Big Bad N Brown
-photo Jenifer Juelsgaard/Coady Photography

Top-Graded Stakes Races Highlighted the Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park

(Saturday, August 22, 2009) - Sam Houston Race Park hosted five top-graded stakes races on Friday, August 21 & Saturday, August 22.

Friday night’s live racing fan witnessed the upset of Big Bad N Brown (6-1) holding off favorite Carny Streakin Dash (5-2) in a time of :45.684 in the Grade 3 $35,000+ Governors’ Cup Marathon Handicap. The five-year-old gelding, who was ridden for the first time by jockey Alfonso Lujan, had also won the $15,000 Universal City Stakes earlier in The Park’s American Quarter Horse Meet on Saturday, May 9.

“This horse is a definite 870-yard specialist,” commented trainer/owner Mike Howell. “He usually breaks well from the start and drives strong until the finish. I’m very pleased with what he’s accomplished, and I’m also pleased with Alfonso taking the reins for the first time with this horse and guiding to a win.”

Big Bad N Brown didn’t disappoint his betting fans with a win payout of $31.00. The remainder of the eight-horse field, going a distance of 870 yards, featured Carny Streakin Dash in second and Heza Marquette Maker in third, followed by Fast Eddy 123, Wood Climber, City Class, Blue Ribbon Dash and Sheza Bright Wood.

For Saturday night’s live race card, the $57,000 TQHA Claiming Futurity offered the largest purse of the night. Longshot JA Caliente Express (12-1), a two-year-old gelding, upset the 10-horse field in a time of :17.987. JA Caliente Express was bumped at the start, but gave a driving finish and held off Goldin Ease (4-1) and New Corona (6-1) by a head.Betting fans for JA Caliente Express were awarded with a $15.00 win payout.

“I thought he did well in this race after a slight bump at the start,” commented trainer Judd Kearl. “He took over at the finish and held on to win by a head. I was very pleased with his race tonight.”

JA Caliente Express is owned by Joe B. Allen and was ridden by jockey Rodrigo Vallejo. Final placement in 350-yard sprint featured Goldin Ease in second and New Corona in third, followed by Silo Contendere, So Kool, Silent Raindrop, Miss Royal Contend, Time For A Windfall, DM Zoom By Six and Executive Runner.

Also featured on Saturday’s live race card was the Grade 3 $23,595 TPHBA Maturity. Corys Doll (7-2), ridden by jockey Jerry Yoakum, continued her winning streak with her third straight win in a time of :17.675.

“This filly has really showed us in these past few races that she means business,” commented trainer Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath. “She’s been making her mark in stakes race after stakes race. We couldn’t be more proud of this horse.”

The three-year-old filly, co-owned by Marvin Barnes and Cory Whittle, paid her betting fans $10.40. The final placement in the seven-horse stakes race sprinting 350 yards featured PF Chief Running Bear in second and Treasured Form in third, followed by Awesome Judy, Savonas Beauty, Could Be A Paint and Kiss The Money Honey.

The Grade 2 $26,295 Colors of Houston Futurity featured Judys Rocket To Cash (9-5) taking the win in a time of :17.952. The two-year-old colt was bumped from the start, but gave a commanding finish with The Park’s leading jockey, David Alvarez, aboard. This win marked the fourth straight win for the young colt owned by Jerry Neil Leavell.

“I’m very thrilled with how this colt has been racing,” commented The Park’s leading trainer, Bobby Touchet. “He’s been bumped at the start a few times, but always finishes strong.”

The betting fans earned $4.20 with the win. The remainder of the 11-horse field, going a distance of 350 yards featured Allysa finishing in second and JNL Champagne Lineage in third, followed by Aintscaredaflyin, O J Okey, Grand Diamonds, Slick Angel, He Will Smashm First, Six Point, JMD Simply Awesome and Sparking Native Rose.

Rounding out the stakes races for Saturday was the Grade 2 $50,000 Sam Houston Classic. Diamond Tres Seis (5-1) ran a commanding race from start to finish, winning in a time of :21.453 with a top-notch speed index of 102. The five-year-old gelding was ridden by jockey Gilbert Ortiz and owned by Mercy and Ray Hinklin.

“This horse is a stakes-only contender,” commented trainer Heath Taylor. “And he’s done really well in the past, but I think he’s coming into his own and more confident from start to finish.”

Betting fans enjoyed a $7.40 payout for the Diamond Tres Seis win. Final placement in the 10-horse field, sprinting 450 yards, featured Illegal Memories in second and Royce Rogers in third, followed by the favorite Mr Jess Perrier, Miss Kips Streakin, Zoomin Winner, Streakin Illusively, It’s A Black Oak, Mr Perry Dash and Hydrostatic.

In addition to live racing events, The Park held the Inaugural Shine & Show Bike Event presented by 107.5 The Eagle. The Shine ‘N Show event offered an exciting evening with appearances by the Hooters Girls, a bike wash featuring the Brick House Girls courtesy of Brick House Tavern + Tap, live music from Gene’s Addiction: A KISS Tribute Band and 70s/80s rock cover band Stagger, along with shaded patio seating, misting fans, $2 draft beer from 5 – 9 p.m., hot food off the grill, free giveaways, a variety of vendor booths, and $250 Best Sport Bike Contest and a $250 Best Cruiser Bike Contest!

The Park’s 2009 American Quarter Horse meet will come to a close following live races on Friday, August 28 and Saturday, August 29. The 2009/2010 Thoroughbred Meet begins on Friday, November 27.

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