TQHA Summer Showdown set for Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28

(Wendesday, July 25, 2007) - The TQHA Summer Showdown, one of the premier weekends of the Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meeting, will take place on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28. The weekend combines five stakes races, an Equine Expo and the annual TQHA Yearling Sale.

Now in its tenth year, the TQHA Yearling Sale continues to grow in stature and will take place over two days in the air-conditioned comfort of the Pavilion Centre. A total of 329 yearlings will pass through the sales ring during the sale, which will begin at 12:00 noon each day. Each year some first-class American Quarter Horses emerge from this event, including 2003 AQHA World Champion, Oak Tree Special, who was purchased in the 2001 TQHA Yearling Sale and Azoom, the leading 2-year-old in the nation in wins in 2004, who was spotted in the 2003 sale. The first crop of Azoom: two fillies and one colt have been consigned to this year’s sale. The most recent champion is Snowy Alibi, who was purchased for $38,000 at the 2005 TQHA Yearling Sale, won the $343,305 TQHA Sale Futurity last summer and captured the $67,000 Bayer Legend Texas Derby Challenge two weeks ago. The TQHA Yearling Sale is open to the public and is a very fast-paced and entertaining event.

Racing fans are in for a treat as the TQHA Summer Showdown stakes on Friday night include the $45,000-Added Barnmaster Sprint Stakes (RG3) run at 250 yards; the $25,000-Added TQHA Starter Stakes at a distance of 350 yards; the $50,000-Added Ancira Ford Stakes (RG3) will be run 400 yards; and the $45,000-Added TQHA “550” Stakes (RG3) at a distance of 550 yards. On Saturday, July 28, Sam Houston Race Park will host the finals of the 2007 TQHA Sale Futurity with the ten fastest 2-year-olds from trials two weeks ago returning to compete for a record purse of $372,622.

The Equine Expo, also at Sam Houston Race Park, will be held in the Pavilion Centre on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A diverse array of booth exhibitors will display equine merchandise, including services and products geared to not only racing, but also to all equine-related interests.

Announcer Wilfredo Gonzalez y Moreno to Call Races at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park will host the TQHA Summer Showdown on Friday, July 27, with four stakes on the ten-race card. Track announcer Michael Chamberlain will welcome a special guest to his announcer booth as Wilfredo Gonzalez y Moreno will call two races in Spanish.

Moreno has over 22 years of experience announcing races in Mexico at the Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico. He has called races at several prominent tracks in Mexico and has an extensive media background. Moreno was affiliated with Grupo Acir, one of the most prominent radio stations in Mexico. He also did television reporting and analysis for Televisa and PSN Toda America Latina.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Gonzalez y Moreno to Sam Houston Race Park for one of our biggest weekends of the American Quarter Horse Meeting,” said Eric Johnston, racing secretary. “Our horsemen, racing fans and all the prospective buyers for the TQHA Yearling Sale are sure to enjoy his race calls on Friday night.”

No Ordinary Dash Fastest Qualifer in the Sam Houston Maiden Classic

Trials were run on Friday, July 20 for the $40,600 Sam Houston Maiden Classic. The first trial produced the fastest qualifying time as No Ordinary Dash crossed the wire of the 350-yard dash in :17.586. The 3-year-old filly is owned by Hernando G. Guerra and trained by Bobby Martinez and was ridden by J. R. Ramirez.

The ten fastest qualifiers will return for the final on Saturday, August 4.

Paul Nolan Wins 1,000th Race of His Career

Thoroughbred rider Paul Nolan won his 1,000th career race on Saturday, July 21 aboard Hurricane Bernie in the $45,000 Canterbury Lassie Stakes at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota.

Nolan, who was born in Rugeley, England, made his US debut in 1990. He was the second leading rider at Sam Houston Race Park in the 2006/2007 Thoroughbred meeting and rode for Stonerside Stable and trainer Michael Stidham. From Houston, Nolan shipped his tack to Canterbury Park, where he is the leading rider. His success prompted trainer Bernie Flint to give him the call on Hurricane Bernie last weekend.

