Ifyouprefersilver Wins Winter Soltstice Stakes at SHRP

(December 21, 2002)- Ifyouprefersilver showed that she has a preference for winning as she executed an impressive victory in tonight’s Sam Houston Race Park feature, the $30,000 Winter Soltstice Stakes. Ridden to victory by Roman Chapa, the 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly looked confident, as she captured both the first stakes and first two-turn win of her career.

Trained by Michael Stidham for Kentucky-based owners Cobra Farm, Inc., the daughter of Silver Deputy broke well from the first post position. She dueled for the early lead, and stayed in front of her eight rivals from the half-mile mark to the wire. She had to hold off a late bid by the Steve Asmussen-trained White Scarf, but prevailed by a half-length, winning the mile and 70 yard contest in a final time of 1.41.38. Ifyouprefersilver earned $18,000 for tonight’s victory, improving her career record to four wins from five starts.

"Mike (Stidham) called me this morning and told me to sit off the pace, but if they gave me the lead easy, I should go ahead and take it," said Chapa, who had four wins on the Saturday night card. "She took the lead pretty easily, relaxed a little on the backside, but when I asked her to run, she ran."

White Scarf held on for second under rider Glen Murphy.The daughter of Matty G raced tonight for the first time in Texas following back-to-back wins at Arlington Park and two races in Kentucky last autumn.

"She had a very smooth trip," commented Murphy. "She just got beat but she ran as hard as she could."

Sam Houston Race Park leading rider was hoping for his second stakes victory of the meeting aboard Manzottina, but the Martanza Handicap winner did not execute the same closing kick this evening.

"She warmed up great, then as we were going to the gate she bit her tongue," said Stanton. "There was blood running out of her mouth. She was pulling me until we turned for home and then she kind of picked her head up and wouldn't give me any more. I think she may have tasted that blood or something. She didn't run her usual race."

Ifyouprefersilver, sent off as the favorite, paid $4.60 to win, $3.00 to place and $2.40 to show. The 2-1 exacta returned $15.60. Bayakoa’s Image completed the $76.40 trifecta. Manzottina, Cozy Susie, Itty Bitty Bit, Lucky M and Madame Thor rounded out the field. Sunny’s Bad Girl was an early scratch.

Assistant trainer Rigo Rosas saddled Ifyouprefersilver for Stidham and indicated that she will likely remain in training at Sam Houston Race Park and prepare for another stakes here this meeting.

Holiday Racing Schedule

Sam Houston Race Park will be closed on Wednesday, December 25 in celebration of the Christmas holiday. There will be no live or simulcast racing. Live racing will resume on Thursday, December 26, Friday, December 27 and Saturday, December 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Sam Houston Race Park will be open for simulcasting on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1. There will be no live racing on New Year’s Day. Live racing will continue on Thursday, January 2, Friday, January 3 and Saturday, January 4 at 7:00 p.m.

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