Student Council Comes Out of SHRP's $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup in Good Shape

(January 30, 2007) - Student Council, who won the won the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup last Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park, has returned to Fair Grounds in excellent condition, according to trainer Neil Howard. The 5-year-old son of Kingmambo captured the first stakes of his career in brilliant fashion for owner Will S. Farish with Robby Albarado in the irons.

The $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup, one of the premier stakes of the Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting, attracted a stellar field of ten, including seven stakes winners. Student Council came into the race with allowance wins at Turfway Park and Keeneland and scored his most recent victory on January 4 at Fair Grounds. Farish and Howard had always respected the late-developing Kentucky-bred, but were not entirely convinced that he was ready for a stakes win when they shipped him here last Friday.

“He caught us both by surprise, a nice surprise,” said Howard from his Fair Grounds base. “We always had high regard for him; he was beautifully bred and a good looking horse. Just within the last 4-6 weeks, he started to put it all together and his performance in the Maxxam was a pleasant surprise.”

Student Council shipped back to Fair Grounds in good order and Howard and Farish have plenty of options for his next start.

“We just talked yesterday and are considering several races including the New Orleans Handicap (at Fair Grounds on March 9) or the Razorback (at Oaklawn Park on March 10). We don’t believe in jumping the gun and moving him up too quickly.”

Super Bowl Sunday at Sam Houston Race Park

There is no live racing on Super Bowl Sunday, but the Sam Houston Race Park Jockey Club will host their popular Super Bowl Party on Sunday, February 4. Guests will enjoy a spectacular Tailgating Football Buffet offered from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The buffet will feature tailgating specialties such as:

  • Peeled Jumbo Gulf Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce and Lemon Wedges
  • Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers with Ranch Dipping Sauce and Guacamole
  • Chicken Tenders with Country Gravy and Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • Spicy Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce, BBQ Sauce & Ranch Dipping Sauce
  • Beef & Chicken Fajita Nachos with Guacamole, Fresh Salsa, Sour Cream, Pico de Gallo and Jalapenos
  • Mozzarella Cheese Sticks with Marinara Sauce
  • Assorted Cookies and Brownies

The festive buffet and the perfect environment for watching the game on the many big screens is offered for just $15.95 per person. In addition, $1 Pony Beers will be available including Budweiser, Bud Light & Miller Lite! $2.00 Frozen Margaritas are also available! The Sam Houston Race Park Jockey Club will be open all afternoon for simulcasting and every minute of the Super Bowl. Reservations are highly recommended and may be made by calling 281-807-8821. Public welcome!

Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

Larry Taylor continues to lead in the jockey standings at Sam Houston Race Park with 37 victories. He rode three winners last week and remains in a competitive battle with Roimes Chirinos, who has made 36 trips to the winner’s circle. Filemon Rodriguez is in third place with 28 wins and Paul Nolan follows with 26 victories. Don Simington had an excellent week and moved up in the standings to take over fifth place with 22 wins.

Bret Calhoun continues to maintain the lead in the trainer standings at Sam Houston Race Park with 25 wins. John Locke remains in second place with 18 victories. Danny Pish won two races last week and is third in the standings with 17 wins. Scott Blasi follows with 14 victories. Michelle Lovell and Michael Stidham are tied with 12 wins each and 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 eight wins. Colt Racing, Inc. has moved into second place with seven victories and Stephen R. Baker and Nelco Farms are tied with six wins each. Horsevestors, Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Tbd Owners LLC and Shrum Racing, Inc are tied with five victories and Maggi Moss, Israel Flores and the Dallas-based partnership of Larry Hirsch and Wayne Sanders have four wins each.

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

This weekend offers excellent simulcasting and stakes action from tracks across the country. Invasor, who earned the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year, is nominated for Saturday’s $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. The 5-year-old Argentine-bred is expected to face Premium Tap, Magna Graduate and Strong Contender in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap, a 1 1/8 mile main track event. Gulfstream’s card will include a total of six graded stakes including the $100,000 Canadian Turf Handicap with English Channel and Miesque’s Approval expected to start and Kentucky Derby contender Nobiz Like Shobiz nominated for the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes. The Grade II Stub Stakes will be contested at Santa Anita on Saturday and Louisiana Premier Night takes place Saturday evening at Delta Downs with eight stakes on the program.

The $250,000 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita is the only Sunday stakes race, but Sam Houston Race Park will be open at 10:30 a.m. for simulcasting with many of the 1,500 televisions tuned on for the Super Bowl at 5:00 p.m. For a complete list of simulcast tracks and post times, visit or call (281) 807-8740.

Sam Houston Race Park is Host Site for Cirque du Soleil Event This Spring

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 at

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