|SHRP to Host Texas Summer Showdown and TQHA Yearling Sale July 28 & 29
(Tuesday, July 18, 2006) - The next big racing weekend at
Sam Houston Race Park is set for Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July
29 when the northwest Houston racetrack will host the Texas Summer
Showdown and the annual TQHA Yearling Sale.
The racing action kicks off on Friday evening with four stakes
races for the Texas Summer Showdown. The TQHA Yearling Sale will
once again be a two-day affair as 320 yearlings are set to pass
through the sales ring. The sale has produced many American Quarter
Horse racing champions, including 2003 World Champion, Oak Tree
Special and 2004 Sam Houston Race Park Horse of the Meet, Azoom.
The Yearling Sale will take place in the comfort of the well-air
conditioned Pavilion Centre on Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July
29 starting at 11:00 a.m.
"This year's catalog is the best we have ever produced,”
said Rob Werstler, executive director of the Texas Quarter Horse
Association. “For the first time ever we have yearlings by
Corona Cartel that are by mares, Dash Free and Fightin Jane that
through our sale and went on to have stellar racing careers. We
also have several Mr Jess Perry babies as well as offspring from
two new and exciting stallions Panther Mountain and Oak Tree Special.
Panther Mountain won the MBNA Challenge Championship and Oak Tree
Special won the TQHA Sale Futurity and went on to garner AQHAWorld
The TQHA Yearling Sale is open to the public and will take place
in the air-conditioned Sam Houston Race Park Pavilion Centre. The
Equine Expo is also held in the Pavilion Centre featuring a diverse
array of exhibitors displaying equine merchandise, services and
products. The Expo will also be open both Friday and Saturday beginning
at 10:00 a.m.
Si Puede Makes a Winning 2006 Debut at Sam Houston Race
Si Puede, voted 2005 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse of the
Meeting, returned to the racetrack in fine form on Saturday, July
15, winning her first race off a six-month layoff.
Owned by Lukin Gilliland of San Antonio and trained by Dave Correll,
Si Puede defeated ten rivals in a 330-yard allowance race and did
it convincingly under regular rider, Jose Vega.
“She ran hard last year,” admitted Correll. “When
we returned from Sunland (where she won the Sunland Fall Derby on
December 30), she went into her stall, circled around and laid down.
I knew she was tired and deserved a rest. We had plans to run her
at Remington Park, but she cut her leg and developed an infection.
By the time she was ready to begin training, it was May and we decided
to save her for Sam Houston.”
On Friday, the 4-year-old daughter of Holland Ease looked fit
and well rested as she won the 14th start of her 20-race career.
“She started a little slowly, but finished well,”
said Vega of the 4-year-old filly’s performance.
“She’s a rested horse,” said Correll. “She
gained some weight and looks good compared to what she looked like
at the end of last year. I wanted her to go into the season a little
heavier because you know it’s naturally going to come off.”
Correll is considering both the 250-yard Barnmaster Sprint or
the TQHA Classic Stakes on Friday, July 28 for the next start for
Judd Kearl/James Brooks Close but No Cigar, Yet
Trainer Judd Kearl and rider James Brooks have become quite a familiar
duo at Sam Houston Race Park. Kearl is second in the trainer standings
and Brooks is the third leading rider of the meet. While they have
teamed well in claiming and maiden race, they are hitting the board
with some longshots in several Sam Houston stakes races.
Brooks guide Apollos Dasher, at odds of 13-1, to a second place
finish in the Red Cell Texas Distance Challenge and and even bigger
surprise for Surprisingly Special (49-1), who ran a game third in
the Grade 1 MBNA Texas Challenge Championship. That same night,
Streak Foe Me ran second to fastest qualifier Ida Snow Man in the
Professional’s Choice Texas Claiming Challenge.
Last weekend Kearl saddled Mystical Promises (18-1) in TQHA Sires
Cup Futurity, who was declared second in a very tight photo finish
won by fastest qualifier, First Smart Winner.