“I had never ridden a horse for Bernie Flint, but he requested the leading rider at Canterbury and I got to ride the filly in the stake,” said Nolan. “She sat off the pace and took hold of the bit and won easily.”

Nolan, 45, who rode General Charley to victory in the $45,000 Tomball Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park last February and then to a third-place finish in the Grade III Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf here in April, will pilot the Stonerside Stable homebred in the $100,000 Pepsi Emerald Stakes on August 4 at Ellis Park.

July VIP Specials at Sam Houston Race Park

VIP Club members receive perks, rewards and incentives every month at Sam Houston Race Park. There are plenty of promotions for the month of July including:

Wednesday: 3 VIP Bonus Points and Free Winning Colors Tip Sheet
Thursday: Free Stat Attack (Dog Tip Sheet)
Friday: Free Live Racing Program (Gates Open to 4 PM)
Sunday: Double Players Reward Points

Free $25 Betting Voucher when you sign up with TXU energy to be your electricity provider.

To become a VIP Club member, visit the Players Lounge located at the North end of the Grandstand on the Paddock Level. For more information about the benefits of the VIP Club stop by the Players Lounge or call 281-807-8278.

Simulcast Action at Sam Houston Race Park

Saratoga kicked off its 139th racing season on Wednesday, July 25 and will present a strong opening weekend program this Saturday and Sunday. The winner of the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap earns an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic and among the horses expected to be part of the field are Brass Hat, Lawyer Ron, Papi Chullo, and 2007 MAXXAM Gold Cup winner, Student Council. The Saturday card at Saratoga also features three other graded races, including the Grade 1, $250,000 Go For Wand Handicap, the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana Handicap on the grass and the Grade 2, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap.

Sunday may mark the return of Kentucky Derby champion, Street Sense as the 3-year-old colt will run in either the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes or the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) on August 5 at Monmouth Park.

Admission to Sam Houston Race Park is only $4 for adults, $2 for Senior Citizens and children 12 and under are admitted free. For a complete listing of the simulcast schedule, please call 281-807-8740 or visit www.shrp.com.

Leading Rider Arturo Puga Looks Forward to the TQHA Summer Showdown

American Quarter Horse jockey Arturo Puga has not relinquished his lead in the rider standings at Sam Houston Race Park and continues to introduce a new hair color each week. The 18-year-old is fresh off his first riding title at Retama Park and wants to show racing fans his fun side. He arrived at Sam Houston Race Park with blue hair and has dyed it several colors since the meet began.

“I am thinking of going pink this Saturday to match the saddle cloth of my horse in the stakes,” said Puga, who will ride # 8 Glimpse of Greatness in the TQHA Sale Futurity.

Puga, who was born in Jalisco, Mexico, is the current leader in the jockey standings with 19 wins from 85 starts. He is named on seven horses on the Friday night card and nine this Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park

Vince Neil, Quiet Riot and Slaughter Perform in the Verizon Wireless Concert Series

In addition to the fast-paced excitement of American Quarter Horse racing at Sam Houston Race Park, the northwest Houston racetrack is kicking its annual summer concert series into high gear. Sam Houston Race Park is building upon the success of its Friday night concert series, which over the past ten years has featured some of the top Country Western artists in the country.

A variety of artists of the Country, Classic Rock and Alternative music world will take to the Bud Light Stage and the spacious new venue will include preferred seating, open lawn seating and plenty of room for dancing. In addition, Sam Houston Race Park will offer a noteworthy selection of food and beverage concessions so that racing and music fans can fully enjoy this total entertainment experience.

Tickets for the Verizon Wireless Concert Series are on sale at MusicAtThePark.com and are priced individually, starting at $10, which includes admission to Sam Houston Race Park. For information, tickets and a chance to meet the artists, visit MusicAtThePark.com or call (281) 807-8760.

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