Harrisburg Stakes is the Friday Night Feature at Sam Houston Race Park

(August 16, 2006) - The $10,000 Harrisburg Stakes is set for the ninth race on the Friday night card. It will be another matchup between Fast Rythum and Cash On Black who finished first in a dead-heat in the $45,500 TQHA “550” Stakes on July 28. Fast Rythum (7-2), trained by Toby Keeton, will be ridden by Alfonso Lujan and Rodrigo Vallejo will pilot Cash On Black(4-1) for trainer Jesse Yoakum.

Streakin Lt from the barn of Judd Kearl and Mr Streakaway, trained by Jorge Mendoza, are two of the other contenders in the in the 550-yard feature, which drew a field of 11 American Quarter Horses.

Trials for the All American Futurity Set for Thursday, August 17

The richest and most prestigious American Quarter Horse racing event, the 47th All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino, will take place on Labor Day.

Seventeen trials for the 342 eligible 2-year-olds will be run this Thursday, August 17, with the ten fastest qualifiers to compete in the final for a purse of $2 million dollars.

Several Texas trainers will be in New Mexico, including Janet Van Bebber, Duane Hartsell, John Buchanan and Heath Taylor.

Last year, Taylor and his first-call rider, Gilbert Ortiz, qualified three horses for the final: fastest qualifier, Make A Secret, third-fastest qualifier, Jess A Classy Lad and fifth-fastest finalist, Vodka On Ice.

Make a Secret was Ortiz’s mount last year in the All American, but the conditions did not suit his horse.

“It rained and our colt didn’t like it,” summarized Ortiz. “He’s in the All American Derby (trials to be run on Friday). It’s going to be tough, but we’ve got some nice horses this year.”

Taylor and Ortiz have five horses in trials tomorrow and hope for a big day.

“You’ve got to have a whole lot of luck,” admits Ortiz. “Luck is 90% of the game when it comes to the All American. Our best horse last year didn’t qualify and in my opinion that horse could have beaten the top three running backwards. The tough part of running in 17 trials is the changing weather conditions at Ruidoso. You get a cross-wind, head wind, tail wind and sometimes you get a storm. The 2-year-old that I like, My First Passion, is a big gray colt in the eighth trial.”

Eyes On the Form Tops the Qualifiers in Trials for the $115,519 Dixie Stallion Stakes Futurity

Sam Houston Race Park hosted trials on Friday, August 11 for the $115,519 Dixie Stallion Stakes Futurity. Eyes On the Form ($6.20), a 2-year-old filly bred in Texas by Mickey Tiner, was the fastest qualifier, completing her 350-yard trial in :18.107.

Cipriano Vidana rode the daughter of Mr Eye Opener, who was just making the second start of her career. Trained by David Guajardo, Eyes On the Form made her racing debut on April 16 at Remington Park. Shakin Lil Oro, trained by Heath Taylor and ridden by Gilbert Ortiz, was the second fastest qualifier, winning her trial in :18.150.

The ten fastest qualifiers will return to Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, August 26 for the finals.

Benefit Golf Tournament for the Racetrack Chaplaincy Set for Monday, August 28

The Racetrack Chaplaincy of America-Sam Houston Race Park will host a Benefit Golf Tournament on Monday, August 28, 2006 at Longwood Golf Club.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Sam Houston Race Park’s Chaplaincy program. The northwest Houston racetrack is one of the many racetracks across the country that benefit from the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America. This non-profit organization is instrumental in offering assistance and many programs to the horsemen, grooms, jockeys and other individuals who make their living in racing.

“Many people in this industry have needs just like everyone else,” said track chaplain John Shumaker. “We do our best to help all of those people in need; not just with clothing and food, but also with spiritual and emotional needs. Our golf tournament is an excellent way to raise needed funds while enjoying a round of golf at one of Houston’s finest golf courses.”

Sign in for the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America - Sam Houston Race Park golf tournament gets underway at 8:30 a.m. The Shotgun Start begins at 10:00 a.m. Entry fee is $75 per player and will include golf, catered lunch and a goodie bag. Longwood Golf Club is located at 13300 Longwood Trace in northwest Houston.

For additional information, or to enter the tournament, call Chaplain John Shumaker at (281) 807-7236.

Thoroughbred Rider, Ted Gondron, Close to 2,000 Wins

Ted D. Gondron is approaching a personal milestone of 2,000 all time wins. Through August 15, Gondron was at 1,997 wins. He is currently riding at Retama Park and will be back in action on Thursday, August 17.

