Draw for the Grade III $200,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf To Take Place Wednesday at Sam Houston Race Park

(April 3, 2007) - Sam Houston Race Park will host the Grade III $200,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf Race on Saturday, April 7. In its 13th running and second year as a graded event, the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf is the richest stakes of the Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting.

In addition to the $200,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf Race, the evening will feature two other stakes races, the $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes for fillies and mares going one mile-and-a-sixteenth and the $50,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint at a distance of five furlongs.

Last year’s Sam Houston Race Park Horse of the Meeting and defending champion Fort Prado should be one of the top contenders in the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf. The 6-year-old son of El Prado is trained by Jeff Trosclair for owners Patricia, David and Ryan Block. Fort Prado will van in on Wednesday and will be ridden on Saturday by Corey Lanerie. Last year, the champion was ridden by Robby Albarado, but he has eight mounts at Keeneland this Saturday and could not make the trip to Houston.

“Robby’s people were nice enough to let me know well in advance of his commitments in Kentucky,” said Trosclair. “We were able to secure the services of another fine rider, Corey Lanerie.”

Trosclair freshened Fort Prado following his 5th place finish in the Grade III Fair Grounds Breeders’ Cup Handicap on February 10 and feels that the gray turf specialist will run a good race this weekend.

“He didn’t care for the Fair Grounds turf,” commented Trosclair. “We just decided to give him some time off and get him ready for Houston. He’s been training well and had a nice blow out on Sunday.”

Silver Tree, a graded stakes turf champion who has bankrolled $1.2 million for trainer Bill Mott, Storm Treasure, a 4-year-old from the barn of Steve Asmussen and Mending Fences who is conditioned by Marty Wolfson are three of the other standouts nominated for the Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf. Asmussen won the 2004 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf with Warleigh.

“Saturday night’s card will be exceptional with the Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf and two additional turf stakes,” said Robert L. Bork, Sam Houston Race Park vice chairman. “We look forward to making the final weekend of our Thoroughbred season memorable for racing fans here and across the country.”

The draw for the Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf and the accompanying stakes will take place on Wednesday, April 4. Post time for the Saturday, April 7 card at Sam Houston Race Park is 7:00 p.m.(CT).

Final Weekend of the Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred Meeting

There are just three days remaining in the 2006/2007 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting. Live racing is set for Thursday, April 5, Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7. The first race for each night is 7:00 p.m.

Steve Davidowitz Appearance This Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park

Steve Davidowitz, noted author and handicapper, will make an appearance at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, April 7 in conjunction with his new book, The Best and Worst of Thoroughbred Racing. There will be a book signing at 4:00 p.m. at the Player’s Lounge and Davidowitz will join Martha Claussen and Denis Blake of the Texas Thoroughbred Association at 7:00 p.m on the Club Level Stage for a free handicapping seminar. The trio will preview the live race card and offer analysis of the Grade III Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Grade III Connally Breeders’ Cup Online Handicapping Contest

Racing fans in Texas and across the country are welcome to register for the $1,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Online Handicapping Contest. The contest is open to all racing fans, 21-years of age or older, with a total of $1,000 in prizes to the top four finishers.

There is no entry fee for the Connally Breeders’ Cup Online Handicapping Contest. Each contestant will be required to make win, place and show selections for the evening’s featured stakes races from the Saturday night card. Registration will take place on the Sam Houston Race Park website, www.shrp.com, beginning Thursday, April 5 at 3:00 p.m. with the deadline to enter at 7:00 on Saturday, April 7.

The player who earns the highest cumulative total based on the $2 win, $2 place and $2 show selections, will be awarded $500. The second place finisher will receive $300 and the third place player will receive $200.

For more information and a complete set of rules for the Connally Breeders’ Cup Online Handicapping Contest, please call 281-807-8760 or visit the Sam Houston Race Park web site at www.shrp.com.

Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

Larry Taylor is on the verge of securing his first leading riding title at Sam Houston Race Park. He added two wins from last week and has won a total of 61 races for the meeting. Roimes Chirinos has departed for Gulfstream Park and left the colony with 55 wins. Paul Nolan follows with 52 wins and Don Simington is in fourth place with 48 victories. Bobby Walker, Jr. is fifth in the standings and has piloted 43 winning mounts.

