-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Ambition Unbridled Draws Off to Capture the $40,000 Citgo Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (February 26, 2005) - Ambition Unbridled made short work of her four rivals tonight in the $40,000 Citgo Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park.

The five-furlong stakes was carded on the Connally Turf course, but was run on the main track due to weather conditions. Over six inches of rain has fallen on the northwest Houston area throughout the month of February including a heavy storm on Wednesday evening. Rain continued on Saturday afternoon and Sam Houston Race Park officials made the decision to take the five-furlong turf stakes off the Connally Turf course.

The heavily favored Ambition Unbridled did not disappoint her backers and led gate-to-wire under rider Jeremy Beasley. The 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song is owned by Michael Gill and trained by Gamalie Vazquez. Gill had campaigned her on the east coast and she had won races at Saratoga, Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands before she was shipped to Fair Grounds. She made two turf starts in New Orleans, capturing the $100,000 Leggio Memorial Handicap on January 15.

Beasley had ridden for Gill recently in Maryland and was happy to continue his affiliation with Gill in Texas.

"We were hoping that we would get a chance to run on the dirt tonight," said Beasley. "She's been a little better on the main track, so it worked out in our favor. Gamalie told me to get her out of the gate and that she would do the rest. Michael Gill has had some success here and I wouldn't be surprised to see him send a few more horses this way."

Peace Symbol from the barn of Danny Pish, ran second. Rider Quincy Hamilton asked for a steward's inquiry as he felt that Beasley and Ambition Unbridled had bumped his filly. The steward's took no action on the claim of foul.

"Without seeing the head-on, it's hard to comment too much," said Pish. "But something happened on the backside and Quincy had to stand up. He said he (Jeremy Beasley, aboard Ambition Unbridled) clipped heels twice. So just watching it, it looked rough. After talking to my rider, it sounded rough. It was bad racing luck. These things happened and I'm thrilled the filly stuck to the task and came back and ran second. The filly has really turned around from her form. She had shown some brilliance early in her career and then she had a few bad races. They shipped her to me, and the first time I ran her it was straight off the van. I didn't really train her, I just picked her up and ran her. But since then, we've had some time to get to know her and I think her form shows it."

Amanda Crandall rode Seneca Song to a third place finish for trainer John Locke.

"We have been working to get her to relax and I can say that it is working," commented Crandall. "She has always been so nervous during the warm-up, in the gate and during the race. Taking time with her on her workout days has paid off as she was more relaxed tonight than before. She tried hard and handled the track ok. If we had been on the grass I think it would have been a different story for second."

Ambition Unbridled ($3.40) covered the five furlongs over a sloppy track in a time of :57.56 and earned $24,000 for tonight's victory.

Joyce Ann and Nancibegood completed the five-horse field as Runs Naked, Hadenough and Ladoma were scratched from the race.

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