Alumni Hall and Colonial Colony Top the Nominees for the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup at SHRP

Houston, Texas (January 13, 2005) - Nominations have closed for the MAXXAM Gold Cup on Saturday, January 22, 2005 at Sam Houston Race Park. The premier day of racing features three stakes races, the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup, the $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup and the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff Handicap.

The MAXXAM Gold Cup has a rich history at Sam Houston Race Park. Previous champions include the Oklahoma-bred Mr Ross who became a millionaire with his victory in the 2002 edition of the race. In 2003, the MAXXAM Gold Cup attracted three horses that had competed in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, Valhol, Arctic Boy and Fifty Stars. The 7-year-old Valhol, who had dogged the controversy surrounding his win in the 1999 Arkansas Derby, was brilliant in his MAXXAM victory for trainer Dallas Keen and owner James D.

Last year, yet another Arkansas Derby winner captured the MAXXAM Gold Cup. Sir Cherokee, owned by Ken Jones of Domino Stud of Lexington, Kentucky, was dismissed at odds of 55-1 in the 2003 Arkansas Derby. An ankle injury that required surgery sent him to the sidelines before the Kentucky Derby. Under the patient handling of trainer, Mike Tomlinson, Sir Cherokee made his return to racing and a victory in the 2004 MAXXAM Gold Cup.

Nominees for this year include Colonial Colony, a 7-year-old son of Pleasant Colony, owned by Chris Nolan and trained by Dallas Stewart. He had a major career milestone last June when he won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Dismissed by the betting public, he won at odds of 62-1, beating Perfect Drift and four others in the field. He has bankrolled $865,205 in his career and made his last start in the Louisiana Handicap at Fair Grounds on December 31, finishing fourth.

Trainer Neil Howard has nominated Alumni Hall owned by William Farish, James Elkins and Temple Webber. The 6-year-old son of A. P. Indy has only made 10 starts since breaking his maiden at Keeneland. He captured the $75,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park last July and ran second in last month's Louisiana Handicap. Robby Albarado is his regular rider and should make the trip to Houston next Saturday.

Two Sam Houston Race Park stakes winners, Classoffiftyseven and Goosey Moose are also nominated. Classoffiftyseven, conditioned by Val Ray Foster, won the 2003 Richard King Handicap on the Connally Turf course and has hit the board in eight of his fourteen starts over the Houston oval.

Goosey Moose was a winner for trainer Danny Pish in the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes on Texas Champions Day.

Post time for the Saturday, January 22 card is 7:00 p.m. As a special promotion for this stellar night of racing, Sam Houston Race Park will host the $2,500 MAXXAM Gold Cup Online Handicapping Contest. The contest is open to all racing fans, 21-years of age or older, with a total of $2,500 in prizes to the top six finishers.

Sam Houston Race Park web site, beginning Thursday, January 20 after 3:00 p.m. with a deadline to enter at 7:00 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, January 22.

MAXXAM Gold Cup Champions

1994 Meena 1:49.58
1995 Vindictive Silence 1:49.38
1996 Meena 1:49.85
1997 Lost Soldier 1:48.75
1998 Scott's Scoundrel 1:48.76
1999 Western Trader 1:49.93
2000 Allen's Oop 1:49.55
2001 Vilaxy 1:51.19
2002 Mr Ross 1:49.94
2003 Valhol 1:49.18
2004 Sir Cherokee 1:51.76

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