-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography
|Oaklawn Park Shipper Afleet Deceit Wins the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff at SHRP
Houston, Texas (February 26, 2011) - Afleet Deceit made the most of her first start at Sam Houston Race Park with a determined effort in Saturday's feature, the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff.
Trained by Scott Becker, the five-year-old mare came off the pace to defeat a competitive field of eight fillies and mares. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Northern Afleet had run fifth in the $75,000 Pippin Stakes at Oaklawn Park on January 22. Becker and owner William Stiritz were looking for a race and felt the timing of the Sam Houston Distaff was good for the bay mare.
Jockey Eguard Tejera had to overcome some bumping in the first turn, but steadied his mare and made a strong closing rally.
“The one (Jill Marie) got in on the first turn and I almost went down,” said Tejera. “It was a little scary, but I got her going and she finished really well”
"She is a game mare," said assistant John Poole, who saddled for Becker. "We felt like she would run a good race tonight and were very pleased with the win.”
Truly Lucky, one of two fillies trained by Sam Houston leading trainer Karl Broberg, went to the lead under jockey Quincy Hamilton. She led the field through a first quarter mile of :23.64 and half mile in 47.11. Mayhaw with Kerwin Clark aboard made a run, as did the favorite Bella Medaglia, a four-year-old daughter of Medaglia d' Oro. But it was Alfeet Deceit who had the best closing kick, to run them both down.
“I had a great stalking trip,” said rider Jamie Theriot who flew in from Fair Grounds to ride Bella Medaglia. “We made the lead on the far turn and I thought I was home free, the last sixteenth, she just laid down.”
Afleet Deceit crossed the wire of the mile and one-sixteenth main track stakes in a final time of 1:45.59. Sent off as the third choice at 4-1, she returned $10.80 for the win. Bella Medaglia held for second and Mayhaw ran third. Early pacesetter Truly Lucky was fourth followed by Jiggy Jo, The Cat Who, Caloosahatchee and Jill Marie.
The 2011 Thoroughbred meet continues through Monday, March 7th, with post times set for Friday and Saturday (7 p.m.), Sunday (5 p.m.) and Monday (1:20 p.m.). The $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup will be run on Saturday, March 5. The mile and one-eighth handicap for older horses has attracted some of the top distance horses in the country, with past champions including Alumni Hall, Valhol and Student Council, who went on to national prominence in the 2007 Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar.