|MAXXAM Gold Cup Set for Saturday,
January 27 at SHRP
(January 23, 2007) - The
draw for the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious
races of the Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting, will take
place on Wednesday.
In its 14th running, the MAXXAM Gold Cup has a rich history of
top older horses with past champions including Alumni Hall, Valhol,
Mr. Ross and Sir Cherokee. Defending champion, Middleweight is one
of the nominees for the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup at Sam Houston
Race Park. Trained by Al Stall, Jr., the 7-year-old son of Grand
Slam, came off the pace in last year’s MAXXAM Gold Cup and
will ship into Houston from Fair Grounds on Friday. He will be making
his second start off a layoff and Stall is optimistic about his
“He tailed off on us a little bit last year,” said
Stall. “Our vets found nothing wrong, so we turned him out
(last June) and he made his first start back in the Louisiana Breeders’
Cup Handicap (finishing sixth on January 6). It was actually a better
race than it appeared on paper. He got pinned on the rail and he
is a big free wheeling horse that prefers to be alone on the outside.”
Stall has named jockey Jesse Campbell aboard Middleweight and
Christmas Lily, who will run in the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff.
Other nominees include Sandburr, who won the $100,000 Star of
Texas Stakes on Texas Champions Day as well as the $75,000 Louisiana
Breeders’ Cup Handicap on January 6 for trainer Michael Stidham
and Mr. Pursuit, a multiple stakes winner at Remington Park, who
is conditioned by Joe Petalino.
Steve Asmussen, who has won the Sam Houston Race Park training
title a record five times, is pointing More Than Regal to the MAXXAM.
The 4-year-old colt, owned by Vinery Stables, has won five of his
12 lifetime starts, bankrolling $543,091. He will enter Saturday’s
stakes off a win in the $150,000 Zia Park Derby on December 9.
“This will be his first foray with older horses,”
said Asmussen. “He ran against Mr. Pursuit in the Oklahoma
Derby (finishing third). It was a fairly roughly run race and he
did not have as smooth of a trip as we would have liked. I think
the Maxxam will be a good race for him and hope he will run well.
Roman Chapa rode More Than Regal at Zia Park and Asmussen confirmed
that Chapa will ride the bay colt this Saturday.
“Roman gave him a great ride at Zia and has had a lot of
success in Houston,” added Asmussen.
MAXXAM Gold Cup Special Events
Sam Houston Race Park will offer the $500 MAXXAM Gold Handicapping
Contest featuring four Sunshine Millions stakes races as well as
the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup and the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff.
There is no charge to enter the contest, but racing fans must enter
by 2:00 p.m.
Sam Houston Race Park is proud to host the 2007 BP MS 150 Kick-Off
Party, beginning at 3:00 p.m. on January 27. For more information
on racing and activities on January 27, visit shrp.com
or call 281-807-8760.
Sam Houston Race Park Qualifiers Head to Las Vegas
Diane McClyment of Bel Air, Maryland, Steve Lombardo of The Woodlands,
Texas and Hulon Sistrunk of Mansfield, California, will represent
Sam Houston Race Park in this weekend’s Daily Racing Form/NTRA
National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.
Currently in its eighth year, the National Handicapping Championship
will give regional winners from qualifiers across the country the
chance to compete for $850,000, with the winner to receive $400,000
and the title of “Handicapper of the Year”.
This will be the first appearance in the final for McClyment, who
won the Sam Houston Race Park contest last October. Her major breakthrough
was her selection of Meadow Breeze ($70.50) in the Grade 1 Matron
Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. She will be joined by her husband,
Mack, who qualified on June 3 in the Midwest Classic.
“I have learned a lot from my husband, but for the most
part, we play completely differently,” added McClyment. “One
thing we have going for us is that we lived there for 17 years and
returning to Las Vegas will not be the distraction for us that it
can be for some finalists.”
The two-day tournament kicks off on January 26 at Bally’s
Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings
Larry Taylor continues to lead in the jockey standings at Sam Houston
Race Park with 34 victories. He rode seven winners last week and
remains in a competitive battle with Roimes Chirinos, who added
six wins over the last three days of the meeting. Chirinos is in
second with 33 trips to the winner’s circle and Paul Nolan
and Filemon Rodriguez are tied for third in the standings with 26
victories each. Bobby Walker, Jr. rounds out the top five riders
with 17 wins. He is the leading stakes rider with four stakes victories
for the 2006/2007 Thoroughbred meeting.
Bret Calhoun continues to maintain the lead in the trainer standings
at Sam Houston Race Park with 23 wins. His runners won three races
last weekend. John Locke added two wins last week to remain in second
place with 18 victories. Danny Pish moved into third in the standings
with 15 wins and Scott Blasi follows with 14 victories. Michelle
Lovell, Jim Bausch, Michael Stidham and Jernesto Torrez are tied
for fifth with 11 winners each.
Bruno Schickedanz, who shipped 16 horses from Fort Erie under the
supervision of trainer Mark Fournier, has taken the lead in the
owner standings with seven wins. Stephen R. Baker and Colt Racing,
Inc. are tied for second with six wins each. Horsevestors, Nelco
Farms, Tbd Owners LLC and Shrum Racing, Inc are tied with five victories
and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Israel Flores and the Dallas-based
partnership of Larry Hirsch and Wayne Sanders have four wins each.
