|Heavy Favorite Toastin Dash Prevails in the $61,000 Sam Houston Classic at Sam Houston Race Park
(Friday, August 31, 2007) - The $61,000 Sam Houston Classic
(G2) always draws an exception field of older American Quarter Horses
and this year’s edition was no exception. Trainer Heath Taylor,
who is in New Mexico preparing for Monday’s All American Futurity
at Ruidoso Downs left the saddling duties to his assistant, Greg
Lofland and Toastin Dash delivered the standout performance as he
bested his ten rivals in the 440-yard stakes. The 5-year-old gelding
won his sixth consecutive race this evening for owner Dwayne J.
Saucier of Pass Christian, Mississippi. Sent off as part of a four-horse
entry trained by Taylor, Toastin Dash paid $2.80 and was clocked
in 21.658 seconds.
This Candys Royal closed powerfully for second, but J.R. Ramirez,
who has piloted Toastin Dash to his last three wins, had no doubt
that he had won the race.
“We were always in front,” Ramirez said. “He’s
such a great horse; he stood well in the gates. He left there in
front and ran very well.”
Lofland had an assist from Bruce Bell in saddling four entrants
for tonight’s Sam Houston Classic (Connor Can, Automatically,
St. Pat’s First and Toastin Dash).
“Toastin Dash has been a stupendous horse for the Taylor
barn,” commented Lofland. “We are proud to train for
Mr. Saucier and pleased that this horse ran so well with such a
classy group of horses. It’s tricky to have four in one stakes,
but it’s a good problem to have. It just goes to show what
a great operation Heath runs that we have this many stakes caliber
horses. Toastin Dash is right there at the top.”
“I bought this horse in Louisiana for a sale price of $14,000,”
recalled Saucier. “We trained him and ran second with him
in the Mardi Gras. Heath wanted to buy him; he saw the potential
in him.I didn’t want to part with him, so I asked him if he
would train the horse. He turned him around and he has done tremendously;
Heath is a really good trainer.”
Tonight’s victory was the sixth in a row for Toastin Dash
and Saucier was almost speechless following the trophy presentation.
“It’s awesome,” said Saucier. “I’m
just enjoying the ride; this is what everyone in the horseracing
business dreams of. I cherish every moment of this. This horse has
been so good to us.”
This Candys Royal, at 26-1, ran a career-best effort tonight, finishing
second for trainer Frank Mendez and owners Los Ladrilleros Horse
"He is a hell of a horse and he is coming along,” said
rider Rodrigo Vallejo. “He was stepping up in class and put
forth a great effort.”
Ida Snow Man ran third for rider Jeff Jerman and was followed
to the wire by Gray Invasion, St Pats First, Automatically, Wings
of La Jolla, Behold a Corona, Conner Can, Brindis Por Cayenne and
Toastin Dash earned $36,600 for tonight’s effort will be
pointed toward the Championship at Sunland at Sunland Park on December
31, with a possible start at Evangeline Downs in the coming months.
News and notes
Live racing returns on Saturday, September 1 with a ten-race card
highlighted by the running of the $35,000 Governors’ Cup Marathon.
The extended Labor Day racing schedule will include live racing
on Sunday, September 2 and Monday, September 3 at 1:30 p.m. Sam
Houston Race Park will simulcast the $2 million All American Futurity
from Ruidoso Downs following live racing on Monday.