-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

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 horse."

"I had three really, really nice horses in here," commented Taylor.

"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 Larry Payne.

"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 was wrong."

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 Park.

back to TTHBPA Infomation