Trials for the Texas Classic Futurity and Derby Set for this Weekend at SHRP

(Tuesday, October 12, 2004) - Sam Houston Race Park will host trials for the Texas Classic Futurity and Texas Classic Derby on Friday, October 15 and Saturday, October 16.

The draw took place for the $1 million Texas Classic Futurity and Sam Houston Race Park will run 11 trials on Friday evening. A total of 111 Quarter Horses were paid into the Texas Classic Futurity (Gr. I) and the entire Friday night card will be devoted to 2-year-olds competing for one of the ten spots in the final to be run on Friday, October 29.

Wings of La Jolla, trained by Beverly McNeely for Sharon Pike, will run in the fourth race. The daughter of Streakin La Jolla won the Firecracker Futurity on July 4 at Delta Downs. She is one of several undefeated runners in the Texas Classic. Trainer Kenneth Roberts will saddle Games Gambler Magic in the sixth race. Owned by Vanessa M. Levy, Games Gambler Magic will be making her first start since her victory in the Mardi Gras Futurity at Fair Grounds on March 11.

One of the most interesting trials of the evening is race ten with TQHA Sale Futurity and Sam Houston Futurity champion, Azoom breaking next to Thewayouwantmetoo, winner of the Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. Trained by Frank Cavazos, Azoom, the 2-year-old Texas-bred sensation, holds the Sam Houston Race Park track record of :19.574 for 400-yards. Thewayouwantmetoo, trained by Dwayne "Sleepy" Gilbreath, has won $306,405 to date, based on her three wins at Ruidoso Downs including the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity on July 25. Making the tenth race even more interesting is Bobby Martinez's filly, Ah Zoom Zoom, who drew post position eight, right next to Azoom.

"I just hope that they are not neck and neck as they approach the wire," said Michael Chamberlain, Sam Houston Race Park's track announcer. "I would be hard pressed not to get tongue tied with that race call."

This is the first time since 1995 that the Texas Classic Futurity and Derby have been run at Sam Houston Race Park. The premier races are usually run during the fall Lone Star Park Quarter Horse meeting, but with the Grand Prairie racetrack hosting the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on October 30, their 2004 Quarter Horse dates were moved to Houston.

"We are looking forward to an outstanding weekend of racing," said Eric Johnston, Sam Houston Race Park's racing secretary. The finals for the Texas Classic Futurity will be held on Friday, October 29 with combined purses in excess of $1,000,000. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our facility to a lot of horsemen whom have never raced here, or have not been here in many years."

Sam Houston Race Park Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings for the Week

Danny Lavergne won two races last week and remains in the lead of the jockey standings with a total of 120 wins. Jockey J. R. Ramirez is Lavergne's closest competitor with 97wins. Mark Page added three wins for the week to remain in third with 91 victories. John Hamilton follows with 80 trips to the winner's circle. Martin Rubalcava rounds out the top five with 50 wins.

Janet Van Bebber continues to solidify her lead in the trainer standings with 57wins for the meet. She is on course to set a new record for wins by a Quarter Horse trainer in a single meeting. The record at Sam Houston Race Park is 58. Van Bebber's late husband, Steve Van Bebber, set that mark in 1997 and Janet tied it in 2001.

Toby Keeton remains in second place with 37 victories. John Buchanan is in third place with 34 wins. Roy Roberts follows with 27 victories. Janie Hernandez and Matt Baker are tied with 26 wins each. Baker leads all trainers in his win percentage as his runners are winning at 27%.

Raul Rubalcava leads the owners with 19 wins for the meeting. Four owners are tied for second in the standings with 11 wins: Rudy I. Munoz , S A Ranch, A. D. Maddox and J. W. Owens. Bobby D. Cox, and Geral Dewitt have 10 winners each. Francisco Javier Gomez, Thomas J. Arhopulos. Walker, Ace and Buddy, and Ernesto Guerra, Jr. have won seven races for the meet.

MBNA Challenge Championships Benefit Golf Tournament to be held on Thursday, November 4, 2004

As one of the special events in conjunction with the MBNA Challenge Championships, Sam Houston Race Park will host a Benefit Golf Tournament on Thursday, November 4, 2004 at Longwood Golf Course.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Sam Houston Race Park's Chaplaincy program. The northwest Houston racetrack is one of the many racetracks across the country that benefit from the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America.

This non-profit organization is instrumental in offering assistance and many programs to the horsemen, grooms, jockeys and other individuals who make their living in racing.

The MBNA Challenge Championships golf tournament will begin at 9:00 a.m. Entry fee is $100 per player and will include golf, lunch and door prizes.
For additional information, or to enter the tournament, call Chaplain John Shumaker at (281) 807-7236.

Breeders' Cup Activities Set at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park is pleased to simulcast the eighth Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship races from Lone Star Park on Saturday, October 30, 2004. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. and racing fans will be able to watch and wager on the world's most accomplished Thoroughbreds competing for over $15 million and top honors in the racing industry.

Following the simulcast of the eight Breeders' Cup races, which begin at 12:20 p.m., Sam Houston Race Park will host 10 live American Quarter Horse races. Racing at Sam Houston Race Park begins at 5:00 p.m. The evening will feature the running of the Texas Classic Derby (G1).

Activities will also include a $2,000 Breeders' Cup Day Handicapping Contest that will require the handicapping of six races - the last 3 Breeders' Cup races and the first three Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse races. A free Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Handicapping Seminar will take place at 12:00 noon with Sam Houston Race Park handicappers Michael Chamberlain, Martha Claussen and Reid McLellan.

Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and luxury suites are still available. The luxurious Jockey Club will also be open for dining and enjoying the simulcast races. To make dining reservations, please call (281) 807-8760 or visit the Sam Houston Race Park web site at To book a luxury suite for a gathering of groups of 10 or more, please call (281) 807-8750.

Sam Houston Race Park's Breeders' Cup Marathon Contest Week 1 Winners

Congratulations to the Week One Winners in Sam Houston Race Park's Breeders' Cup Marathon Handicapping Contest. First Place winner was James Oliver of Houston, who won $500. Robert Kerr of Houston placed second and won $200. Kirk Evans and Gilbert Clowe, each of Houston, tied for third place and each took home $50 in the contest.

The four-week Breeders' Cup Marathon Contest resumes each Monday throughout the month of October. For more information, please call Frank
Hopf at (281) 807-8833 or visit the Sam Houston Race Park web site at

VIP Club Specials Continue on Thursdays for the Month of October

Calling all VIP Club members. Sam Houston Race Park is continuing to honor VIP Club members during a month filled with exciting new prizes and
giveaways. This Thursday, October 14, Sam Houston Race Park's VIP Club is featuring a $500 Prize drawing for all members. All you need to do is show up to enjoy live Quarter Horse racing and you can take advantage of this offer. There is no charge to join the VIP Club; racing fans can sign up at
the Players Lounge located at the north end of the Sam Houston Race Park grandstand.

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