|TQHA Summer Showdown Stakes Recap from Sam Houston Race Park
(Friday, July 27, 2007) - Sam Houston Race Park hosted one
of the most exciting weekends of the 2007 American Quarter Horse
meeting, the TQHA Summer Showdown. The two day event began with
the annual TQHA Yearling Sale and four stakes races on the Friday
night card. The weather forecast was foreboding with 80% chance
of rain, but Mother Nature gave American Quarter Horse racing fans
a much deserved break with the four stakes races run over a good
track before the downpour for the ninth and tenth races of the evening.
Track announcer Michael Chamberlain welcomed guest announcer,
Wilfredo Gonzalez y Moreno, who called races 2, 3 and 9 in Spanish.
Moreno has over 22 years of experience announcing races in Mexico
at the Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico.
Veteran Gray Invasion Wins the $50,500 TQHA 550 Stakes
Like a fine win, Gray Invasion just gets better with age. The 8-year-old
of Chicks Beduino won the 2004 and 2005 edition of the $50,500 TQHA
550 Stakes, setting a new track record of :26.768 in his 2005 victory.
Trained by Bobby Touchet for owner Claudio Aguilar of Edinburgh,
Texas, the striking gray closed powerfully down the center of the
racetrack to win his third title in a time of :27.088. Natural Task
broke extremely well under rider Alfonso Lujan and looked like he
had it until Gray Invasion closed powerfully on his outside under
Sam Houston Race Park leading rider, Arturo Puga.
“He loves to run; that’s all you can say about him,”
said Aguilar. “This is his distance; he’s won it twice.”
Natural Task held on for second place with Black Hearted completing
“He was trying hard; he just got outrun,” said Alfonso
Lujan of his second place finish aboard Natural Task.
Rider Danny Lavergne was unseated from his mount,Splendid Sam
Perry. The 2004 leading rider at Sam Houston Race Park returned
to the jocks room complaining of soreness in his back and neck and
took off the remainder of his mounts.
Toole N Round Captures the $50,500 Barnmaster Sprint Stakes
Toole N Round continued her show her affinity for the Sam Houston
Race Park track surface as she captured the $50,500 Barnmaster Sprint
Stakes. The 250-yard dash attracted a broad range of runners from
the 9-year-old Ronas Wind Dancer to 3-year-old filly, Mayor Mae,
but it was Toole N Round who led gate-to-wire crossing the wire
The 4-year-old filly is owned and bred by Pat Allen of Austin
and ridden by Alfonso Lujan, who piloted five winners on the Friday
“This is a filly that always runs well for me,” said
“Bobby told me she could win at 250 yards,” said Allen.
“I’m proud of her; Alfonso just fits her and Bobby told
me she handle this distance.”
“The mare is so stout and leaves the gates so good,”
commented winning trainer Bobby Moore, Jr.
Toole N Round ($15.60) improved her lifetime record to 5 wins
from ten starts and four of those have been at Sam Houston Race
Happy Streaker Powers to the Wire in the $55,500 Ancira
The $55,500 Ancira Ford Stakes for accredited Texas-breds was a
400-yard contest with four fillies taking on their male counterparts.
Happy Streaker ($13.00) lived up to her name, surging from the far
outside post to outrun her nine rivals. Jockey Abdel Torres had
the mount for owner Miguel Chapa from Mission, Texas. Trainer Alex
Villarreal was not here tonight to saddle the 3-year-old filly as
his mother passed away this morning.
“She was a little nervous in the gate as this was her first
start off a layoff,” said Torres. “She broke well and
fired it up in the end.”
“We are considering the Sam Houston Derby for her next start,”
said Ben Garza, who saddled for Villerreal. “This was a great
finish; she’s always been a nice filly and really ran well
Happy Streaker earned $33,300 for tonight’s victory, improving
her career record to five wins from ten starts.
Wassup T Doc Continues His Winning Streak in the $25,000
TQHA Starter Stakes
Wassup T Doc ($14.20) powered to the wire in the $25,000 TQHA Starter
Stakes at a distance of 350 yards. Trained by Jesse Yoakum, the
6-year-old Texas-bred is undefeated in 2007 and winning his third
straight this season at Sam Houston Race Park. Russel Hadley was
the winning rider, drawing off by one length in a final time of
:17.72. Post time favorite, Ab Hope for Cash closed for second,
followed by longshot, Smarty Stoli.
“The old guy is at the top of his game,” commented
The TQHA Summer Showdown continues on Saturday with the final 163
American Quarter Horses set to pass through the sales ring of the
TQHA Sale Futurity. Saturday night’s card will be highlighted
by the final of the $372,622 TQHA Sale Futurity with the ten fastest
2-year-olds from trials two weeks ago returning to compete for a
richest purse in the nine-year history of the race. The entry of
Witchs Streak and Eyesa Jumpn is the 5-2 favorite with fastest qualifier
Oak Trees Pop Pop installed as the second choice at odds of 3-1.
Trainer Janet Van Bebber, who won the 2006 TQHA Sale Futurity with
Snowy Alibi, qualified three runners for the final. She will saddle
Panther Shootist, Ss Big Shot and King of Shadows. The TQHA Sale
Futurity will run as the eighth race of the Saturday night card
with a post time of 9:02 p.m.