||Texas Stallion Stakes This Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park
Houston, Texas (Wednesday, February 11, 2015) - Sam Houston Race Park will present three stakes on Saturday, February 14. The Clarence Scharbauer Texas Stallion Stakes Series includes the $75,000 Two Altazano Stakes and the $75,000 Jim's Orbit Stakes, both for accredited Texas-breds. The Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) renamed the showcase series last year to honor the late Clarence Scharbaurer, Jr., who passed away in 2014. The third feature, the $50,000 Jersey Village Turf Stakes, is for four-year-olds and up on the Connally Turf Course.
Racing fans can enjoy quality racing and great promotions beginning on Friday evening with the first ever Food Truck Friday, featuring delectable offerings from Bernie's Burger Bus, Golden Grill, Koagie Hots, Coreanos, Happy Endings, Skratch, Third Coast Steak Sandwiches, Custom Confections and Good Dog Houston. It is also 50 Cent Beer Friday, featuring 50 Cent Draft Beer and $1.50 Wine Specials from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
In addition, fans are encouraged to wear their "battle red" to honor the Houston Rockets and the Red Nation! Activities will include interactive games and an opportunity to meet Mini Clutch from 7:00-8:00 p.m., as well as an autograph session with the Rockets Power Dancers from 8:00-9:00 p.m.
On Saturday, don't miss the first ever Mascot Race from the starting gate immediately following race 1. Sam Houston Race Park will have several mascots from the Houston area and beyond to entertain the crowd in a 100-yard race on the track. Don't miss your chance to see Clutch from the Houston Rockets, Orbit from the Houston Astros, Diesle from the Houston Dynamo, Coyote from the San Antonio Spurs, Champ from the Dallas Mavericks, YoUDee from the University of Delaware, and Menchie from Menchies Frozen Yogurt.
Six Colts and Geldings to Compete in the $75,000 Jim's Orbit
Saturday stakes action gets underway in the sixth race with the $75,000 Jim's Orbit Stakes at the distance of seven furlongs. Trainer Bret Calhoun has three entrants in the feature for three-year-old colts and geldings.
Calhoun's entrants are Douglas Scharbauers's Alamo City, with Deshawn Parker in the irons, and Silverhill, with Cliff Berry up. Supermason, owned by Brad Grady, completes the Calhoun trio.
Douglas Scharbauer,s Silverhill has been installed as the 9-5 morning line choice. He is a son of first crop sire, Silver City, bred by the late Clarence Scharbaurer, Jr. at Valor Farm. Silverhill ran second in the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes on November 15 at Retama Park, and a disappointing seventh in last month's Groovy Stakes.
"Just have to draw a line through the last race," stated Calhoun. "He's a big, rangy colt, and we believe he is one of our better three-year-olds."
Supermason, a son of Grasshopper, finished second in the $50,000 Groovy Stakes under rider Lindey Wade. He had competed in the ultra-tough $250,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park on December 14.
"The Springboard Mile might have been a mistake on my part," admitted Calhoun. "This gelding was a little immature both physically and mentally, but definitely has talent."
Alamo City, another Clarence Scharbaurer, Jr. homebred, should benefit from the added distance, according to his conditioner.
Flying Frenchman makes his stakes debut for owner Ken Murphy Thoroughbreds Ltd. The son of Early Flyer is trained by Robert Young and has hit the board in each of his four career starts, closing gamely in a $21,000 allowance here on January 16.
In 2005, the Texas Thoroughbred Association renamed each of the Texas Stallion Stakes races to honor a famous Texas Thoroughbred. The colts and gelding division at Sam Houston Race Park has been named for Jim's Orbit, who won the Grade 2 Ohio Derby and started in the 1988 Kentucky Derby. The fillies division is a tribute to Two Altazano, winner of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks in 1994. The accomplished mare, owned by the late Harold V. Goodman, was inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.
Undefeated Promise Me Silver Ships in for the $75,000 Two Altazano
Promise Me Silver, bred and owned by Myrna and Robert Luttrell, is undefeated in five starts and headlines the $75,000 Two Altazano Stakes. Trained by Bret Calhoun, the talented filly won her debut last May at Lone Star Park by almost seven lengths and added stakes wins at Churchill Downs, Retama Park and Fair Grounds. Her win streak remained intact with a victory in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes on January 15 at Oaklawn Park.
