Van Bebber Runners Shine in the $343,305 TQHA Sale Futurity at Sam Houston Race Park

(July 29, 2006) - Trainer Janet Van Bebber qualified three horses for the $343,305 TQHA Sale Futurity (RG1) tonight at Sam Houston Race Park. The premier racing event showcases 2-year-old American Quarter Horses that were purchased in the TQHA Yearling Sale, held each July at Sam Houston Race Park.

Van Bebber and her owners did very well at last year’s sale and were each rewarded in tonight’s final with Snowy Alibi running his best career effort for owner D. D. Lightsey of Caldwell, Texas. The chestnut gelding was bred in Texas by Narcisco Flores and purchased at the 2005 TQHA Yearling Sale for $38,000 by Mr. Lightsey. He was the fourth fastest qualifier in trials, crossing the wire in :17.961 and besting that time in tonight’s victory, covering 350-yards in :17.632.

The race was delayed when Bridled Lightnin, a filly trained by Bobby Moore, Jr., broke through the gate and galloped down the racetrack. She was caught without incident by the outrider and returned to the gate. The remainder of the field was backed out and reloaded minutes later, an event that helped Snowy Alibi, according to his rider, Alfonso Lujan.

"He got a little nervous when that horse broke through the gate,” recounted Lujan, who won four races on tonight’s card. “When he was unloaded and came in a second time, he was ready. He settled down and was ready to go. From the trials, he learned how to run. He put it all together today and ran an outstanding race. I want to thank Janet and the Lightseys for letting me ride their horses. Janet does an outstanding job and I am happy to ride for her."

Van Bebber had been in the exact same position one year ago as she trained fastest qualifier, Shazoomer for owner Lou Phillips. This year it was Streakin Illusively, a striking son of Streakin La Jolla, who topped the qualifying with a time of :17.706. Streakin Illusively finished third and Shakeatea, who was the second fastest qualifier in trials, ran fourth.

"I'm very proud of all three of my colts,” said Van Bebber. “They all three hit the board. Fastest qualifier, Streakin Illusively false broke when the other broke through the front of the gate. He hit his face badly and that deterred his final effort. Snowy Alibi, on the other hand, backing out and reloading, I think it did nothing but help him. He's been a nervous, somewhat immature colt and that helped him get focused and get his game face on. He was the professional that we thought he could be. The most important factor of this race and the thing that I am most proud of. I am so blessed to have owners that allow me to go out and pick horses that I want and let me take them home. Even today, Mr. Lightsey allowed me to pick a horse and sign that ticket so we can compete in this race next year."

Splitting the Van Bebber trifecta was Look and Runaway, the sixth fastest qualifier who outran her odds of 32-1 to finish second for trainer Joseph Manucy and rider Dewey Smith.

“She run good,” said Smith. “Her and the five horse hooked up, and we just got outfooted. But she ran really good.”

“For a 30-1 shot, this is tremendous,” proclaimed Manucy. “This filly is really a game filly. When you see three wins on a horse in five starts, she’s going to give you what she’s got. She left (the gate) extremely well. Dewey came all the way to Lafayette (Louisiana) to school her for me, and we schooled her in the gate. He came all that way to school her and to get to know her, because he’d never been on her. And it worked out tonight. A lot of hard work paid off. Alfonso (Lujan), I give him all the congratulations in the world (for riding the race winner) because he qualified her for me, and it was a toss-up who he’d ride tonight. He decided to ride that one, and I wish we could have turned it the other way, but I’m still happy for him.”

Bridled Lightnin, owned by Warner Croft and trained by Bobby Moore, Jr., headed into tonight’s final on a four-win streak. The bay filly has won each of her four career starts, including her trial in which she stumbled out of the gate and still won by two lengths. Rider Jeff Jerman did the best he could tonight, but had to settle for ninth place.

"I didn't know what to do,” admitted Jerman regarding whether to run or scratch. “I kept waiting to see if Bobby would come up here. She's alright, that's the most important thing."

Snowy Alibi, who posted a career-high speed index of 98, earned $152,771 for the victory. Sent off at 10-1, Snowy Alibi rewarded his supporters with payouts of $22.80 to win, $10.00 to place and $4.00 to show. The 5-3 exacta returned $450.60 and the 5-3-4 trifecta paid $1,085.20. The remainder of the field included Shakeatea, Van Helsing, Volatility, Mayor Mae, Sixaflying, Bridled Lightnin and Truley Poised.

News and Notes -

TQHA Yearling Sale Concludes with Sales of $3.2 Million

The Texas Summer Showdown Weekend continued this morning with the final day of the 2006 TQHA Yearling Sale. The annual sale was extended to a two-day event for a third year in a row. Officials from the TQHA reported that the 2006 catalog included 320 consignees and total sales from the 2-day event reached $3,268,500.

The 2006 TQHA sale topper was hip 141, Tailgunner Tom, with the top bid of $110,000 by Glen S. Collins of College Station, Texas. The chestnut colt was one of two Corona Cartel colts in the annual sale. Corona Cartel was the 2005 AQHA leading sire by both 2-year-old earnings and 2-year-old winners.

“This continues to be a great partnership between the Texas Quarter Horse Association and Sam Houston Race Park,” said Rob Werstler, director of racing for the TQHA. “We attracted a number of quality horses and horsemen from not only Texas, but all over the country and were pleased with the weekend.”

Texas Sixes Fastest Qualifier in the TQHA Sires Cup Derby

Four trials were run this evening for the $25,000-added TQHA Sires Cup Derby. Texas Sixes, trained by Judd Kearl and ridden by James Brooks was the fastest qualifier, crossing the wire of his 400-yard trial in :20.084. Owned and bred by Jerry Windham, the sorrel colt qualified for the 2005 Rainbow Futurity, finished sixth in the Ruidoso Downs stakes. This was his first win of 2006 and he and the nine additional qualifiers will return to Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, August 12 for the final.

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