Dixie Meister Leads Full Field of 12 in Saturday's $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park

(January 18, 2005) - Dixie Meister, owned by Ro Parra’s Millennium Farms, has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park.

The 4-year-old Texas-bred is off to a flying start in 2006. Bred in Texas by Ken and Linda Quirk, Dixie Meister was just named Texas Champion 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding by the Texas Thoroughbred Association. He captured the $125,000 Jim’s Orbit last February at Sam Houston Race Park and the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes on Texas Champions Day, which was held on November 19. His most recent effort was his second place finish in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap on January 7. Asmussen has named Roman Chapa to ride Dixie Meister and they will break from post position five in the MAXXAM Gold Cup.

Pass Rush, is the second choice at 9-2. The 7-year-old Indiana-bred has bankrolled $576,335 in his racing career and will be making his second start over the Sam Houston Race Park oval. Owned by Swifty Farms and trained by David A. Vance, Pass Rush competed at Sam Houston Race Park in 2002 in the Great State Challenge, finishing second to Continental Red in the $275,000 Great State Challenge Classic. He had two stakes wins last year at Hoosier Park under regular rider Terry Thompson. Thompson will remain at Oaklawn Park and Robby Albarado has been tapped by Vance to ride Pass Rush.

Trainer Al Stall, Jr. will ship Middleweight, a 6-year-old son of Grand Slam, who is co-owned by Stewart Madison and Peter Gaffney. He has earned $230,130 with five of his six lifetime wins coming on turf. He ran third in the Buffalo Bayou Stakes here on November 5.

A total of twelve runners will compete in the mile and one-eighth stakes. It will go as the eighth race of the evening (10:02 p.m.). Sam Houston Race Park will offer $1.00 admission and $1.00 beer throughout the month of January. Post time for the Saturday evening card is 7:00 p.m.

Ballroom Deputy Heads Field in the $40,000 Sam Houston Distaff

Ballroom Deputy from the barn of Josie Carroll is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $40,000 Sam Houston Distaff. The 5-year-daughter of Silver Deputy will make her first start at Sam Houston Race Park for Padua Stables. She has divided her time between Canada and Fair Grounds. Her last victory occurred on November 12 in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf at Woodbine. She will break from the rail under Robby Albarado.

Culinary, owned by Jack H. Smith III Thoroughbreds, will be ridden by Carlos Marquez and is 4-1 on the morning line. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly is trained by Michael Stidham and was an impressive winner in the $75,000 Fur Sail on December 17 at Louisiana Downs.

Trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle two fillies in the $40,000 Sam Houston Distaff on the MAXXAM undercard, Timber Jones and Lucky Sabre. Timber Jones was bred in Texas by Steve’s father, Keith. The 4-year-old filly won the $125,000 Two Altazano Stakes here last February as well as the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park in April. She was recently named Texas 3-Year-Old Filly of the Year by the Texas Thoroughbred Association. Lucky Sabre is a 6-year-old Florida-bred mare owned by Stonestreet Stables, LLC. She was claimed from California trainer Jerry Hollendorfer for $62,500 last June.

Robby Albarado to Ride in Houston on Satruday, January 21

Noted Thoroughbred jockey Robby Albarado will make the trip to Houston for Saturday’s MAXXAM Gold Cup. Albarado will pilot Pass Rush in the MAXXAM and Ballroom Deputy for trainer Josie Carroll in the $40,000 Sam Houston Distaff. Albarado has won two previous editions of the MAXXAM: Valhol in 2003 and Alumni Hall in 2005.

Other riders expected to fly in for the Saturday card include Roman Chapa, Gerard Melancon and Carlos Marquez.

Jockey Crisis Fund Silent Auction at Sam Houston Race Park

Stonerside Stable and Bill Hanna have donated a stallion season for Texas sire, Truluck to the Jockey Crisis Fund Silent Auction at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, January 21.

Truluck won two Grade 3 races and earned $411,655 in his career. He is the sire of Forrest G., who is the 2005 Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding. Forrest G. won the $135,450 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star and also finished second in the $166,933 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland for earnings last year of $129,027. Truluck is also the sire of General Charley, who has earned $128,180 and won a division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes last year. Truluck stands at Lanes End Texas in Hempstead for a fee of $4,000 and a minimum bid of $2,500 will be required for the silent auction.

Many other items will be up for bids in Saturday’s silent auction and all funds raised will support jockeys who have been injured and need assistance. Some of the other items include a jersey signed by Houston Texan’s quarterback David Carr, tickets for Tricia Yearwood’s performance at this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Rockets tickets, a photograph of Afleet Alex and a Peb Portfolio donated by the Daily Racing Form. Patrons can also bid on dining opportunies including dinner at the famous Smith & Wollensky restaurant and a Super Bowl party for eight at the Sam Houston Race Park Jockey Club.

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