Si Puede Named Horse of the Meeting Following Her Victory in the $111,400 Sam Houston Derby at SHRP

(Saturday, September 10, 2005) - Si Puede has lived up to her name throughout the 2005 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse Meeting and tonight was no exception. The fabulous 3-year-old filly kept her winning streak intact as she captured the $111,400 Sam Houston Derby (G2).

Bred and owned by Lukin Gilliland of San Antonio, the daughter of Holland Ease won her fifth consecutive race of the season and was named 2005 Horse of the Meeting at Sam Houston Race Park.

Trained by Dave Correll, Si Puede was the fastest qualifier in trials for the Sam Houston Derby, winning her trial in :21.58. She had won three stakes earlier this meet, the $44,750 TQHA Classic Stakes, the $14,750 Gulf Coast Stakes and the $15,500 Miss Houston Stakes. Rider Jose Vega has ridden her in each of her starts here as well as at Sunland Park and in the Lazy E Derby at Remington Park. She earned a speed index of 103 this evening as she crossed the wire of the 440-yard stakes in :21.461.

“She stood really good in the gates,” said Vega. “The four (Cartel Leader) left with us and kind of made me run with her. After we went to the lead, I kept on asking her and she got to the finish line. She’s an honest filly and always gives her best.”

“She was pretty rank early and really hard to break,” recalled Correll. “We stayed hooked for a long time on her and finally pulled through. Jose came to the barn at Remington Park this spring and was all excited one morning and told me he had a dream that we were going to win a big race with Si Puede.”

“I am very grateful to Jose and Dave,” said Gilliland as he accepted the trophy for Si Puede. “We enjoyed breeding and owning this filly and look forward to more accomplishments from her in the future.”

First Comment, trained by Jeff Acuna, rallied for second under rider Danny Lavergne.

"He ran a hell of a race,” said Lavergne. “He broke out in front and was leading for about half the way. I knew the 5 horse would be coming sometime and some way. He (First Comment) ran great."

Si Puede was heavily favored in tonight’s Sam Houston Derby and paid $3.40 to win. The 5-1 exacta paid $22.80 and the trifecta with Wings of La Jolla returned $175.80. The remainder of the field included Bigtime Favorite, Cartel Leader, Kathy’s Star Quest, Little Kool Barbie, Sizzlin Red Corona, Perks Prime Plus and Quick Kisses.

The 2005 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse Meeting concludes on Sunday, September 11 with free admission for all racing fans. Post time is 1:30 p.m. and the ten-race card will also include presentation of the End of the Meet Awards.

Amaze Me Now Breaks his Maiden in the $36,555 Colors of Houston Futurity

In earlier action, Amaze Me Now captured the $36,555 Colors of Houston Futurity for 2-year-old Paints and Appaloosas. Owned by Jennifer Stewart of Montgomery, Texas and trained by Janet Van Bebber, Amaze Me Now was making just his third career start this evening.

Alvin Brossette rode the Texas-bred gelding to victory in the 350-yard stakes in a time of :17.970.

“We have limited opportunities in Texas for the Paints,” said Van Bebber. “Jenny was very patient. We had this horse in training and wanted to give him time to mature. It sure worked out in his favor. I have to give credit to my assistant, Cerjio Cerda; he’s the one that ascertained that this colt had talent. He does a great job managing the babies at the farm. He reported back to us that we needed to pursue this colt.”

“This is my first Paint Stakes winner,” added Stewart. “I’m so happy with the job that Janet and her crew did. I have to give her credit for this win, because I was just looking for a nice riding horse, but they felt he had potential as a racehorse. They made the right decision.”

Shazooms Image owned by James Cordell and trained by Duane Hartsell was the fastest qualifier in trials run on August 19. Rider RodrigoVallejo was in command in the early going, but got caught at the wire.

"Mine got outrun and got caught,” said Hartsell. “I wish we would've won but he just got way out in front and I think he got lost out there by himself and Janet's horse just barreled past him. Tonight was the first time he ran under the lights. I think that has a lot to do with it. I plan to take him to Dallas and run him in the Texas Classic."

Amaze Me Now paid $6.60 to win. The 5-3 exacta returned $27.20 and the trifecta with Corona Special paid $94.20. Zav Flying Cloud, Judy Janise, Jazzing Silk, Feature Miss Jess, Forever Scarlet and Resurrection Day completed the order of finish.

Flashem N Dash Upsets in the $14,000 Colors of Texas Paint and Appaloosa Stakes

The $14,000 Colors of Texas Paint and Appaloosa Stakes drew a field of seven competing at 400 yards. Rider Alfonso Lujan scored the win aboard 4-year-old Flashem N Dash in a winning time of 20.25 for trainer Heath Taylor and owner Teddy Abrams, Jr.. This was the first stakes win for the son of Royal Quick Dash. Sent off at odds of 8-1, Flashem N Dash paid $18.20, $6.20 and $3.20 across the board.

"We battled for the lead and my horse just gave me that little bit of extra," commented Lujan. "This was my first time to ride this horse and Heath and Teddy gave me a shot. He had some problems in the gate but tonight he did everything right and left there running.”

The favorite, Miss Painted Perry finished second under rider Raul Ramirez, Sr. and leading rider James Brooks guided War Talk to third place. The 4-7-2 trifecta paid $140.60.

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