Eight Stakes Winners Entered in Friday's Sam Houston Classic

(August 30, 2006) - The $50,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2) always draws a first-class field of older American Quarter Horses and this year’s edition is no exception. The 440-yard stakes, which attracted 11 entrants, including eight stakes winners, will be run as the ninth race on Friday, September 1.

This Snow Is Cold, winner of the $115,640 MBNA America Texas Challenge Championship (G1) for Los Ladrilleros Horse Racing Co, has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite. The 5-year-old mare has won three of her four races in 2006 including back-to-back wins at Sam Houston Race Park. She is coming into Friday’s Sam Houston Classic in good shape, according to trainer Melinda Garcia.

“She hasn’t had a race since the Challenge finals (on July 8),” said Garcia. “I hope she remains undefeated at Sam Houston, but our goal is to get her ready for the MBNA Challenge Championship (at Lone Star Park on November 11).”

Two-time defending champion, Silent Overdrive will return to action and the 8-year-old Louisiana-bred gelding leads the field in earnings with $610,447 and 18 lifetime victories. Trained by Janet Van Bebber, Silent Overdrive nosed out Fast Talkin Val at the wire of last year’s Sam Houston Classic and will be ridden on Friday by his regular pilot, Alvin “Bubba” Brossette.

“He’s been a little off this year,” said Van Bebber. “But right now, he’s training as good as he has all year long. He’s getting older; we can all face that. But he still tries hard. He had to overcome some difficulties at Delta. In his last race, he was pinched back and couldn’t make his move in the end like he needs to. I look for him to be better in this out than his previous outs this year.”

Trainer Heath Taylor, who will saddle two horses in Monday’s All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, has three talented colts entered in the Sam Houston Classic. Fast Talkin Val, who ran second in last year’s edition, will be ridden by Gilbert Ortiz. Taylor has won two stakes this year with Conner Can, a 4-year-old son of Corona Cartel, who will make his Sam Houston Race Park debut and is the 9-2 second choice. The third Taylor runner is La Jolloroid, who ran second in the $45,500 TQHA Classic Stakes on July 28.

The Sam Houston Classic has always been one of the premier stakes of the Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meeting. Past champions have included Kool Kue Baby and AQHA World Champions, Tailor Fit and Streakin Sin Tacha.

The extended weekend live racing schedule will include the $35,000-added Governor’s Cup Marathon on Saturday evening. Racing will take place on Sunday, September 3 at 1:30 p.m. and continue with a special Labor Day holiday racing program at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, September 4. Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast the $2 million All American Futurity from Ruidoso Downs.

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