Veteran Popped Corn Wins on Sunday at Sam Houston Race
Popped Corn, an 11-year-old, who has raced 31 times at Sam Houston
Race Park, won the third race of the Sunday, January 21 card. Bred
in Kentucky, the dark brown gelding made his 84th lifetime start
for owner Israel Flores and won easily under rider Filemon Rodriguez.
Another wily veteran, the 10-year-old Trick Bag ran second.
Jockey Amanda Crandall joined in the winner’s circle celebration
for Popped Corn. The Houston native was injured in a starting gate
accident last month and underwent surgery to repair two breaks in
her ankle. She will not be able to ride for the rest of the Sam
Houston Race Park meeting, but follows Popped Corn, who she calls
her “favorite horse.”
Huge Pick Six Carryover at Santa Anita for Wednesday
Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast the Wednesday card from Santa
Anita and Pick Six players will be chasing a two-day carryover of
$723,774. Post time for their first race is 3:00 p.m (CT) with the
first race of the Pick Six set for 4:00 p.m.
Ten-Cent Superfecta Pays $13,240 Last Weekend at Sam Houston
Sam Houston Race Park was one of the first Thoroughbred racetracks
to offer ten-cent superfectas and the wager, who was introduced
here on February 17, 2005 continues to be popular with racing fans
across the nation.
Many patrons enjoy the wager and the extremely affordable four-horse
superfecta box of just $2.40. On Friday, January 19, three handicappers
cashed the biggest ten-cent superfecta payout in Sam Houston Race
Park history of $13,240. Jockey Larry Taylor guided Noche Ryder
($53.00) to victory for trainer Bill Pettit and owners Nelco Farms.
She was followed to the wire by another longshot Miss Mint Julep
($21.80 to place), Prime Heat and Linmeabuck, who left the gate
at odds of 69-1. Had the $2 Superfecta been played, it would have
returned $264,801, but there were three 10-cent tickets that paid
February VIP Specials at Sam Houston Race Park
VIP Club Members continue to receive perks, rewards and incentives
at Sam Houston Race Park. In February all VIP Club members will
enjoy free admission during simulcast hours, before gates open for
live racing, plus a free Sam Houston Race Park tip sheet on Sundays.
Each Tuesday, members are invited for a free lunch in the Food Court
and on Wednesdays, Sam Houston Race Park will host a $100 Valley
Race Park Greyhound Handicapping Contest. Thursday is double points
day and every Friday members are entitled to discounted Carrels
in the Player’s Lounge every Friday when each private betting
Carrel is $1 before 8:00 p.m.
There are many great incentives for joining the VIP Club, including
free dinner in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant, complimentary
Box Seats and many other great rewards.
To become a VIP Club member, visit the Players Lounge located
at the North end of the Grandstand on the Paddock Level. For more
information about the benefits of the VIP Club stop by the Players
Lounge or call 281-807-8278.
Simulcasting this Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park
The fifth Sunshine Millions, the series of eight races worth $3.6
million in purses, will showcase California and Florida-bred Thoroughbred
racehorses at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita, on Saturday, January
Sweetnorthernsaint was installed the 9-to-5 favorite for next Saturday’s
$1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park. The Classic
is one of four Sunshine Millions races to be run at Gulfstream Saturday
while four other races in the Florida-bred vs. California-bred series
will be contested that afternoon at Santa Anita. In addition to
the Classic at Gulfstream, the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly
& Mare Turf, $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint
and $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash for 3-year-olds, will highlight
the card at the South Florida racetrack.
Lava Man, who has bankrolled $3.7 million in his career, will compete
in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita. The other
three stakes at Santa Anita are the
$300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint, the $500,000 Sunshine Millions
Distaff, and the $250,000 Sunshine Million Oaks at six furlongs
for 3-year-old fillies.
The $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap for fillies takes place this
Sunday at Santa Anita and the $100,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap will
be contested on the Sunday afternoon card at Gulfstream. For a complete
list of simulcast tracks and post times, visit shrp.com
or call (281) 807-8740.
Sam Houston Race Park is Host Site for Cirque du Soleil Event This
Sam Houston Race Park is pleased to announce it will be the host
site for a unique and exquisite entertainment experience. Cirque
du Soleil will present its latest live touring production, Corteo
beginning Thursday, March 22, 2007.
Corteo, which means “cortege” in Italian, is a theatrical
production of a clown’s imagination and presents a world of
fun, comedy and spontaneity. The clown pictures his own funeral
taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring
angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with
the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection,
the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as
well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity
that is within each of us. The music carries Corteo through a timeless
celebration in which illusion teases reality.
The cast brings together 55 artists from 16 different countries
and made its debut in April, 2005 in Montreal, Canada. The amazing
production has visited 11 cities throughout Canada and the United
States. The Houston show will open on Thursday, March 22, 2007 and
continue through Sunday, April 15. Corteo will be held under its
trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau in the parking lot of
the northwest Houston racetrack. Tickets are on sale now and may
be purchased by calling Admission Network at 1-800-678-5440 or online