Eyesa Sam Upsets Favored Panther Purr to Win $72,958 TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby (RG3) at SHRP

(Saturday, August 9, 2008) - Only nine of the ten fastest qualifiers took part in the exciting final of the $72,958 TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby on Saturday, August 9 at Sam Houston Race Park. The field was reduced due to the late scratch of Dream You See. Eyesa Sam upset favored Panther Purr, the fastest qualifier, by a head and finished with a time of :20.031. Breaking from post position one, jockey J.R. Ramirez quickly moved Eyesa Sam away from the rail upon breaking, helped him find his stride as the gelding powered to a stunning upset in the 400-yard race.

The three-year-old gelding is trained by Carlos Terrazas and owned by Paul Lozolla from San Antonio, Texas. Tonight, Terrazas was in San Antonio at Retama Park overseeing training for another quarter horse.

“He broke like a rocket, and that’s what made the difference in this race,” commented Ramirez. “I just picked up this horse this week. They asked me if I wanted to ride him and, of course, I said yes because I didn’t have a horse to ride yet. He ran really hard for me tonight.”

The Texas-bred son of Truley First Class out of Aint I An Eyeopener earned $29,183 for tonight’s victory and rewarded his betting fans with a win payout of $30.60. The winner was the fifth fastest qualifier in trials run on July 26.

First-year owner Lozolla was proud of his horse commenting, “This horse has been doing very well. He was the fifth fastest qualifier, but he’s been winning a lot of derby races this year, and he’s been qualifying in everything we put him in.”

Eyesa Sam will be looking to repeat his victory in the $35,000+ Sam Houston Derby (G2) at The Park on September 6, followed by the $200,000+ Dash for Cash Derby (G1) at Lone Star Park on October 25.

The fastest qualifier, Panther Purr (5-2), finished a very close second under rider Rodrigo Vallejo. The three-year-old filly won the Silestone Stakes, a 350-yard race at The Park, on July 4. She is trained by Abelardo Flores, Jr. and owned by Carlos Lozano.

Jessie O Toole, trained by The Park’s current leading trainer, Judd Kearl, ran third, followed by Heza Jet Set, A Dirty Flick, Racing Streak, Rapid Fire Jess, Jess Jeans, and Im a Special Run.

Immediately following live racing events at The Park, The Showgrounds (www.theshowgrounds.com) hosted the Verizon Wireless post-race concert series on the Bud Light stage with a performance from one of Houston’s most popular country music stars, Clint Black, along with opening act Shake Russell.

Live Quarter Horse racing continues every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through September 13.

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