||7th Annual Wiener Dog Races and $50,000 Bucharest Stakes Set for Saturday Night at Sam Houston Race Park
Houston, Texas (Wednesday, February 5,2014) - Houston's fastest Wiener Dogs return to action on Saturday, February 8 in the 7th Annual Wiener Dog Races at Sam Houston Race Park. Each year the event grows in popularity with fans of all ages as a talented array of featured Dachshunds compete on the main track at a distance of approximately 20 yards in between live Thoroughbred horse races. The winners of each qualifying round meet in the final with past champions Vito and Ricky Bobby both entered in this year's event.
It is always a family affair, with one member accompanying their Wiener Dog to the starting gate and another standing by the finish line with toys or treats, encouraging their beloved pets to the wire. In past editions of the races, some competitors have taken a hard right or left from the gate, others have even refused to budge! However, many show their true competitive spirit, leaving their rivals far behind.
Last year owner Jeff Michaels of Houston, entered his perky Dachshund, Ricky Bobby. He needed little encouragement, blazing to victory in his first ever competition, topping all 64 entrants.
"I figured he'd be good since he loves to chase squirrels," said his proud owner.
The race is on, for returning veterans and first-time entrants! Gates open at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, with the first Thoroughbred race set for 7:00 p.m. The Wiener Dog races will takes place in between live races throughout the evening. Sam Houston Race Park invites fans for a very enjoyable and entertaining evening with hot dogs specially priced at $1.00.
For more information on the 7th Annual Wiener Dog Races, or other upcoming promotions, visit www.shrp.com.
Solid Field Entered in the $50,000 Bucharest Stakes on Saturday Night
Saturday's feature at Sam Houston Race Park is the $50,000 Bucharest Stakes, for accredited Texas-breds at five-furlongs over the Connally Turf Course. Triumph and Song, a game winner of the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes here on January 18, is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The 5-year-old was claimed by trainer Karl Broberg for $40,000 at Churchill Downs. He has won his last two races for new owners H & H Ranch and will go for his third straight this Saturday under jockey Junior Chacaltana. He will run as an entry with Wahine Bling, who will be ridden by Gerardo Mora.
Two runners from the barn of Brent Davidson will run as a coupled entry in the Bucharest Stakes. Ishararuler, a 5-year-old gelded son of Ish Ar, ran third in this stakes in 2013, and fifth two weeks ago to track record-setter Sum of the Parts in the $75,000 Champion Energy Services Stakes.
"The Champion Energy was a tune up for this," said Sarah Davidson, who ably assists her father with the Houston string. "He ran very well in the Bucharest last year, third, beaten just by 3/4 of a length."
Davidson will give a leg up to Glen Murphy on Ishararuler and will also saddle his half-brother, Rule Breaker, who will be ridden by Justin Shepherd. Both sprinters are bred and owned by P and D Racing Stables.
Multiple stakes winner,Solar Charge, who ran second to Triumph and Song, is the highest earner in the Bucharest Stakes with 14 wins and career earnings of $371,609. The 7-year-old son of Authenticate is trained by Ellen Williams and will be ridden by Lindey Wade. The field also includes Wagson, who ran third in the Spirit of Texas. Trainer Allen Milligan has given the mount to Deshawn Parker, the Sam Houston Race Park leading rider.
The Bucharest Stakes is named for the late Thoroughbred sprinter Bucharest, owned by Israel Flores and trained by Amos Laborde, who set three track records at Sam Houston Race Park, including the lightening-fast six furlong time of 1:08.88 on May 11, 1994, which remains the current track record.
Eric Reed Making the Most of His First Sam Houston Race Park Meet
One notable new addition to the Sam Houston Race Park trainer roster is Kentucky horseman, Eric Reed. The second-generation conditioner has trained since 1983 and has gotten off to a solid start in his first season at Sam Houston Race Park.
With 8 wins from 23 starters, Reed is second in the standings to Steve Asmussen, who has won the Sam Houston training title five times. Reed, who won his 1,000th career race last October, is pleased on all levels with the Sam Houston Race Park meet.
"The horses love the track, so they've gotten very happy here," said Reed. "It's been a good fit."
Reed and his staff have made 4 trips to date with horses from Mercury Equine Center, his home base, in Lexington, Kentucky. The average haul takes 15- 17 hours, and Reed has dodged several major winter storms over the past two months. With a total of 80 horses in training, Reed has been pleased with the number of starts he has had to date at Sam Houston.
"The racing secretary (Eric Johnston) has gotten the races to fit, and that was my big fear," added Reed. "He writes good extras, we're going to bring another load and plan to run strong until the end of the meet."
Reed is not the only first-timer having success this meet. His first-call rider, Deshawn Parker leads the rider standings with 15 wins to Gerardo Mora, last year's champion, who has ridden 12 winners in the first three weeks of the meet.
Road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby Simulcast at Sam Houston Race Park
In addition to live racing Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Sam Houston Race Park also features an extensive simulcast menu for its patrons.
Much of the national racing attention is on the road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby and fans can watch and wager on all the promising 3-year-olds at Sam Houston Race Park.
Last weekend's Derby preps featured wins by Samraat in the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers at Aqueduct; Vinceremos, who won a long odds in the Grade 3, $200,000 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs and Wildcat Red, who scored with conviction in the Grade 3, $215,000 Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park.
This weekend's Derby prep is the Grade 2, $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita.
For racing fans who wish to make a Derby future wager, Sam Houston Race Park will host Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2, which will close Saturday at 5 p.m. at post time for the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park.. The stakes is the only prep race with Derby points (10 to the winner) being held this weekend.