|Four Exciting Stakes and Kevin
Fowler Concert Highlight the Texas Summer Showdown at SHRP
(Saturday, July 30, 2005) - Sam Houston Race Park hosted
one of the most exciting nights of the 2005 American Quarter Horse
meeting, the Texas Summer Showdown. The ten-race card featured four
stakes races with purses in excess of $140,000. An enthusiastic
crowd of 9,100 was in attendance, enjoying the stakes action as
well as a live concert following the evening’s races by Texas
favorite, Kevin Fowler.
The $44,7500 TQHA Classic Stakes, at a distance of 400 yards had
a field of eight after the late scratches of Dashtothe Millennium,
Texas Chatterbox and Too Specially Fancy. Multiple stakes winner,
Si Puede ($7.60) captured her third stakes win this meet with her
victory in the TQHA Classic. The Dave Correll-trained filly won
the $14,750 Gulf Coast Stakes and the $15,500 Miss Houston Stakes
already this summer at Sam Houston Race Park. Jose Vega was aboard
for each of her stakes wins and guided the three-year-old through
a tough duel tonight with 2003 Horse of the Meet, Gone Celebrating.
This is the prospective champion’s fourth straight win and
she has finished in the money in all of her 11 starts. Si Puede
is owned and bred by Lukin Gilliland.
“She’s running real good right now and she’s
heading into the Sam Houston Derby for her next start,” Correll
noted. “This horse has really sky rocketed Jose’s (Vega)
career. He’s getting better mounts, including his races at
Remington. He is a great young rider and his career is sky rocketing
with horses like this.”
Gone Celebrating, trained by John Buchanan ran second. Rider Juan
Vazquez, who is the regular rider of the former champion, ran a
great race against the competition.
“He’s a super nice horse,” said Vazquez. “He’s
had almost a year off, so I think he’ll run better next time
being a little fresh.”
Owner Bobby Cox plans to run the six-year-old in the $50,000 Sam
Houston Classic in September.
Heath Taylor’s Fredricksburg followed close behind but weakened
at the close and finished third. The four-year-old colt, owned by
Grupo Lopez Interprises LP, had surgery recently due to an injury
but shows definite improvement.
Tracy Taylor, the wife of Heath Taylor commented, “We ran
him in the Texas Challenge Championship but he just wasn’t
ready for it. We thought he was ready, but he just didn’t
run well. He did much better tonight and we’re proud.”
Post time favorite, Gray Invasion ($5.60) was ridden to victory
by Rodrigo Vallejo in the $45,500 TQHA “550” Stakes.
Gray Invasion was last year’s winner of the 550-yard contest.
The six-year-old gelding completed the feature in an impressive
time of :26.76, besting the track record set by Rare Sign in 2001
Proud trainer, Bobby Martinez plans to enter the gelding in the
Sam Houston Maiden Classic for owner Claudio Aguilar.
“I was thinking yesterday that the problem with the horse
is that he can’t break. He probably gets distressed when other
horses are around him and blocking his way,” Vallejo said.
“But today he took off really well and had an excellent race.”
The $45,500 Barnmaster Sprint Stakes at 250 yards, drew a competitive
field of 11. The winner was Jack Zee Quick ($18.40) owned by Dallas
Blakley and R.P. Stuart and trained by Matt Baker. Rider Mark Page
was aboard the four-year-old gelding while he dueled for first and
scored the win.
“This is a good horse and tonight he ran like he used to
run,” Baker stated. “He’s from Texas racing so
we’ll try to find some trials and finals for him here.”
Buchanan’s Chipeyed Charlie, who won the $14,000 Stephen
F. Austin stakes this summer, ran second with Alex Baldillez, Jr.
in the irons. Jimmy and Karen Powell own the five-year-old Texas-bred.
“I think the best horses ran first and second in my opinion
on this track tonight,” said Buchanan. “I think Jack
Zee Quick can beat any of those horses. He’s a really good
horse, especially with short distances. I think my horse is just
on the improve.”
Thunder O Toole, trained by Roy Roberts ran third for owners Alex
and Raul Ramos.
Jerry Lee Yoakum scored his first stakes win of the meeting tonight
in the $22,100 TQHA Starter Stakes. Yoakum was at the controls for
trainer Toby Keeton’s Ro Anns Money ($10.00) and dominated
the field in the 350-yard competition. Donald Guedry of Spring Branch
owns the three-year-old filly.
“We claimed this filly here last year for $5,000,”
recalls Keeton. “She’s won a couple races going this
distance and she does a great job. She’s just a real good
John Hamilton rode Love My Dash, the beaten favorite and second
place finisher, for leading trainer Janet Van Bebber and owner Jackie
“He was anxious in the gates, so he didn’t leave just
as sharp as he can,” said Hamilton. “(He) was brushed
at the most inopportune time and he corrected himself. It took him
a while to get his feet back under him, so it cost us the race.”
“In stakes company you can’t offer them any mistakes,”
noted Van Bebber. “The horse has had several hard races right
in a row and they’re not machines. The fact that he race second,
we’re very proud of.”
The Texas Summer Showdown Weekend continued this morning with
the continuation of the 2005 TQHA Yearling Sale. The annual sale
was extended to a two-day event for a second year in a row. Last
year the TQHA reported that record number of 390 yearlings were
sold with total sales of $3,207,900, surpassing the record of $2,436,200
set at the 2003 TQHA Yearling Sale. The sale has grown in success
with each year and this year’s sale was no different. The
2005 TQHA Yearling Sale had total sales of over $4,000,000 with
highest bid of $75,000 for hip 143, Miss Shivers. The sorrel filly
is out of Mr Jess SI, winner of seven stakes races, including the
Rainbow Futurity and Derby and is the son of Mr Jess Perry.
Live racing resumes on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. with trials for the
2005 TQHA Sale Futurity. Yearlings purchased in the 2004 TQHA Yearling
Sale are eligible to run in the trials with the ten fastest qualifiers
returning in finals on Saturday, August 13.