|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
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
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).