining his next start.
Makeala Wins the $10,000 Miss Houston Stakes
A field of ten Texas-bred 3-year-old fillies went to the gate in
the $15,000 Miss Houston Stakes. The winner, in convincing fashion,
was Makeala, owned by Mickey W. Tiner of Angelton, Texas and trained
by Bobby Touchet. James Brooks, who rode her to her third-place
finish in the Retama Park Derby, was aboard. She closed gamely on
the outside of the racetrack, completing the 350-yard stakes in
a time of :17.941.
“We’re very lucky,” said Tiner in the winner’s
circle following the race. “We have Mr. Touchet who cares
about these athletes. He gives them everything they need and we
don’t run them too hard. Frannie Stewart gave us the opportunity
to buy this filly and we think the future has a lot to hold for
Jo Edna ran second with Martin Rubalcava aboard for trainer Toby
"She ran a good race, a real good race,” commented Keeton.
“But I expected her to run a little better than she did. She
didn't get away real good. She was closing well, but the nine horse
(Makeala) was in front of her the whole way. The nine horse left
good, and she ran an excellent race. We'll probably pick a few littler
derbies for her now and then go on from there."
Sin Tacha Perry, trained by five-time leading Sam Houston Race
Park conditioner Janet Van Bebber, ran third. Mechita, who ran a
game second in the Harris County Stakes here on June 24, was fourth.
Delta Addicton, Shesa Tiny Diamond, Paint My Lane, Lillie La Jolla,
La Vedera and Meeks Injun completed the field.