Four Exciting Stakes and Bellamy Brothers Concert Highlight the TQHA Summer Showdown at Sam Houston

(July 28, 2006) - Sam Houston Race Park hosted one of the most exciting nights of the 2006 American Quarter Horse meeting, the Texas Summer Showdown. Today marked the first day of the annual TQHA Yearling Sale and tonight’s ten-race card featured four stakes races. An enthusiastic crowd was in attendance, enjoying the stakes action as well as a live concert following the evening’s races by popular performing artists, the Bellamy Brothers.

In the $45,250 TQHA Classic Stakes, it was back-to-back stakes wins for Flor de Lirio, a 4-year-old filly owned by Zeferino T. Garcia of Houston. Claimed for $7,500, the talented filly has blossomed this year for trainer Janie Hernandez, winning the $13,500 Harris County Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on June 24 and returning to the winner’s circle tonight. Armando Andrade piloted Flor de Lirio to victory, covering the 400-yard stakes in a time of :20.210 over a fast track..

The race was marred by the scratch of defending champion, Si Puede. The 4-year-old filly, voted 2005 Sam Houston Race Park Horse of the Meeting, became fractious in the saddling paddock and reared up and fell. She was declared out of the race by the stewards and was vanned back to her barn. Trainer Dave Correll was reached for comment and stated that the 4-year-old filly, who had won 14 of her lifetime starts owner Lukin Gilliland, was undergoing evaluation and would be xrayed.

With the earlier scratch of Wings of La Jolla and the scratch in the paddock of Si Puede, a field of nine left the gate and Flor de Lirio drew off with La Jollaroid finishing second.

“She surprised me,” said Hernandez. “I knew this would be a hard race with Si Puede in there. It was sad to see what happened to her. We claimed this filly for $7,500 and she's won two stakes here. Our owners were not afraid to run against Si Puede; they really believe in this filly. They ran almost the same speed index when our filly won the Harris County Stakes and Si Puede won her allowance (on July 15)."

Flor de Lirio, sent off at 8-1, paid $18.00 for the win. La Jollaroid, Love My Dash and Surprisingly Special completed the top four spots.

The $45,500 TQHA “550” Stakes produced an exciting finish with a dead-heat for the win between Fast Rythum and Cash On Black, crossing the finish line in a winning time of 27.736. Fast Rythum is owned by Joel Pierce and trained by Toby Keeton. Jesse Yoakum trains Cash On Black for owners Sylviane and Ramey B. Metz. Jockeys Alfonso Lujan and Rodrigo Vallejo had the winning mounts.

“He left real good away from the gate and just kept digging in the whole way,” said Lujan of Fast Rythum. “He battled with the 3 horse and put his whole heart into the race. I thought it was close; I couldn't tell if I had won or the other horse. It was nice that we both won.”

Cash On Black paid $9.40 and Fast Rythum returned $7.40 for the win. Splendid Sam Perry was third followed by the favorite, Natural Task.

The $45,250 Barnmaster Sprint Stakes at 250 yards, drew a competitive field of 10. The winner was Shake Em Fever for owners Betty and Bob Moore of Temple, Texas. Judd Kearl is the trainer of the 4-year-old gelding and was ridden to victory by James Brooks in a winning time of :13.296.

“I am elated,” said Betty Moore in the winner’s circle following the race. “We bred her and are so proud. She usually gets out (of the gates) really well. If she gets out without a mistake, it's hard to catch her. It was getting close and we were thrilled that she held on.”

Shake Em Fever paid $21.80 for the win. Ronas Wind Dancer with Rodrigo Vallejo aboard ran second and Phoebes Otoole secured closed for third.

Defending champion, Jack Zee Quick was sent off as the post-time favorite, but was bumped and finished eighth.

“We didn’t get away real good,”said trainer Matt Baker. “The horse turned his head they kicked him. The start is so important with Quarter Horses, especially with these 250-yard races. He’s a better horse than that and hopefully he comes out of the race okay and is sound. He’ll have a few more outs here this summer.”

The Moore family had another reason to celebrate as Coup De Victory captured the $22,000 TQHA Starter Stakes for owner and trainer Bobby L. Moore, Jr. The 4-year-old gelding was ridden to victory in the 350-yard sprint by Alfonso Lujan in a time of :17.994.

“I'm very excited,” said Moore, who celebrated his 38th birthday tonight. “This horse was just sitting on go. I gave him some time off because we hammered on him on him quite a bit early on. I had a gut feeling that this night would be good for him.”

“He came super off the layoff from his last race,” added Lujan. “ He was ready to go tonight; he broke well and dug in a ran a good race. Bobby does a good job with his horses; he's a true horseman and knows his horses very well.”

First Down Pay ran second and Truly Seis was third, followed by the heavy favorite, Streak Foe Me.

“She has been running hard, so I think she just needs a little rest,”commented her regular rider, James Brooks. “Her last win in a $40,000 stakes race was against the girls and this one was open. I think she could’ve won though, she just needs to freshen up a little.”

Live racing resumes on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. with trials for the TQHA Sires Cup Derby as well as the final of the $343,305 TQHA Sale Futurity.

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