-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Slamit Scores His First Stakes Victory in the $50,000 Spring Dodge Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park

Houston, Texas (Saturday, March 10, 2012) - Two Oaklawn Park shippers made the most of their trip to Houston, running first and second in the final stakes of the 2012 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meet, the $50,000 Spring Dodge Stakes.

Slamit, a Florida-bred son of Grand Slam, owned by Black Gold Racing, stepped up to stakes company for the first time after breaking his maiden at Oaklawn Park on February 18. Trainer Tim Ice saddled the dark bay colt, who was making his sixth career start since his debut last October at Keeneland.  Jockey Chris Landeros rode the winner.

"He's a very nice colt," said Ice. "The owners sent him up to me from Gulfstream thinking maybe he needed a different surface. He adjusted well and after his win, was training forwardly for this race. I thought he handled the conditions well tonight and Chris was very patient and did a great job with him." 

Landeros settled his colt off a fairly brisk pace set by Gerardo Mora aboard Ishararuler, who ran the first quarter in :23.60 and the half-mile in :46.80. He had plenty of horse left and drew off in the final furlong, completing the one-mile stakes in 1:38.93, a length and one-half in front of King Coral.

"I was loving the early pace," said Landeros, who will depart for Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course on Tuesday. "They set it up beautifully for me. He's a very professional horse and did everything right."

Sam Houston leading rider Glen Murphy closed for second under King Coral, but noted that the muddy surface may have been a challenge for the son of Limehouse.

"He didn't know about the mud at first," said Murphy. "For the first three-eighths of a mile, he was uncomfortable, but settled and gave me his heart when he turned for home."     

Powerpointer rallied for third under Jose Figueroa, who picked up the mount when James Graham’s flight was delayed from New Orleans. Isharruler ran fourth, followed by the entry of Patchwork and Boca Bay,   Private Cat and Mr Why Why.

Slamit paid $11.20 to his backers and earned $30,000 for his first stakes score.

The 2012 Thoroughbred meet concludes on Monday, March 12. The end of the meet awards for leading jockey, trainer and owner will be presented on Monday afternoon. Live racing will resume on March 22 when Sam Houston Race Park hosts a 27-day Quarter Horse Meet which runs through May 19.

Camel and Ostrich Races a Big Hit at Sam Houston Race Park

For the first time ever, Sam Houston Race Park presented exotic racing featuring Camel and Ostrich races. Despite inclement weather and evening showers, the family-friendly action attracted a crowd of 12,389. Fans were able to root for their favorite camel and ostrich as they raced a distance of approximately 100 yards.

Jockey Felicia Denniger piloted the winning ostrich, breaking cleanly from the rail and never surrendering the lead to her four rivals. 

The winning camel was "Camela Anderson", presented by ESPN 97.5 and ridden by producer Jong Lee.  He defeated "Newsflash" ridden by Jerome Solomon, the Houston Chronicle sports columnist; "Sir-Drinks-A-Lot" with Alicia Nevins of The Eagle aboard and "Sam Humpty Houston", ridden by Sam Houston Race Park's president Andrea Young.

"Camel One laid down twice before the race, so I knew I had him beat," said Lee.

"Camel Three would not stay in the starting gate, so it was between me and Camel Four. I just knew that Camela Anderson had it in him. I kept it a secret from my family; my dad is a chiropractor, and he would not have wanted me to get hurt."

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