Horses Arrive at Sham Houston Race Park for the the Grade III Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf

(April 5, 2007) - The horses have arrived in Houston for the richest Thoroughbred race of the meeting, the Grade III $200,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf on Saturday, April 7.

Silver Tree, the 8-5 favorite for the mile-and-an-eighth contest, walked the shedrow this morning with John Gaver, assistant to trainer Bill Mott. He flew with fellow Florida-based runner, Mending Fences, from Payson Park to Oaklawn Park. The horses were vanned into Houston last night. Gaver indicated that Silver Tree will jog on Friday morning after the break and was enjoying the cool morning temperatures in Houston.

Fort Prado vanned in on Wednesday afternoon with trainer Jeff Trosclair and is stabled in Bret Calhoun’s barn.

Cool Forecast Predicted for Connally Night

The extended forecast for the Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf calls for cool temperatures with a high of 51 and low of 42. There is a 60% chance of showers on Saturday, but clear skies for Thursday and Friday.

Jersey Lilly Stakes

The $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes for fillies and mares going one mile-and-a-sixteenth drew a field of 12. Wild Encounter, who has won two turf stakes this meeting for trainer Michelle Lovell, is the 4-1 morning-line favorite. On Texas Champions Day, the Texas-bred filly finished in a dead-heat with Tunnel Time in the $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes over the Connally Turf Course. She recorded her second stakes on February 10, defeating eight rivals in the $45,000 Jersey Village Stakes. Wild Encounter is owned by Mark Feld of Lucas Downs, Ltd and Mark Martinez of Agave Racing Stable. She will face her toughest test from Fairwell Madrid, who has won three races over the Connally Turf Course for trainer Donna McCullough and Cheyenne Spirit, who ships in from Oaklawn Park for conditioner Joe Duhon. The Jersey Lilly will run as the fourth race of the evening, with post time set for 8:18 p.m. (CT).

Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup

The venerable Proven Cure, bred and owned by Dr. William A. Reed & Stonecrest Farm in Kentucky, will return off a layoff in the $50,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup. Trained by John Locke, the 13-year-old son of Cure the Blues won this stakes in 2005 and finished a close second to track record-holder Charming Socialite in the 2006 edition of the five-furlong dash. Proven Cure, who will be ridden by Quincy Hamilton, is part of a three-horse entry trained by Locke. Richard Eramia will ride Dwight Polite and Eduard Tejera has the call on Magic Power. The 3-1 morning-line favorite for the Sam Houston Turf Sprint is Chief What It Is, a 4-year-old gelding who captured the $50,000 Delta Express Stakes on March 2 for trainer Lori Hendrickson. The Sam Houston Turf Sprint will be the final stakes of the evening and will be run as the ninth race.

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,, 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

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