Gondron has been a longstanding member of the Sam Houston Race Park jockey colony and is the all-time Thoroughbred leading rider with a total of 547 wins.

Sam Houston Race Park Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

James Brooks remains in the lead in the jockey standings with a total of 32 wins and $242,269 in earnings. Rodrigo Vallejo follows closely in second place with 31 wins. Jeff Jerman is still ranked third in the standings with a total of 23 victories and Alfonso Lujan currently has the highest earnings with $273,245 and is in fourth place with 20 wins. Luis Ramirez had a good showing last weekend, winning five races to round out the top five with 18 wins. Martin Rubalcava is next with 16 wins. He piloted Rebs Royal Dasher to victory in Saturday’s $63,880 TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby and with a win payout of $79, was the highest price stakes winner of the meeting.

Judd Kearl saddled just one winner last weekend, but remains in first place in the trainer standings with 18 wins. Janet Van Bebber, who has been the leading trainer at Sam Houston Race Park for the past five years, is three wins behind with 15 victories. Thanks to the victory of Snowy Alibi in the $343,305 TQHA Sale Futurity, Van Bebber leads all trainers with earnings of $271,268. Dave Correll follows in third place with 12 victories and Toby Keeton is in fourth place with nine wins. Guy Hopkins, Bobby Moore, Jr., Duane Hartsell and Alex Villarreal are tied for fifth place in the standings with seven wins each.

A true battle is emerging in the owner standing as five horsemen are tied for first place. Warner Croft, J.C. Wells, Joe Kirk Fulton, Bob Weik and Los Ladrilleros Horse Racing Co. each have five victories. D.D. Lightsey remains the leading owner in earnings with $136,424.

Daily Racing Form/NTRA Championship Qualifier Set for Saturday, September 23, 2006 at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park will host its seventh annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA Championship Qualifier on Saturday, September 23, 2006. The contest is open to all racing fans, 21 years of age or older but limited to the first 200 entries (two entries per person max). The top three finalists will win a trip to compete at Bally’s - Las Vegas for the 2007 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship.

The contest fee is $200 and includes a seat on the Club level of the Sam Houston Race Park Grandstand, a continental breakfast, a contest program, a complimentary buffet lunch and a Sam Houston Race Park gift.

Contestants will be required to make mythical $2.00 win and place wagers on 20 races throughout the day. Ten races will be designated as mandatory by Sam Houston Race Park with the remaining ten to be chosen by the participants. The individual winner will be determined by the highest bankroll from all $2.00 win and place bets at the end of the day. First place will receive $10,000, second place finisher will be awarded $6,000, $3,000 for third place, $2,000 for fourth place and $1,000 for fifth place. Participants who finish sixth through fifteenth place, will receive $300 each.

The three top finishers will represent Sam Houston Race Park in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship on January 26-27 and receive complimentary entry into the finals, roundtrip airfare to Las Vegas and three nights hotel accommodations. A total of over $500,000 in cash prizes will be distributed in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, the largest total purse in the eight-year history of the event.

For further information regarding the Daily Racing Form/NTRA Handicapping Qualifier on Saturday, September 23, please call Troy Lawrence at (281) 807-8801 or visit the Sam Houston Race Park web site at shrp.com.

August VIP Specials at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park continues the great offers and benefits for its VIP Club members. Each Wednesday in August, VIP Club members may choose to receive double points for swiping their VIP Club Card, or choose to receive a complimentary Saratoga or Del Mar program. Also, just for swiping the VIP Club Card, members will be entered in a drawing for $250, which will be held each Sunday. Admission is also free for all VIP Club members who visit the park during non live racing hours. Race fans will enjoy taking advantage of the free admission to wager on the simulcast races from across the country.

There are many great incentives for joining the VIP Club, including the VIP point-earning program. For swiping the VIP card, members earn player points for a free dinner in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant, complimentary Box Seats and many other great rewards.

To become a VIP Club member, visit the Players Lounge located at the North end of the Grandstand on the Paddock Level. For more information about the benefits of the VIP Club stop by the Players Lounge or visit shrp.com.

Simulcasting This Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast coast-to-coast racing action this week. On Saturday, Del Mar will present the $400,000 Del Mar Oaks. Louisiana Downs hosts Louisiana Champions Day on Saturday with thirteen races including the $100,000 Louisiana Breeders’ Derby and Saratoga Race Course will present the $100,000 Yaddo Handicap.

Sunday, August 20 will be a big day at Del Mar with three stakes highlighted by the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic.

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