Five Stakes Set for Texas Summer Showdown Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park

(July 24, 2006) - The annual Texas Summer Showdown at Sam Houston Race Park is set for Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29. The northwest Houston racetrack will host five stakes races and the TQHA Yearling Sale.

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 air conditioned Pavilion Centre on Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29 starting at 11:00 a.m.

“People from all over the United States have shown interest and requested catalogues," said Rob Werstler, executive director of the Texas Quarter Horse Association. “This is our ninth sale and consignments include offspring of Corona Cartel, Mr Jess Perry as well as yearlings by two new and exciting stallions Panther Mountain and Oak Tree Special.”

Officials of the TQHA and Sam Houston Race Park have scheduled the final of the $341,700 TQHA Sale Futurity for Saturday, July 29. All of the 2-year-olds that competed in trials on July 15 were graduates of the 2005 TQHA Yearling Sale. Fastest qualifier, Streakin Illusively, was purchased at last year’s sale for $30,000. Should he win the final on Saturday night, his owner Lou Phillips of Houston, will receive a check for $152,056.

Equine Expo Set for Friday and Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park

The Sam Houston Race Park Pavilion Centre is the site of the TQHA Yearling Sale and the Equine Expo. The Equine Expo has attracted crowds with all sorts of interests, and this year’s Expo will offer the diverse vendors to match.

The air-conditioned Pavilion Centre will be a haven for equine enthusiasts, bargain hunters and ranchers. Exhibitors include Abandoned Animal Rescue, Athena Jewelry, Parkway Chevrolet, Texas Antiques, the Texas Quarter Horse Association, Texas Thoroughbred Association.

The Equine Expo is open to the public and will be open from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on both Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29.

Texas Summer Showdown Stakes on Friday, July 28

A number of special events and stakes races will take place in conjunction with the Texas Summer Showdown. On Friday, July 29, four stakes races worth over $140,000 will be run. The Summer Showdown includes the $40,000-Added Barnmaster Sprint Stakes (RG3) run at 250 yards; the $20,000-Added TQHA Starter Stakes at a distance of 350 yards; the $40,000-Added TQHA Classic Stakes (RG3) will be run at 400 yards; and the $40,000-Added TQHA “550” Stakes (RG3) at a distance of 550 yards.

The draw for the Texas Summer Showdown stakes will take place on Tuesday, July 25.

Threepeat Possible for Gray Invasion in the TQHA “550” Stakes

Gray Invasion, who has won the $40,000-added TQHA “550” Stakes for the past two years, is going for the threepeat, according to trainer Bobby Martinez.

The 7-year-old son of Chicks Beduino just keeps getting better and not only won the 2005 edition of the stakes, he set a new track record for 550-yards, winning in :26.76, besting the track record set by Rare Sign in 2001 of :27.01.

Owned by Claudio Aguilar, Gray Invasion is seeking his first win of this year, having finished sixth in the $116, 000 MBNA Texas Challenge Championship here on July 8.

“He needs a little more ground,” said Martinez of the 440-yard last effort. “That was a pretty tough group of horses, but I think he will run well this weekend.”

Martinez indicated that rider Manuel Garcia will ride Gray Invasion on Friday night.

Jack Zee Quick to Defend his Title in the Barnmaster Sprint Stakes

One of the most exciting stakes of the Texas Summer Showdown is the $40,000-added Barnmaster Sprint Stakes at 250 yards. The defending champion is Jack Zee Quick owned by Dallas Blakley and R.P. Stuart and trained by Matt Baker.

“He does well at 250 yards and usually gets away from the gate pretty good,” said Colt Baker, son of trainer Matt Baker. “He had two outs a Delta and won a 250 stake there. He’s at the farm and will ship in Friday.”

Si Puede is Defending Champion in the TQHA Classic Stakes

Si Puede, voted 2005 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse of the Meeting, won the $44,750 TQHA Classic Stakes last July and appears likely to run in the stakes on Friday. The 4-year-old multiple-stakes winner is owned and bred by Lukin Gilliland and won her 2006 racing debut on July 15, which served as a prep for the Texas Summer Showdown.

Trained by Dave Correll, Si Puede is a true “horse for the course” at Sam Houston Race Park, with eight wins from 10 starts and four stakes wins here last summer. Jose Vega has ridden the talented filly in each of her 20 career starts and began working her in May following her five-month layoff.

“She came back running real good and we’re looking for her to run well on Friday,” Correll noted. “This horse has really sky rocketed Jose’s (Vega) career. He’s getting better mounts, in Texas and Oklahoma. He is a great young rider and his career is sky rocketing with horses like this.”

Stylish Strawfly Fastest Qualifier for the $44,200 Sam Houston Maiden Classic

Trials were run on Friday, July 21 at Sam Houston Race Park for the $44,200 Sam Houston Maiden Classic. The fastest qualifier was Stylish Strawfly, a 3-year-old son of Strawfly Special, who won his 350-yard trial in :18.088.

The bay colt, owned by Jose F. Serna, was making the first start of his career start this evening. Trained by Mario Rodriguez and ridden by Arturo Puga, Stylish Strawfly registered the fastest time of 57 American Quarter Horses competing for a berth in the finals which are set for Saturday, August 5.