"It's not just her win streak or margins of victory that stand out," said Calhoun of Promise Me Silver. "What is so impressive is despite her share of eventful trips, she can overcome anything that comes her way."
Cliff Berry will make the trip from Oaklawn Park to pilot the gray daughter of Silver City, who has been installed as the 2-1 favorite, and will break from post position two.
Calhoun will also saddle Santacafe, an Early Flyer filly bred by Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. and owned by his son, Douglas.
"We had high expectations of her, but she did not finish well in the Bara Lass," stated Calhoun. "We'll add blinkers on Saturday and hope for a good effort."
He has fond memories of the 2014 Two Altazano Stakes victory by Fiftyshadesofgold. Bred in Texas by Clarence Scharbauer, Jr., the long-striding filly won the Two Altazano by an easy 2 1/2 length score and followed that with runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and a victory in the Grade 3 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The Texas Thororoughbred Association recently announced Fiftyshadesofgold as the 2014 TTA Horse of the Year. She has been retired and will be bred to Tapit.
Danny Pish has two fillies in the seven furlong stakes. Infectious, bred by Will S. Farish, returns following her victory in the $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes here on January 16. Sam Houston Race Park's leading rider, Deshawn Parker, will pilot the daughter of Valid Expectations, who is in pursuit of her third consecutive victory. Pish will also saddle Rain Expectations for breeder/owners Warren N. Moore, Jr. and Ronald F. Plackemeirer. She broke her maiden on November 21at Retama Park and makes her stakes debut Saturday evening.
The field also includes Keith Asmussen's homebred Air Ride Jones, who won her debut here on January 26 and steps directly into stakes company. Trainer Steve Asmussen won two previous editions of the Two Altazano with Color Code in 2012 and. Makeshift in 2013.
The Two Altazano will run as the eighth race of the card.
Texas Champions Stakes Winners Return in the $50,000 Jersey Village Stakes
The third stakes of the Saturday evening card is the $50,000 Jersey Village Stakes with a field of ten accredited Texas-breds competing at a mile and one-sixteenth over the Connally Turf Course.
One year ago in the Jersey Village, trainers Danny Pish and Karl Broberg had to wait on a photo finish to separate their horses, Quiet Acceleration and Fly the Red Eye, at the wire. The two turf specialists had a similar outcome in the $50,000 Richard King Stakes, which ran here on January 17.
On Saturday night, the competitive duo will meet again and face additional Texas-bred contenders and stakes winners. Their rivals will include Magna Breeze and Special UFO, who finished third and fourth in the Richard King Stakes. They will be joined by F J Uncle Vic, winner of the one-mile $50,000 Star of Texas Stakes, and Edplicit, who captured the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes, a six furlong sprint, also run on opening weekend.
Owner and trainer Patti Turner made her first visit to Sam Houston Race Park last month with Edplicit, an eight-year-old son of Explicit. With Alfredo Contreras in the irons, the chestnut gelding defied his age, powering home in 1:11.58.
Turner cites the versatility of her runner, who will be making the 60th start of his career in the Jersey Village. He has run ten races on grass, with a record of two wins, two seconds, and a third on the lawn.
"He ran on the turf last summer at Louisiana Downs and did well," said Turner. "Ed is a very versatile and really cool horse. He can go long or short. Everyone has told us how great the Sam Houston turf course is. We wanted to give it a try."
Turner will give a leg up to David Cabrera as Contreras, Edplicit's regular rider, broke his ankle at Delta Downs and is sidelined due to the injury.
The Jersey Village Stakes is the ninth race on the card and will be part of the $20,000 Pick 4, which begins in race seven.
Sam Houston Race Park Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings
Deshawn Parker, who is made his Sam Houston debut last year, remains the leader in the rider standings through the fourth week of the 2015 racing season. Parker has won 30 races. David Cabrera, who captured the riding title this year at both Lone Star Park and Retama Park, added 11 wins last week and is second with 22 victories to date.
Danny Pish, who has won the training title here three times, has won 15 races, with Steve Asmussen is second place with 12 victories. Asmussen has clinched leading trainer honors at Sam Houston Race Park six times.
2014 leading owner Danny Keene and Asmussen are tied in the owner standings; each have won five races.
Sam Houston Race Park is Host Site for Cirque du Soleil Event
Sam Houston Race Park is pleased to be the host site for a unique and exquisite entertainment experience of Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna. Opening night is Thursday, February 12 and performance will run through March 22. For showtimes and to order tickets, click here.