-photo by Coady Photography
Leo's Last Hurrahy Closes For Victory in the $35,000 Kingwood Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (December 13, 2003) - Leo’s Last Hurrahy, owned by Kenneth W. Murphy of Dallas returned to his championship form tonight at Sam Houston Race Park as he captured the $35,000 Kingwood Stakes.

The Texas-bred son of Leo Castelli was the winner of the $150,000 Texan Juvenile on Texas Champions Day in 2002. Trained by Bob Young, Leo’s Last Hurrahy was winless since his victory on November 16, 2002. Following his seventh place finish in the USA Stakes at Lone Star last May, Young gave the 3-year-old gelding four months off. He returned to the racetrack at Sam Houston Race Park on November 8 and has improved in each of his three starts this meeting.

Under rider Felipe Valdez, Leo’s Last Hurrahy came off the pace and closed with authority in the final furlong, just eclipsing Record Assembly at the wire. He completed the 1 mile and 70 yard stakes in a time of 1:43.40.

"The horse ran a good race tonight and I thought Felipe rode him well," said Young. "I thought the race set up well for us. There was a lot of speed and he likes to come from behind. He had ulcers and we had to give him about four months off. He ran well (in the Conroe Stakes) and we were hoping that would set him up for this race."

Record Assembly, owned and trained by Charles Hukill, has an affinity for the Sam Houston Race Park surface, winning the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes on Texas Champions Day in a dead heat with Desert Darby. Rider John Jacinto, once again, had the mount.

"I really appreciate this horse and how Charles has given me the opportunity to ride him," said Jacinto. "I think he did the best he could and he was trying pretty hard today. He's still a nice horse and he was fighting really hard from the beginning. I think he gave me all he could."

Kool Humor sent off as the post time favorite, ran third. Trained by Jack Bruner for owner Tom Durant, Kool Humor won the $50,000 Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs on August 30. He ran fourth in his last two stakes and his jockey, Kerwin Clark, was disappointed in the outcome of tonight’s effort.

"I didn’t have any excuse," said Clark. "He’s been acting up in gate lately and did so tonight. He came to them entering the stretch but just didn’t have the punch to go on. He may need a break cause these horses shouldn’t be able to run with him, much less beat him."

Leo’s Last Hurrahy paid $13.80 to win, $6.80 to place and $3.80 to show. The 8-4 exacta returned $141.60 and the 8-4-6 trifecta paid $393.40.Completing the order of finish were Seven Talents, Giant Bellyache, Toratora, Commander’s Affair and Marsh.

Two Arabian Stakes Held Tonight

Arabian stake races were also on the Saturday night card at Sam Houston Race Park. The winner of colts and gelding division of the $18,800 Texas Arabian Lonestar Futurity was Blazing Colors, owned by Trackside Farms of Williston, Florida. The 3-year-old colt won the first stakes of his career completing the six-furlong stakes in a time of 1:19.62 under rider John Jacinto.

In the filly division the $20,000 Texas Arabian Lonestar Futurity, Nafissah ($3.00), owned by Guy Neivens and trained by Bobbie J. McAlister, was an impressive winner, defeating her six rivals in a time of 1:20.53. Helen Vanek was the winning jockey, leading gate-to-wire, drawing off to win by 12 lengths.

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