-photo by Coady Photography/Jenifer Juelsgaard

Trophy Presentation
-photo by Coady Photography/Sandra Beck

Andanight Wins the First Stakes of His Career With a Big Closing Effort in the $40,000 Spring Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park

Houston, Texas (March 18, 2006) - Tonight’s feature at Sam Houston Race Park was the $40,000 Spring Stakes for accredited Texas-breds. A field of ten entered the starting gate, but in the final furlong, it came down to just two, the heavy favorite, Dreamsandvisions and the hard-charging Andanight. With a confident ride from Omar Rodriguez, Andanight swept past his rival and won by a neck, completing the seven-furlong main track event in 1:24.53.

This was the first stakes win for Andanight, who is bred and owned by Nelco Farms of Springtown, Texas. He was making the sixth start of the meet for trainer Juan Rivera and has improved in each start since breaking his maiden here on October 28. Rodriguez, won three races on the Saturday night card, was impressed with the effort of the 4-year-old gray colt.

“My horse has a big heart,” admitted Rodriguez “He never quite trying tonight; I was really confident. His last race (5 ½ furlongs on March 3) was too short; he needed more distance.”

“We’ve had to back up his training a few times in the last year,” said Rivera. “I’ve been fortunate to have decent owners who have been able to support me in what I thought the horse could achieve. We will probably save him for Lone Star, but just enjoy this victory we had tonight”

Dreamsandvisions is owned by Sandra Duke of Bloomberg, Texas and trained by her husband, Steven. He has performed impressively this meet at Sam Houston Race Park, winning the $40,000 Conroe Stakes and running third in the $100,000 Star of Texas on Texas Champions Day. Bobby Walker, Jr., who rode the 4-year-old chestnut gelding to victory in the Conroe, stalked the leaders and was closing well until Andanight scored the upset.

“He got just a little bit tired in the last 40 yards or so maybe, and fell back into his left lead,” said Walker. “He actually did everything I asked of him, but he’s just getting over a lung infection and that might have been just enough to make him fall a little short. I can’t take anything away from (Andanight).”

Sent off at 30-1, Andanight rewarded his supporters with payouts of $62.80, $14.20 and $6.20. The 1-3 exacta paid $127.20 and trifecta with Senor Amigo from the barn of Steve Asmussen returned $2,203.40. Nuttyboom, Charming Socialite, Won C C, Toga Too, Secret Tunnel, Smile Away and Cape Texas completed the order of finish. Jaded Heat was an early scratch.

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