Si Puede Beats the Boys and Girls in the $14,750 Gulf Coast Stakes at SHRP

(Saturday, July 2, 2005) - A field of nine accredited Texas-bred Quarter Horses took center stage in the Saturday night feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $14,750 Gulf Coast Stakes. Si Puede, a 3-year-old filly owned and bred by Luken Gilliland of San Antonio, was the convincing winner.

Jose Vega, who has ridden her in each of her previous nine starts, had the mount for trainer Dave Correll. Si Puede made her racing debut last summer at Sam Houston Race Park and won two races here before shipping to Sunland Park. Her most recent activity was at Remington Park where she ran second in the Lazy E Derby. Despite a bump out of the starting gate, the daughter of Holland Ease, drew off in the stretch, crossing the wire of the 350-yard dash in :17.905.

“She was standing real good in the gate and we stood for a long time,” said Vega. “When she left, we got bumped a little bit by the three (Mito Perry), but she just kept on running. She did it pretty easy. She ran well at Remington; she’s run well here. She has a big heart and hits the board all the time.”

“She’s a real nice filly,” added Correll. “She’s very consistent and we are very proud of her. We’ll see how she pulls up, but we are pointing to the Sam Houston Derby and Texas Classic Derby (at Lone Star Park) in the fall.”

Longshot Pretty Boy Memories ran second for trainer Matt Baker.

"He ran a superior race and he left the gate great,” said rider Mark Page. “The horse who beat him was a good horse. I had a clean and clear race tonight."

Rustys Flyer ran third for the father-son duo of trainer Jesse Yoakum and his son, Jerry Lee.

“He broke on top and got away with the lead but just couldn’t hold those two off,” said Jerry Lee. “He had a good trip and no excuses.”

Sent off as the post time favorite, Si Puede paid $4.60, $3.00 and 2.40 across the board. GW Money Talks, Chocolate Cartel, Stylish Runner, Quick Lee Ann, Mito Perry and Streakin Ahoy completed the order of finish. Shake Em Fever and Tell No One were early scratches.

Live racing resumes at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 3 for the first of two July 4 Fireworks Extravaganzas. A 20-minute display set to patriotic music, will take place following Sunday and Monday night’s eleventh race.

News and Notes

Danny Lavergne injured his back in a starting gate incident in Friday night’s second race. Lavergne was aboard Jo Edna when the 2-year-old filly broke through the front of the starting gate. She was reloaded and ran second, but Lavergne, who underwent two back surgeries in the past six months, felt his back stiffen up by the time he walked back to the jocks room. He was transported to Cy-Fair Hospital for evaluation and x-rays, which were negative.

“When she broke through the gate, I got jerked pretty hard, but didn’t feel anything when I rode and even galloped back,” said Lavergne. “By the time I got back to the room, I was in a lot of pain. The x-rays were fine and I spoke to my surgeon who said it was probably just pulling of scar tissue and nothing more serious.”

He took off his mounts for the Saturday evening card to rest, but is expected to ride Sunday and Monday.

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