Longshot Thanks For The Ride Captures $13,500 Harrisburg Stakes at SHRP

(Friday, August 19, 2005) - Sam Houston Race Park hosted a night of entertainment with the 14th anniversary of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce Epicurean Night and ten live American Quarter Horse races. The Club Level of the Grandstand was filled with many of the area’s finest restaurants offering tasty dishes for sampling. The $13,500 Harrisburg Stakes, a race for three-year-olds and up, was the feature race of the Friday night card.

A field of five geldings and one filly took center stage tonight and competed for the stakes win. Thanks For The Ride and Apollo Babe 123 battled for the lead, but James Brooks was able to bring 10-1 long-shot, Thanks For The Ride, to the wire first in a time of :27.55. Thanks For The Ride is a five-year-old gelding trained by Judd Kearl and owned by Marianne and Paul Phillips, who currently reside in Houston. Brooks earned his 36th victory tonight, which gives him a 15-win lead in the jockey standings for the meeting. The leading jockey was impressed with gelding’s first attempt at a 550-yard contest.

“I knew he would like it, but I didn’t think he would like it that much,” commented Brooks. “He turned his head right when they opened the gate. We almost clipped heals with (Apollo Babe 123) but I came around her and was still able to catch her.”

Happy with the trip tonight after anxiously watching the race, Kearl commented, “we claimed him last year for $5,000 and he was a good claim.” He continued, “with the way he broke, he got beat away by two lengths and I was scared there was no way,” said Kearl. “Then they just came flying on the inside.”

The only filly among the boys, Apollo Babe 123, placed second under Jerry Lee Yoakum after a six-week layoff. Her last win was in November of 2004 at Sam Houston Race Park in the $25,000 Sooner Trailer Stakes. Monty Brooks trains and Bill Stables owns the four-year-old.

Nipeminthebud was sent off as the favorite at 3-2 odds in his Sam Houston Race Park debut and was able to get up for third after tiring late in the race. The five-year-old is trained by Vann Haywood and owned by Martha Hunt.

Thanks For The Ride paid $23.40, $8.00 and $6.20 across the board and the 2-3-4 Trifecta paid $543.80. Completing the order of finish were Brown Special, Movinmytasktoglory and Egos Comet. Mr La Jolla and Shawshank were late scratches.

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