Silent Overdrive Wins Back-to-Back Titles in the $59,000 Sam Houston Classic at SHRP

(Friday, September 2, 2005) - Defending champion, Silent Overdrive returned in style tonight at Sam Houston Race Park, capturing the $59,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2). Trained by Janet Van Bebber and ridden by regular pilot, Alvin “Bubba” Brossette, the 7-year-old Louisiana-bred gelding nosed out Fast Talkin Val at the wire, completing the 440-yard stakes in a time of :21.647.

Owned by Richard Slayter, Sr. of Montgomery, Louisiana, Silent Overdrive defeated a competitive field of eight including Fast Talkin Val, winner of the $107,190 MBNA America Texas Challenge Championship (G1) and Gray Invasion, who set a track record in his most recent win on July 29. Silent Overdrive was making his first start since placing eighth in the Grade 3 Louisiana Classic at Delta Downs on July 17.

“He got away on the lead and was in good position the entire way,” said Brossette. “We were a little worried about his last race. He got out and was disqualified, which was very disappointing. But to come back and run a good race after that, we were very pleased.”

“As a horseman, it’s always a real challenge to figure out what little problem a horse might be having and get it turned around so the horse can show his full potential,” added Van Bebber. “That is probably the most rewarding aspect of this evening. It was a difficult decision about entering him in the Classic as he is a Louisiana-bred and could have been competing at Louisiana Downs for more lucrative purses but, most important to me was to place the horse where he belonged. He ran well here before and the surface at Sam Houston suits him and we were able to prevail this evening.”

Fast Talkin Val, trained by Heath Taylor and ridden by Gilbert Ortiz, was second.

"He was kind of slipping a little bit with his back end,” said Ortiz, who will ride Make A Secret in Monday’s All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. “I went by him (Silent Overdrive) by about a head, but he came right back to me. Then at this end, the gray horse was just flying. I don't know if I hung in there for second or not. He ran a good race for being off for a long time. He is just a good honest horse and you just can get a horse like that to run that good everytime. After a long layoff, going a quarter of a mile is kind of hard for him. He ran a good race."

This was the fifth Sam Houston Classic for Van Bebber. In addition Silent Overdrive’s victory in the 2004 Sam Houston Classic, Van Bebber owned and trained Streakin Sin Tacha, winner in 2002 and she and her late husband, Steve, captured previous editions of this prestigious stakes with Tailor Fit in 1999 and Lawyer La Jolla in 1997.

Silent Overdrive ($8.00) earned $35,000 for tonight’s effort and improved his lifetime record to 17 wins from 38 starts. The remaining order of finish included Gray Invasion, Sixy Thru Traffic, Flying Avalanche, Gone Celebrating, Amor Lijero, One Fast Kisser and La Torch.

Live racing continues at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, September 3. The ten race card will feature the $35,000-added Governors’ Cup Marathon. There will be a special Labor Day live racing program beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, September 5 and Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast the $2 million All American Futurity from Ruidoso Downs.

News and Notes

On Labor Day, Taylor Anne Van Bebber, the 7-year-old daughter of leading Sam Houston Race Park trainer, Janet Van Bebber, will sell her artwork to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The aspiring artist specializes in horses and wanted to show her support to aid the devastation affecting our neighboring state of Louisiana.

Patrons wishing to show their support for the Hurricane Relief can visit Van Bebber in Central Paddock from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 5.

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