The battle for leading trainer could go down to the wire between Danny Pish and Bret Calhoun. Pish, who won the title last year, is tied with Calhoun; they both have saddled 41 winners. John Locke follows in third place with 30 wins. Steve Asmussen has won 21 races and Jerenesto Torrez and Michelle Lovell are tied with 20 wins. Jim Bausch has saddled 19 winners.

Bruno Schickedanz remains in the lead in the owner standings with a total of 14 wins. Stephen Baker is in second place with 10 wins and Colt Racing, Inc., Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and Tbd Owners LLC are tied with nine wins each. Shrum Racing, Inc. is next with eight wins. Charles Hukill made a nice move in the standings and has seven victories. Nelco Farms, Leland Cook and Trackside Farm follow with six victories each.

Two Major Preps for the Kentucky Derby to be Simulcast This Weekend

Friday is opening day for Keeneland with the $150,000 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes highlighting the card. Kentucky Derby prospects will be prominent this weekend. Aqueduct will present the Grade 1 $750,000 Wood Memorial with Louisiana Derby winner Circular Quay and Holy Bull Stakes winner Nobiz Like Shobiz expected to headline the field. The Saturday afternoon card also includes the Grade 1 $300,000 Carter Handicap and the Grade 3 $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes. Another key Kentucky Derby prep is the Grade 1 $750,000 Santa Anita Derby with the Doug O’Neill-trained twosome of Cobalt Blue, owned by Merv Griffin, and Liquidity as top contenders. There will be a guaranteed $1,000,000 Pick Six available on the Saturday program at Santa Anita as well. Keeneland’s Saturday program is highlighted by the Grade 1 $500,000 Ashland Stakes and Oaklawn Park will run the Grade 1 $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on Saturday as well.

For a complete list of simulcast tracks and post times, please call (281) 807-8740 or visit shrp.com.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Contest Continues Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park’s “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Handicapping Contest is underway and will continue every Saturday through April 21. The eight-week contest will offer $4,800 in cash prizes and is open to all racing fans, 21-years of age or older.

Contestants are required to make mythical $2 win and place wagers on all of the major prep races leading to the Kentucky Derby. The winners are determined by the highest cumulative bankroll from all $2 win and place bets from each week’s contest. The contest is not limited to VIP Club members, but the prize money is double for all winning finishers who are members. The winner, if a VIP member, will receive $1,000, second place finisher will receive $500, $300 will go the third place contestant and the fourth place participant will be awarded $200. Non-VIP Club members will receive $500 for first place, $250 for second, $150 for third and $100 for fourth. Weekly prizes will also be awarded to the three highest weekly bankrolls.

Debbie Graves was declared the winning handicapper for week three, while Qun Hua Luo finished in second place. Gary Hause and Mauricio Lizmi tied for third place. Week four’s first place winner was Colie Jones, who was followed closely by Michael Nettles in second place. Third place handicapper was Owen Adams. Nettles has taken the lead in the overall wins with a bankroll total of $64.80 and Graves is currently in second place with a $62.20 bankroll.

Registration begins every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. until the official deadline, which will be prior to the post time of the first contest race. To become a VIP Club Member, visit the Player’s Lounge in the Grandstand or call 281-807-8760. More information regarding the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” handicapping contest may also be obtained by calling 281-807-8760, or by visiting www.shrp.com.

April VIP Specials at Sam Houston Race Park

Although live Thoroughbred racing will conclude on April 7, VIP Club members will continue to receive perks, rewards and incentives at Sam Houston Race Park. In April all VIP Club members will enjoy free admission during simulcast hours, before gates open for live racing. Mondays will offer double points each time a member swipes their VIP Club card and members will also receive a $2 coupon good for a simulcast program each Wednesday. Each Friday, members are invited to participate in the $100 Showvivor Handicapping Contest. The Road to the Derby Handicapping Contest will continue each Saturday through April 21. The contest will offer $4,800 in cash prizes and require players to make mythical $2 win and place wagers on all of the major prep races leading to the Kentucky Derby.

There are many great incentives for joining the VIP Club, including free dinner in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant, complimentary Box Seats and many other great rewards.

To become a VIP Club member, visit the Players Lounge located at the North end of the Grandstand on the Paddock Level. For more information about the benefits of the VIP Club stop by the Players Lounge or call 281-807-8278.

back to TTHBPA Infomation