|Sixes Royal Captures the $367,874
Texas Classic Derby at SHRP
Houston, Texas (October
30, 2004) - Trainer Heath Taylor had to have liked his chances
going into tonight's feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $367,874
Texas Classic Derby. He qualified three of the ten 3-year-olds in
trials run on October 16, including the fastest qualifier, Hadtobenuts.
When the field broke from the starting gate, it was Taylor's second
fastest qualifier, Sixes Royal, that crossed the wire on top, edging
the fast-closing Hadtobenuts.
Sixes Royal, owned by Fred Graham, Frankie and Stephen Martinez
and M. Abraham, was ridden to victory by Juan Vazquez. The gray
son of Royal Quick Dash, put together two sharp efforts, winning
his trial on October 16 and tonight's confident performance.
"We had a perfect trip," said Vazquez. "He broke
good out of the gates and ran hard out there. It was a super race
and I'm glad that Heath gave me the opportunity to ride a great
"I had three really, really nice horses in here," commented
"All three trained really well going into the race. It was
the first time that I ran Sixes Royal; he had the second fastest
time. I learned a few things about him in the trials and I've been
friends with Frankie and he had a lot of confidence in the horse.
Hadtobenuts slipped and had a hard time getting away from there.
He's a great horse and ran super, but when you're running for $375,000,
you just can't make any mistakes."
"He has some trouble leaving the gate," added Ortiz
about Hadtobenuts. "It seemed like he didn't get his footing
until about 50 yards out. I got to within a half a side of that
gray, but we weren't going by. I told Heath he had a good chance
to run 1-2-3 as all of them were training very well."
"This is the sixth Grade 1 that he has qualified to and we
finally won one," said Frankie Martinez. "I trained him
last year as a 2-year-old. Mike Joiner had him in Ruidoso and we
sent him to Heath for this race. He did a great job; the horse was
super good today and had a good trip. We've had trouble with him
getting out of the gates in one piece, but finally he put it all
together. Better late than never!"
Sashay N Six, a daughter of Sixarun, held on for third under rider
"The first time I rode her, she was pretty relaxed when going
to the starting gate, almost a little too relaxed. She run her little
heart out. I wasn't disappointed in her performance at all."
Sixes Royal, sent off as the third betting choice, paid $8.80,
$3.60 and $3.20 across the board. The final time of the 440-yard
race was :21.725 and Sixes Royal earned $163.705 for the victory.
The 3-6 exacta paid $32.00 and the 3-6-1 trifecta returned $254.20.
Fast Movin Snow, Fredricksburg, Mitowilard, Injuns Special and Splendid
Sam Perry completed the order of finish. Precious Clarise and Sixy
Thru Traffic were early scratches.
Longshot R Girls Night Out Wins the Olympia Joe Stakes
W. C. Seely claimed R Girls Night Out for $5,000 earlier this year
and an astute claim it was because tonight the 4-year-old daughter
of Corona Cartel won the $10,000 Olympia Joe Stakes. Seely, from
Salisaw, Oklahoma and rider, J. R. Ramirez had been working with
the filly and their patience paid off as she outran her odds.
"She ran a big race for me," said Ramirez. "She
was in the lead almost the whole way; she was on her toes and never
quit. She's a pretty sensitive filly and balked about entering and
getting her picture taken. She hadn't been there in so long, she
was a little surprised. "
"I had a Corona Cartel Quarter Horse and felt that this mare
had a lot of potential," said owner/trainer Seely.
Post time favorite, Lady Corona weakened and finished fourth.
"The filly was a bit nervous tonight; I don't know what the
deal was," said rider Larry Payne. "She was a bit all
washed out tonight and that's not like her. She's normally pretty
calm and relaxed. Tonight was a little different or something. She
was kind of dreading (the race) or something. I don't know. Something
R Girls Night Out rewarded her supporters with a payout of $71.20
for the $2 win ticket. Special Hero ran second completing a $175.60
exacta. Tell It Like It Is was third with the trifecta paying $671.40.
Jockey Nicky Wilson Rides his Final Race
Nicky Wilson, a veteran rider on the Texas and Oklahoma Quarter
Horse circuit, retired tonight following his sixth place finish
in the Texas Classic Derby. He has had a long-term association with
trainer Toby Keeton and won the 2000 Sam Houston Derby aboard Bens
Coasting as well as numerous stakes and futurities at Remington