Dirt Track Date Survives Photo Finish in the $372,662 TQHA Sale Futurity at Sam Houston Race Park

(Saturday, July 28, 2007) - One year ago Ed Peters and Kevin Norris spotted a filly in the TQHA Yearling Sale. They liked her conformation and knew that her sire, Hotdoggin was blazing fast. They bid $6,800 and tonight celebrated with fifty of their closest friends as the filly, Dirt Track Date won the $372,662 TQHA Sale Futurity.

The race, run in :17.765 was extremely close and the placing judges took five minutes examining all the angles of the finish as Dirt Track Date crossed the wire with Eyesa Jumpn to her inside and Red White and Gol on her right. The winning connections and trainer Lewis “Tooter” Jordan were overjoyed when the race became official. Their payday for tonight’s futurity, with the richest purse in the nine-year history of the race, was a hefty $165,834.

Dirt Track Date, bred by Julie Pilgrim, made her racing debut just three months ago at Retama Park, winning at first asking on May 13. Gaspar Garcia has ridden her in each of her four starts and tonight’s victory was the biggest in his career.

“She’s just a super fast filly,” said Garcia. “I knew the first time I rode her how good she was.”

“She’s a game filly,” added Jordan, who won his first TQHA Sale Futurity this evening. “She got out a little in the trials and this is just her first out. She’s improving all the time.”

Dirt Track Date, sent off at 5-1, paid $11.20 to win. Rider Rodrigo Vallejo overcame a troubled start on Red White and Gol, but sent the sorrel gelding flying on the outside of the racetrack. He was placed second and Eyesa Jumpn was third. Big Biz, Witchs Streak, Glimpse of Greatness, Panther Shootist, Ss Big Shot and King of Shadows completed the order of finish.

The field was reduced to nine as top qualifier Oak Trees Pop Pop suffered a slab fracture in her sizzling trial run, where she set the fastest time of 17.587. She underwent surgery this week in Elgin and has been retired as a racehorse.

“It was heartbreaking for me and the owners,” said trainer Bobby Martinez. “She was so fast; we thought she was capable of winning anywhere and were planning on the Texas Classic Futurity (at Lone Star Park this October). It’s such a shame, but it happens in horseracing.”

The filly, bred by Gary Kurz of San Antonio, will remain on Kurz’s farm as a broodmare.

Jordan was undecided on the next start for Dirt Track Date.

“We’re not sure what we will do next,” commented Jordan. “We’ll see how she comes out of this race and go from there.”

TQHA Yearling Sale Concludes with Sales of $3.7 Million

The TQHA Yearling Sale, which is held each summer at Sam Houston Race Park, concluded today. Officials from the Texas Quarter Horse Association reported that the total sales from the 2-day event reached $3.7 million.

The 2007 TQHA sale topper was hip 314, Phantom Pharwell, consigned by Robert and Cynthia Zoch. Glen S. Collins of College Station, bid $90,000 for the sorrel Jess Perry colt.

Diamond Tres Seis was Fastest Qualifier in the TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby

Four trials were run this evening for the $25,000-added TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby. Diamond Tres Seis, trained by Heath Taylor and ridden by Gilbert Ortiz was the fastest qualifier, crossing the wire of his 400-yard trial in :19.852. Owned by Mercy and Ray Hinklin, the sorrel colt won at Delta Downs on April 29 before winning his trial here this evening. Diamond Tres Seis and the nine additional qualifiers will return to Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, August 11 for the final.

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