-photo by Coady Photography
Leaving On My Mind Wins His Second Stakes this Meeting, the $40,000 Fort Bend County Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (April 2, 2005) - A field of eight accredited Texas-bred 3-year-olds were featured in the $40,000 Fort Bend County Stakes tonight at Sam Houston Race Park. Leaving On My Mind, owned by George A. Wolff and trained by Danny Pish, was the winner. Ridden once again by Roman Chapa, the son of Valid Expectations surged past Robert McNair's General Charley in the final furlong. He crossed the wire of the seven-furlong stakes in 1:23.55.

Chapa flew in from Oaklawn Park, where he won three races on the afternoon card, including the $50,000 Carousel Stakes with Savorthetime. He has piloted Leaving On My Mind in each of his 16 career races; tonight's win was his seventh victory and second consecutive stakes win this meet at Sam Houston Race Park.

General Charley, trained by Michael Stidham and owned by Robert McNair, set the pace under rider Corey Lanerie. Chapa called on Leaving On My Mind at the top of the stretch and the bay gelding responded, drawing clear of General Charley by 1 ¾ lengths.

"I can't say enough about him," commented Chapa. "He's just a spectacular horse. Whatever you ask of him, he'll do for you. It's unreal what he's doing as a 3-year-old."

"We are very proud of him," said Joseph Smith, assistant to Danny Pish, who was in Dallas for Monday's horse sale. "Like Roman said, he always gives 100%. We had a little back luck earlier in the year, but it didn't phase him; he just comes back and does what he does. He's put on a little weight and has matured nicely and is doing really well."

Lanerie has ridden General Charley in his last three races, including a second place finish in the $125,000 Jim's Orbit. He feels that the Stonerside Stable colt has a great deal of potential.

"I thought maybe it wasn't luck we beat Leaving On My Mind last time (in the Jim's Orbit), but I guess it was," said Lanerie. "I had a perfect trip and when we turned for home I said, 'he's not going to beat me tonight' - then he just went by. I like this horse (General Charley). He will win a stake."

Dixie Meister won the Jim's Orbit on February 19 for owner Ro Parra and trainer Barry Germany. He was closing well under rider Terry Stanton, but could not catch the top two.

"I think he ran a super race, although I don't think shorting it to 7/8ths is really his distance," stated Stanton. "He was coming on strong at the end. Barry was just wanting to get a good out in him and look for something at Lone Star. I'm very pleased with the way he ran."

Leaving On My Mind, was sent off as the heavy favorite and paid $3.60 to win. The 1-6 exacta returned $11.00 and the 1-6-4 trifecat paid $29.20. Special Sands, Isn't It Rich, Pancho Tam, Mr. Cold Comfort and Super Itron completed the order of finish.

There are just five live racing days remaining in the 2004/2004 Thoroughbred Meeting at Sam Houston Race Park. The season wraps up on Sunday, April 10 and the final weekend includes the running of the $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf and two other stakes races on Saturday, April 9.

Dixies Delight and Th Richie Win Arabian Stakes

Two Arabian stakes were run earlier this evening, and Dixies Delight, owned and trained by Bill Waldron of Brooksville, Florida, closed gamely under Sam Houston Race Park leading rider, Quincy Hamilton to capture the $50,000 Sapphire Sprint. The 4-year-old daughter of Sam Tiki drew off to a five length win, completing seven furlongs over a fast track in a time of 1:34.07.

In the $50,000 Diamond Derby, Th Richie was a dominant winner, defeating a field of six Arabian colts and geldings. Owned by Dianne K.

Waldron and trained by Phil Saxer, TH Richie set a new Arabian track record at Sam Houston on December 11 for the distance of six furlongs and set another record this evening for the distance of seven furlongs. The Florida-bred 4-year-old colt crossed the wire in 1:32.52, besting the seven furlong record set by Dynamite III of 1:33.60 set on April 9, 1994.

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