"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."
Brooks, who won the Gulf Coast Stakes aboard Shazoomer for trainer
Janet Van Bebber and Makeala for trainer Robert Touchet in the $15,000
Miss Houston Stakes, has no doubt that he and Kearl will win a stake
soon at Sam Houston Race Park.
“We’ll get there,” said the 54-year-old rider.
Sam Houston Race Park Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings
Jeff Jerman is at the top of the jockey standings for the second
week in a row. Jerman picked up three more winning mounts and concluded
the weekend with 19 wins and $90,284 in earnings. Rodrigo Vallejo
continues his steadfast climb and maintains second place with 18
wins and the highest earnings of $124,691. James Brooks rode Makeala
for trainer Robert Touchet in the $15,000 Miss Houston Stakes. Brooks
has 15 victories to date as well as the second highest earnings
of $124,020. Jose Alvarez did not have any winning mounts over the
weekend, but managed to maintain his fourth place standing for the
second week with ten wins. The top five jockeys are rounded out
by Luis Ramirez, who scored four wins last weekend and he currently
has a total of eight wins.
Five-time leading trainer, Janet Van Bebber, took command of the
trainer standings for the first time this meeting. Van Bebber moved
from third place to the lead with eight wins after she saddled three
winners over the weekend. Judd Kearl dropped from the lead to second
place to tie with Toby Keeton with seven wins. Jesse Aguilar and
Robert Touchet are tied with six wins each. Each trainer saddled
a stakes winner last weekend; Aguilar’s First Smart Winner
captured the $111,640 TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity (G2) and Touchet’s
Makeala scored the win in the $15,000 Miss Houston Stakes. Aguilar
has the highest earnings of $79,321.
Warner Croft continues his lead in the owner standings for the
second week, with five wins since the Sam Houston Quarter Horse
meeting began on June 23. J.C. Wells, Joe Fulton, Monty Brooks and
Los Ladrilleros Horse Racing Co. are tied with three wins each.
The Los Ladrilleros Horse Racing Co. has the highest earnings of
Patrons Enjoy Big Wager Payouts at Sam Houston Race Park
Field sizes for Sam Houston Race Park’s Quarter Horse races
improved considerably last weekend as many horsemen shipped in following
the conclusion of the Delta Downs season. As a result, patrons playing
exotic wagers had a banner weekend.
Friday night’s race card was highlighted not only by the
$111,640 TQHA Sires Cup Futurity, but by some huge longshots and
sizable superfectas. Jose Vega rode Highfalutin Maid to victory
in the fifth race at (10-1) odds and paid $23.60 to win. I Live
For This came in second at (14-1) odds but it was Miss Alaneus who
contributed so heavily to the $47,154 superfecta. The Robert Touchet-trained
filly, sent off at 25-1, finished fourth.
Saturday’s big payouts were just as plentiful. The night
began with a $56,982 superfecta in the first race. I Can Get Down,
at 14-1, keyed the high paying exotic with longshots Blazen Rock,
Know A Rose and Streakin With Ryon rounding out the top four positions.
The eighth race also offered a nice payout: a $20,695 superfecta.
This time, the first and second place finishers, Fightin Jane Wayne
(20-1) and Shady Gol Lady (30-1) were the contributing factors for
the huge payout. Fightin Jane Wayne paid $43.40 to win and Shady
Gol Lady returned $19.00 to place.
Simulcasting This Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast coast-to-coast racing action
this week. On Wednesday, Del Mar, in southern California, kicks
off their 67th meeting and the Kentucky circuit moves from Churchill
Downs to Ellis Park. Calder Race Course will host an exciting new
racing event, Extreme Day, to be held Saturday, July 22. The 14-race
program will feature a variety of Thoroughbred horse races that
go beyond the norm - from a quarter-mile sprint to a two-mile turf
contest; to two races contested at once; to one run the “wrong”
way around the track. In addition, the track will present the “World’s
Fastest Daily Double” with two races to be run simultaneously.