Sam Houston Prepares for Return of Live Thoroughbred Racing on Friday, November 23

(Tuesday, November 13, 2007) - Live Thoroughbred racing returns to Sam Houston Race Park ( with kick-off events featuring races and live entertainment Friday, November 23 through Sunday, November 25, 2007. In addition to the excitement of Thoroughbred racing, special live performances from country music stars Miranda Lambert ( and Kevin Fowler ( will highlight the opening weekend. Post times for races on Friday & Saturday are 7 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.

Lambert recently rocked the Country Music Association Awards with a stunning live performance and was nominated as Best Female Vocalist. Austin-based singer/songwriter Kevin Fowler, best known for being a little bit rock and a little bit Texas country, is also set to perform during the opening weekend.

Live racing will continue each Thursday – Sunday evening in November. SHRP will host a special live race card as part of the Inaugural New Year’s Eve Zoom & Boom Celebration on Monday, December 31, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.

The 2007-2008 Thoroughbred meeting will continue though Saturday, April 5, 2008. For more information on races and events, please visit

Texas Champions Day Saturday, December 1

Sam Houston Race Park will host Texas Champions Day, a Live Thoroughbred Racing event with a Texas theme, on Saturday, December 1, 2007. The event will also live entertainment, an online handicapping contest, a performance by “2004 Best Country Singer in Houston” winner Mignon Grabois and a special proclamation presented by Mayor Bill White. Patrons entering the park after 5 p.m. will receive a free commemorative event t-shirt on a first-come, first-serve basis. The event is open to patrons of all ages. Tickets are available for $4 for adults, $2 for Senior Citizens and children under 12 are FREE. Texas Champions Day is presented by Woodford Reserve and Dodge. For more information visit or call 281.807.8760.

Inaugural New Year’s Eve Zoom & Boom Celebration

Sam Houston Race Park invites Houstonians to ring in 2008 in style at the Inaugural New Year’s Eve Zoom & Boom Celebration on Monday, December 31, 2007. Guests are invited to “come-as-you-are” with boots and jeans casual attire for a night of Thoroughbred racing, live entertainment featuring dance music from the 70s, 80s and more, Korbel’s midnight champagne toast along with one of the largest balloon drops and firework displays in town! Ticket packages include reserved seating for racing, racing program, buffet dinner by award winning Executive Chef Francis Walters, special New Year’s party favors, commemorative champagne flute and more! Ticket packages start at $15 per person. For more information visit or call 281.807.8760.

Racing Updates

Sandburr Training for Return to Action

Sandburr, winner of the $100,000 Star of Texas last December at Sam Houston Race Park, is training and expected to defend his title on Texas Champions Day, Saturday, December 1, 2007. The 8-year-old son of Sandpit worked 5/8 of a mile last week at Fair Grounds and will be shipped to Sam Houston Race Park, according to his trainer, Michael Stidham.

“We freshened him and gave him some well-deserved rest and relaxation,” said Stidham of the 8-year-old. “He’s acting more like a 3-year-old than older horse and the plan is to have him run on December 1 in Houston.”

The Stidham barn has one more Texas Champions Day weapon in its arsenal. General Charley, owned and bred by Stonerside Stable, is nominated for the $50,000 Richard King Stakes, a mile and one-sixteenth stakes on the Connally Turf Course.

The 6-year-old Texas-bred was named after Charley Casserly, who was tapped by McNair as the first general manager of the Houston Texans. He appears to have found his calling on the turf, winning several stakes including the $45,000 Tomball Stakes last February at Sam Houston Race Park and the $100,000 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Stakes on October 13, 2007, at Retama Park, where he set a new track record, covering the distance of 1 1/6 miles in 1:40.65.

Steve Bourque Returns to Sam Houston Race Park

Steve Bourque, one of the leading riders in Texas and Louisiana, will return to Sam Houston Race Park for the 2007-2008 Thoroughbred meeting. Following a seven-year stint exclusively in Louisiana, he has been riding at Retama Park over the last two months and will be a force in Houston this season.

Bourque made big headlines at Sam Houston Race Park during the ‘98-‘99 Thoroughbred meeting. He was honored as leading jockey by winning 117 races and earning $1,019,911, becoming the first jockey in the northwest Houston racetrack’s history to surpass the $1 million mark.

He won his second leading rider title here in the 2000-2001 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting with 120 wins and $993,877 in purses. One of the highlights that year was his victory aboard Vilaxy in the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup for trainer Harold Hahn. No rider in Sam Houston Race Park history has surpassed Bourque’s single season record for wins.

Bourque has ridden close to 25,000 horses in his 25 year career with 3,711 wins and $29 million in purses. He has won eight titles at Delta Downs as well as the 2000 leading rider title at Retama Park. Last July, he won the $131,125 D. S. “Shine” Young Memorial Futurity at Evangeline Downs last July with Honour Thy Lover for trainer Doris Hebert. The win was the third in the prestigious stakes for Bourque who captured editions in the 1990’s aboard Hail the Bag and Demon’s Revenge.

He is currently second in the jockey standings at Retama Park with 26 wins for Danny Pish and several other trainers.

Simulcasting this Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park

Churchill Downs will present the Grade 2, $150,000 Cardinal Stakes for fillies and mares on Saturday, November 17, 2007. Hollywood Park’s Saturday feature is the running of the $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. On Sunday, November 19, 2007, the $100,000 Mariah’s Storm will be contested at Churchill Downs and the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes for 2-year-olds will take place at Hollywood Park.
One of the most highly anticipated meets in this region will open on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2007. Fair Grounds in New Orleans annually attracts some of the top conditioners in the country for their Thoroughbred season which runs through March 23, 2008. Upcoming events include Louisiana Champions Day on December 8, 2007, the Grade 2 Lecomte Stakes on January 12, 2008, and the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes on February 9, 2008.

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

VIP Club November Specials Offered at Sam Houston Race Park

Live Racing will kick off on Friday, November 23, 2007, and in the meantime, simulcast action continues seven days a week at SHRP. We continue to provide great offers and benefits for our VIP Club members. Promotions for the month of November include:

  • Wednesday: $100 Showvivor Handicapping Contest – Hollywood Park
  • Saturday: Super 7 Saturday: The 7th Race at seven designated racetracks on each Saturday in November with handicappers asked to make mythical win and place wagers. $300 First Place, $150 Second Place, $50 Third Place.
  • Sunday: Pigskin and Horse Hide Contest - Pick 3 NFL Winners against the spread, as well 4 designated Horse Races. $100 First Place, $75 Second Place, $25 Third.
  • Sunday: $.10 Superfecta Sunday on Sunday, November 25th. Ten VIP numbers are drawn before 5 selected live races for a $12 voucher for $.10 superfectas on Sam Houston Race Park live races.

All contest rules can be found on 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 VIP Club visit the Players Lounge or call 281-807-8278.

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