|The $316,000 Sam Houston Futurity to be Run This Friday at Sam Houston Race Park
(September 4, 2006) - The 2006 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter
Horse meeting will conclude on Saturday, September 9 and the final
weekend will be highlighted several stakes including the $316,000
Sam Houston Futurity on Friday, September 8.
Sam Houston Race Park conditioner, Janet Van Bebber, who has won
the training title at the northwest Houston racetrack for the past
five years, has two finalists for the Grade 1 event for 2-year-old
runners. She will saddle fastest qualifier, Streakin Illusively
for owner Lou Phillips, with rider Alfonso Lujan aboard. Jacky Martin
will ride Snowy Alibi, who won the $343,305 TQHA Sale Futurity for
D D Lightsey.
“I like where they drew and how they are doing,” said
Van Bebber. “I always prefer to be toward the outside rather
than the inside. They’re nice colts and I gave Alfonso his
choice for the final. He will ride Streakin Illusively and I am
pleased that Jacky (Martin) will ride Snowy Alibi. He is a very
quiet rider and came in last weekend to ride Love My Dash he was
able to stay and gallop Snowy Alibi. It worked out well.”
It was a tough decision for Lujan, who qualified both colts and
won the TQHA Sale Futurity aboard Snowy Alibi.
“They both ran well in trials,” commented Lujan. “In
the TQHA Sale Futurity, Streakin Illusively was bothered when the
filly (Bridled Lightnin) false broke. He still came running and
finished third. I just think that he might have a little bit more
talent and should handle the distance. I like his post; the middle
of the track will be good for him. He came out of the trial real
good and has been bouncing up and down.”
Lujan has won three stakes this meet and is third in the rider
standings with 31 wins. He and his wife, Anna, will welcome their
second child at the end of this month.
“It’s been a good meet for me,” added Lujan.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up some good horses
for Janet and look forward to this weekend. It’s a tough field;
there are a lot of talented horses that have proven they can run.
I just think I have probably one of the best ones.”
The 3-1 morning-line favorite for the Sam Houston Futurity is
Zoomin For Bux, trained by Roberto Madrigal. winner of the Grade
1 Retama Park Futurity on June 18. Martin Rubalcava rode the son
of Shazoom to victory in his trial race on August 25 and feels that
he will run a good race on Friday.
“I haven’t worked him since the trial, but Roberto
says he is doing well,” said Rubalcava. “He raced under
the lights for the first time in his trial and should have no problem
breaking from the rail.”
The Sam Houston Futurity will be run as the ninth race on the Friday
card. Saturday night’s feature will be the running of the
$122,000 Sam Houston Derby. Post time for Friday, September 8 and
Saturday, September 9 is 6:00 p.m.
James Brooks Sitting on His Second Sam Houston Race Park
Quarter Horse jockey James Brooks has all but locked up his second
consecutive leading rider title at Sam Houston Race Park. He leads
Rodrigo Vallejo by 6 wins heading into the final two days of the
“Maybe the first time (in 2005) was the sweetest, but this
will be pretty special too,” admitted the 55-year-old rider.
That doesn’t stop his fellow riders from engaging in some
good-natured fun in the jocks room.
“I’ve spent too much time following him this meet,”
said Jeff Jerman, who beat Brooks for the Retama Park riding title
in June. “I was getting a little tired looking at his back
Rider John Hamilton perhaps had the best line when he quipped
“ever since he opened that AARP card in the mail, he’s
been on fire!”
Sam Houston Race Park will present the End of the Meet Awards
honoring the top owner, trainer and jockey on Saturday, September