|Streakin Sin Tacha Voted Horse of The Meeting For The 2002 Sam Houston American Quarter Horse Meet
(Wednesday, September 11, 2002) - Sam Houston Race Park announce the winners of the End of the Meeting Awards for the 2002 Quarter Horse season that concluded on Saturday, September 7, 2002.
Trainer Janet Van Bebber had another successful season. She won the Leading Trainer title for the second year in a row with a total of 34 wins, 29 seconds and 20 third place finishes. The California-native, who resides in Houston, is both the owner and trainer of Streakin Sin Tacha, who was voted Horse of the Meeting and Champion Older Horse. The 4-year-old gelding has been nothing short of sensational at Sam Houston Race Park, winning every race he has ever entered at the northwest Houston racetrack. Last summer he won four consecutive races including his first graded stakes, a victory in the $86,100 Sam Houston Derby (G2). He returned to Sam Houston Race Park in 2002 capturing two graded stakes, the $87,750 MBNA America Texas Challenge Championship (G1) on July 13 and the $60,500 Sam Houston Classic (G2) on August 30. His victory in the Sam Houston Classic was impressive; not only in the way he won, but also in the caliber of the field he soundly defeated. The stellar field boasted eight multiple-stakes winners with total earnings in excess of $2 million dollars.
"It's hard not to get emotional about this horse," said Van Bebber of the Louisiana-bred gelding. "It's such a blessing. He continues to perform at a peak level and give us 110%. I thank God for the tool that he's given us to do well and I don't take it for granted, ever."
Streakin Sin Tacha, who is ridden by Alvin Brossette, will compete in the $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship (G1) to be held November 2, 2002 at Lone Star Park.
Van Bebber also had another award winner in her barn. Champion Claimer of The Meeting honors went to Dashin And Passin, owned by Betty Jane Burlin of Navasota, Texas. The 8-year-old son of Dash For Cash won two claiming races this summer at Sam Houston Race Park. Alvin Brossette was in the irons for his wins at 870 yards on July 4 and his 550 yard victory on August 17.
Shiney Sign, the impressive 2-year-old colt who captured the $314,500 Sam Houston Futurity (G1) was named Champion 2-Year-Old and Champion-Texas-Bred of the Meeting. Bred by Jerry Windham and owned by Morris E. Cavasar of Victoria, Texas, Shiney Sign won three of his four starts this summer at Sam Houston Race Park. Trained by Duane Hartsell, Shiney Sign's first win of the meeting took place on June 29 when he became the fastest qualifier for the TQHA Sales Futurity, completing the 350 yard distance in a time of :17.782. Purchased for $7,700 at the 2001 TQHA Yearling Sale, Shiney Sign returned to the finals on July 13, finishing second to Oak Tree Special. He came out of the TQHA Sales Futurity in great shape and Hartsell began preparing him for the Sam Houston Futurity. Ridden by Sam Houston Race Park leading jockey J. R. Ramirez, Shiney Sign was brilliant, closing powerfully on the outside of the track to win the richest race of the 2002 Quarter Horse meeting by 1 ¼ lengths. The Texas-bred colt crossed the wire of the 400 yard stakes in a time of :19.968. He earned $125,800 for the victory in the Sam Houston Futurity and has bankrolled $184,908 from just five career races.
"He's a good horse and very lightly raced," noted Hartsell. "It's all in the breeding. He's out of a Dash For Cash mare and that's nothing but class."
Noted American Quarter Horse breeder Jerry Windham of College Station, Texas, delivered Shiney Sign and is thrilled by his success on the racetrack.
"I own both the sire (Vital Sign) and dam (Adored By All) and thought it would be a good cross," said Windham. "The colt had good conformation and was a nice individual; I thought he had potential. I have known Duane for a long time and am tickled that they have done so well."
No Tools Required owned and bred by Julie Pilgrim was voted Champion Mare of the Meeting. The 3-year-old daughter of Jody O Toole won two stakes this meeting, the $43,080 TQHA Sires' Cup Derby (RG3) on July 12 and the $14,500 Yellow Rose Stakes on September 1. Trained by Ronald Gilmer and ridden to both victories by Eddie Cox, Jr., No Tools Required improved her 2002 record to four wins from six starts, surpassing $100,000 in earnings.
"She's got the heart; that's the main thing," said Gilmer. "That's it in a nutshell. She does everything right and has been given a lot of attention by Julie."
The recipient of the Champion Distance Horse of The Meeting was Streakin Carl, owned by David Vance of Decatur, Mississippi. The 6-year-old son of Streakin La Jolla won two distance stakes for trainer Danny J. Eldridge. He captured the $19,800 Rio Grande Handicap at 1,000 yards on August 18 and returned to the winner's circle on August 31 with a victory in the 870 yard $42,500 Governors' Cup Marathon.
"He is solid at both 870 and 1,000 yards, but I think that 1,000 suits his running style a little better," said Eldridge. "He runs and trains like a Thoroughbred and doesn't have a whole lot of early speed. Fortunately, the early leaders in the Governors' Cup tired and he made a big run on the outside. That race set up perfectly for him."
Owner of the Meet honors went to Geral Dewitt of Garland, Texas, with 10 wins, clinched on the final night of the meeting when Chunk Of Change won the $9,750 Paint N' Appy Big Cap. Geral and his wife, Frances credit much of their racing success to their son, trainer Anthony Arey. One of the highlights of their meeting was the victory in the $45,550 Barnmaster Sprint Stakes on July 27 with Texas-bred Smashed O Toole.
The Dewitts have won owner titles at Retama Park, Manor Downs and Lone Star Park and were pleased to win their first leading owner title at Sam Houston Race Park.
"It's real good to win the title in Houston," said Dewitt. "We've come close before but were happy to wrap it up on the final night. We are proud of all of our horses and always appreciate the claimers that have come from nothing and win. Smashed O Toole was a $5,000 claimer and won the Barnmaster; that was special for us."
J. R. Ramirez earned his first Leading Jockey title at a Class 1 racetrack. The 21-year-old native of Laredo, Texas, concluded the meet with a record of 42 wins, 38 seconds and 28 third place finishes. Veteran riders Alvin Brossette and Gilbert Ortiz were tied for second in the standings with 36 wins each. Ramirez won the $276,100 TQHA Sales Futurity with Oak Tree Special and the $314,500 Sam Houston Futurity aboard Shiney Sign to top all riders with $472,190 in purses. The young jockey, who was leading rider this spring at Manor Downs, was grateful to many trainers at Sam Houston Race Park for naming him on some of the best horses of the meet.
"I want to thank Duane Hartsell, Bobby Martinez, Roy Roberts, Robert Madrigal, Toby Keeton and everybody that helped me out," said Ramirez, who will head to Lone Star Park for their upcoming Quarter Horse meeting.
Live Thoroughbred racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, November
2002 AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE AWARD RECIPIENTS
|Horse of the Meeting
||Streakin Sin Tacha
|Champion Older Horse
||Streakin Sin Tacha
||No Tools Required
|Champion Distance Horse
||Dashin And Passin
||Janet Van Bebber
||J. R. Ramirez