Texas Summer Showdown and TQHA Yearling Sale Set for Friday at Sam Houston Race Park

(july 26, 2006) - Sam Houston Race Park will host one of the most exciting nights of the 2006 American Quarter Horse meeting, the Texas Summer Showdown on Friday, July 28. The ten-race card will feature four stakes races with purses in excess of $140,000. The evening will conclude with a treat for racing fans, a live concert starring one of the most popular acts in Country Western music, the Bellamy Brothers.

A field of 11 will compete in the $40,00-added TQHA “550” Stakes, with Natural Task installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite. The 6-year-old gelding has won his last four starts for trainer Brent Kennedy, including stakes wins at both Retama Park and Delta Downs. Gilbert Ortiz has the mount on the accomplished Texas-bred, who is owned by Henry A. Kennedy, Jr. Other contenders in the 550-yard stakes include Fast Rythum, a 4-year-old conditioned by Toby Keeton and Amor Lijero, a multiple-stakes winner at Sam Houston Race Park, who is trained by Christian Rubalcava. The TQHA “550” Stakes is carded as the sixth race of the evening.

Streak Foe Me will try to get another winning streak going in the $20,000-added TQHA Starter Stakes. The 4-year-old filly, who is owned by J. C. Wells and trained by Judd Kearl, had won six in a row before her second place finish in the $26,280 Professional’s Choice Texas Claiming Challenge on July 8. Regular rider James Brooks will guide the daughter of Streakin La Jolla from post position 9 in Saturday’s seventh race.

“She’s drawn the rail for so many of her recent races, it will be nice to see her run from the outside of the track,” said Kearl. “It won’t make a difference; she can run from anywhere.”

Chics Dig Me Too drew the rail for trainer Stanley Coleman and rider Ortiz.The 4-year old gelding has won his last three races and steps up to stakes company on Friday. He is the second betting choice at 9-2.

One of the most competitive stakes of the night is likely to be the $40,000-added Barnmaster Sprint Stakes at 250 yards. Six Royal Fortunes, a 3-year-old daughter of Royal Shake Em trained by Janet Van Bebber, has been installed as the 7-2 morning line choice. She has won her last two efforts for owner Jolene McCord and will be ridden by Alfonso Lujan. Defending champion, Jack Zee Quick, owned by Dallas Blakley and R.P. Stuart, is 4-1. Trainer Matt Baker has given the mount to John Hamilton, who rode the 5-year-old to victory in the Delta Dash on April 16. Little Kool Barbie, a 4-year-old filly out the one of the most prolific mares in American Quarter Horse racing, Kool Kue Baby, is also entered in the Barnmaster. Owned by Ramiro and Armando Lopez, Little Kool Barbie won the $58,770 Bayer Legend Texas Derby Challenge in July, 2005 at Sam Houston Race Park.

Defending champion Si Puede has been installed as the 9-5 morning-line favoritie in the $40,000-added TQHA Classic Stakes, at a distance of 400 yards. 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 TQHA Classic. 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. Her competition in the TQHA Classic Stakes includes Flor de Lirio, winner of the $13,500 Harris County Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on July 24 and La Jollaroid, who was the second fastest qualifier in trials for the $115,650 MBNA Texas Challenge Championship (G1) on July 8.

The Texas Summer Showdown also includes the annual TQHA Yearling Sale, which begins on Friday, July 28. A total of 320 yearlings are set to pass through the sale ring on Friday and Saturday, July 29, beginning at 11:00 a.m. Racing action continues on Saturday, July 29 with trials for the TQHA Sires Cup Derby and the finals of the $343,305 TQHA Sale Futurity (RG1).

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