|Fields Set for the $125,000 Two
Altazano and $125,000 Jim's Orbit at Sam Houston Race Park
(February 14, 2007) - Two exciting races with full fields
will take place on Saturday, February 17 at Sam Houston Race Park.
The $125,000 Two Altazano and $125,000 Jim’s Orbit are two
legs of the Texas Stallion Stakes. The series is underwritten by
the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) and is designed as an incentive
for offspring of Texas-based stallions.
The Texas Stallion Stakes is a series of eight races that are run
at each of the three Class 1 racetracks in Texas: Sam Houston Race
Park, Retama Park and Lone Star Park. The purse for each division
is $125,000 for a total of $1 million, making it one of the richest
stallion stakes series in the country.
In 2005, the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) 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.
Twelve fillies will go postward in the Two Altazano with Wrenice,
2006 Texas Thoroughbred Association 2-Year-Old Filly of the Year,
as the 9-5 morning-line favorite. The 3-year-old daughter of Uncle
Abbie is owned and bred in Texas by Stewart Hamblen of Canyon, Texas
and trained by Randy Mayfield. She won five races in a row, including
the $45,000 Houston Chronicle Stakes on November 18 and the seven-furlong
$50,000 Bara Lass on December 2 at Sam Houston Race Park. She competed
in the $50,000 Genesis Stakes at Delta Downs on January 26, where
she ran second. Regular rider, Bobby Walker, Jr. has ridden the
dark bay filly in each of her nine career starts and will be aboard
on Saturday evening.
There are five fillies in the Two Altazano trained by the Asmussen
family: Steve, who has won the Sam Houston Race Park training title
a record five times and his sister-in-law, Cheryl Asmussen. Cheryl
has the entry of Touchofreality and Stage Stop, who have been installed
as the second betting choice at 4-1. Steve has three fillies in
the Two Altazano, including Funny Tune, owned by Will S. Farish.
The daughter of Dove Hunt was previously trained by Canadian condition,
Mark Casse and will make her Texas debut with Robby Albarado aboard.
Light Lace was closing nicely in the Bara Lass where she finished
second to Wrenice. Asmussen has named Jamie Theriot to ride Light
Lace and Jose Figueroa will remain on Swamp Lady, who just broke
her maiden on February 2, but did so at the distance of one mile
and 70 yards.
While last year Danny Pish saddled Brick Fight ($85.40), a longshot
winner in the $125,000 Jim’s Orbit, his horse, Daddy Warbucks,
is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the 2007 edition of the Texas
Stallion Stakes. The son of leading Texas sire, Valid Expections,
has exceeded his expectations with a career record of four wins
from six starts for owner William H. Bright. Daddy Warbucks won
the $50,000 Groovy Stakes on Texas Champions Day and followed that
up with a victory in the $50,000 Triple Sec Stakes at Delta Downs
on January 26. Pish reported that the chestnut colt came out of
the Delta race in good shape and has been training well at Sam Houston
Race Park for this Saturday’s effort. Quincy Hamilton rode
Brick Fight to victory last year and will return to Sam Houston
Race Park to pilot Daddy Warbucks.
Power Surge from the barn of Bret Calhoun is the second betting
choice at 4-1. Sired by Holzmeister, Power Surge ran second to Daddy
Warbucks in the Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park last October,
before shipping to Fair Grounds for his next two starts. He ran
second in the $100,000 Louisiana Juvenile on December 9 and followed
that up with a victory in the $75,000 Gentilly Stakes on January
20. Jamie Theriot will fly in from New Orleans to ride for Calhoun
and owner Carl R. Moore Management LLC. Calhoun has another entrant
in the Jim’s Orbit, Snifter’s Spirit, who will make
his stakes debut Saturday night. His sire, Captain Countdown, was
voted 2001 Sam Houston Race Park Horse of the Meeting. Texas Praise,
closed for second in the Groovy Stakes and will return to Sam Houston
Race Park for trainer Jim Hudson who has given the call to Robby
“We are thrilled with the full fields and quality of both
of the Texas Stallion Stakes,” said Eric Johnston, racing
secretary at Sam Houston Race Park. “Racing fans in Houston
and at simulcast facilities across the country will see the top
horses in Texas this Saturday night.”
The Two Altazano will run as the sixth race of the Saturday evening
program and the Jim’s Orbit is carded as the eighth. Post
time is 7:00 p.m.