Treasured Form Wins the $12,250 Colors of Texas Paint & Appaloosa Stakes

Treasured Form, a 6-year-old son of Rare Form defeated nine rivals in Saturday night’s $12,250 Colors of Texas Paint & Appaloosa Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. The Oklahoma-bred gelding was making his first start since October 15, but he fired fresh and drew off to a 2-length victory for owner Francisco Acuna. Trained by Joel Garza, Treasured Form was ridden by Juan Molina and crossed the wire of the 400-yard stakes in :20.236.

“This horse just ran for fun, he’s in it for fun,” said Garza. “Whatever stakes we can find, he’s ready to go. We gave him some races on the outside, and we saw how sharp he is. We knew he was ready for tonight.”

This was the 9th career win for Treasure Form, who picked up a check for $7,350 and increased his lifetime earnings to $71,081.

“We knew he was going to come and win it,” added Acuna. “He was just ready for it. We just knew he was going to hit it, we knew it all along. If an allowance comes up now, we’ll take that one. Whatever comes up here at Sam Houston. Then we’ll go on to Lone Star, then on to Oklahoma.”

A Glint of Gold Wins Returned to the Winner’s Circle Sunday at Sam Houston

The ageless A Glint of Gold won the fifth race of the Sunday afternoon card at Sam Houston Race Park. The 12-year-old American Quarter Horse owned by Sharon Yoakum and trained by her husband, Jesse, was making the 92nd start of his career and won by a nose under rider Rodrigo Vallejo.

This was the second start of the meet for A Glint of Gold, who finished fourth in the Hot Summer Nights Starter Series-Distance Division on July 7. The sorrel gelding made his first start in 1996 at Manor Downs and has won 18 lifetime races including the 2001 Sam Houston Classic.

Sam Houston Race Park Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

After a stellar six-win weekend, Rodrigo Vallejo has jumped from his second place standing to the top of the jockey standings. Vallejo has won 24 races and has the highest earnings of $143,562. Jeff Jerman dropped from the lead to second place with 21 wins and James Brooks follows closely with 20 victories. Jose Alvarez picked up a winning mount over the weekend and currently has 11 wins and is followed by Luis Ramirez, who is slowly climbing up in the standings. Ramirez has a total of nine victories after scoring a win last weekend.

Judd Kearl has regained is lead in the trainer standings after Janet Van Bebber took over the lead in last week’s standings. Kearl saddled three winners, which boosted him to the top of the standings with 10 wins and the highest earnings of $87,011. Van Bebber is in second place with a total of eight wins. Toby Keeton remains in third place with seven wins. Jess Aguilar is now tied with Alex Villarreal for fifth place in the standings with six wins each.

Warner Croft continues to lead in the owner standings. Croft has a total of five wins and $23,411 in earnings. J.C. Wells and Joe Kirk Fulton are following closely with four wins each, as each had a winner over the weekend. Bennie and Teresa Jeter are tied with Alex Villarreal with three wins each, while the Jeters have the highest earnings of $39,923.

Sam Houston Race Park Hosts Epicurean Evening on July 28

Live American Quarter Horse racing, delicious food and a great cause will be served up at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, July 28. In conjunction with the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, the 13th Anniversary Epicurean Evening will be held on the club level of the Sam Houston Race Park grandstand from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

The event, which is open to the public, will showcase some of the area’s hottest restaurants, including Sam Bochi Grill, Boudreaux’s Cajun Kitchen, Hasta La Pasta, Rockfish Grill, Hooters and Maui Wowi Hawaiian for an evening of delectable sampling.

“Epicurean Evenings are always a very special night at Sam Houston Race Park,” said Robert L. Bork president and general manager of the northwest Houston track. “The event raises a lot of money for a good cause and it’s always a pleasure working with the Northwest Chamber of Commerce.”

Advanced and discounted tickets for the Epicurean Evening are available at the Northwest Chamber of Commerce for $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for children, which includes admission to Sam Houston Race Park. Tickets may also be purchased on the night of the event at Sam Houston Race Park. Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Leadership North Houston and Community Programs.

For more information, call the Northwest Chamber at 281-440-4160 or visit

Another Weekend Filled with Big Payouts at Sam Houston Race Park

The weekend race card at Sam Houston Race Park featured full fields and lucrative exotic wager payouts. Mb Magic Cause, ridden by Jeff Jerman, paid $42.80 to win and keyed a $10,999 superfecta in Friday’s eighth race. The Friday night finale featured a $17,319 and a $30,307 superfecta with the dead heat between La Jolla Cutie and Running Away. La Jolla Cutie, with Jose Vega aboard paid $12.20 win and Running Away, ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo, paid $15.20.

Saturday night was full of big payouts, beginning with the sixth race. Splash N Six, Sixes Seven, Chilly Royale and Leaving on Request, at 25-1 odds, composed the $36,402 superfecta. In the eighth race, Dee Edge, Vital Winner, Bt Reckless Shine and Scorchos Lil Doll contributed to an even bigger superfecta payout of $42,773. Dee Edge was sent off at 6-1 odds, Vital Winner and Bt Reckless Shine left the gates at 17-1, while Scorchos Lil Doll was an even bigger longshot at odds of 29-1.

Simulcasting This Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast coast-to-coast racing action this week. Wednesday marks the season opener for Saratoga with the $100,000 Schuylerville Stakes for 2-year-olds. On Saturday, the New York racetrack will host two graded stakes: the $500,000 Diana Handicap and the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes. The weekend features at Del Mar include the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap on Saturday and the Grade 1, $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap on Sunday, July 30.

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