Sam Houston Race Park Weekly Notes: November 22, 2005

(November 22, 2005) - The following are weekly notes for Sam Houston Race Park:

No Live Racing on Thanksgiving Day

Sam Houston Race Park will host live Thoroughbred racing on Wednesday, November 23, Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26 at 7:00 p.m. There will be no live racing on Thanksgiving Day, but Sam Houston Race Park will open its simulcasting gates early to accommodate the earlier post times of racetracks, such as Aqueduct, Churchill Downs and Laurel. Gates at the northwest Houston racetrack will open at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.

For the simulcast schedule, call 281-807-8740 or visit

Leaving On My Mind Pointed to the $40,000 Conroe Stakes

Texas Thoroughbred Association’s Horse of the Year, Leaving On My Mind, had another thrilling win on Texas Champions Day at Sam Houston Race Park. Roman Chapa found an opening on the rail and guided the 3-year-old son of Valid Expectations to victory in the $50,000 Richard King on the Connally Turf Course.

Trainer Danny Pish indicated that the bay gelding will remain at Sam Houston Race Park and make his next start in the $40,000 Conroe Stakes on December 3.

“He’s done everything we have ever asked of him,” added Pish. “He’s a pleasure to have in the barn and a pleasure to train. He’ll make his next start against 3-year-olds in two weeks.”

Leaving On My Mind, bred and owned by George A. Wolff of Boerne, Texas, has won 8 of his 21 lifetime starts, including three stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. He earned $30,000 on Saturday night, increasing his career bankroll to $402,167.

Si Puede Headlines Texas Derby at Lone Star Park This Weekend

Sam Houston Race Park 2004 Quarter Horse of the Meeting, Si Puede headlines the field for the Grade 1, $332,869 Texas Classic Derby Friday, November 25 at Lone Star Park. The 3-year-old filly, trained by Dave Correll, was undefeated at Sam Houston Race Park and has now won eight in a row. Regular rider Jose Vega will remain aboard.

On Saturday, November 26, Lone Star will host the finals of the $1 milluon Texas Classic Futurity , a 400-yard dash for 2-year-olds. Fastest qualifier Pyc Paint Your Wagon, trained by Jack Brooks; Memories On the Run from the barn of Frank Ramirez and Automatically, who is undefeated for trainer Heath Taylor are three of the top contenders.

LOPE Silent Auction on Texas Champions Day Nets $7,250

Racing fans in Houston helped raise $7,250 for LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers (LOPE) on Texas Champions Day at Sam Houston Race Park. Auction items included

A private tour and wine tasting for 25 people at Haak Vineyards, stallion season to Tinners Way, Special Rate, Marked Tree and That's Our Buck, El Amante and El Leopardo, a Great Pyranees puppy and photo of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner, Giacomo.

Bill Skidmore of Houston, was the high bidder on Lightening Ball, winner of the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes in the 1999 edition of Texas Champions Day. Skidmore plans to give the retired racehorse a new career as a show horses, according to Lynn Rorke Reardon of LOPE.

LOPE is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit devoted to providing new careers for retiring racehorses of all breeds in Texas. Through its online services and ranch adoption center, LOPE has transitioned over 325 Texas ex-racehorses into new homes since 2003. To learn more about LOPE, visit their website,

Day After Thanksgiving Concert with Kevin Fowler

Sam Houston Race Park will offer great live entertainment for those seeking exciting activities after a day of festive feasting. In addition to ten live Thoroughbred races, the northwest Houston racetrack will present Kevin Fowler in concert. The Kyle Hunt Band will perform between each race and Fowler will follow immediately after the last race.

Kevin Fowler was raised in Amarillo, Texas then moved to Los Angeles at the age of 20. Fowler returned to Texas after studying music at the Guitar Institute of Technology and set out to make a name for himself in Austin. Fowler and his band began playing on Austin’s famous Sixth Street on Tuesday nights. Fowler’s latest album, One for the Road, features hits such as, “True Love” and “I Told You So.” Fowler is most known for “Loose, Loud & Crazy,” “Hard Man to Love,” and “All the Tequila in Tijuana.”

The concert is free with your $3 admission to the races before 9:00 p.m. and $8 afterwards; $1 for Senior Citizens; and children 12 and under admitted free. For reserved seats or more information, call 281-807-8760 or visit

Steak Night Offers Great Dinner Special at Sam Houston Race Park

The Sam Houston Race Park Winner’s Circle Restaurant is presenting a satisfying steak dinner at an affordable price every Wednesday through December 21. For only $12.99, race fans can enjoy a juicy 12 oz. steak, served with a salad and garlic mashed potatoes in the classy restaurant with an amazing view.

The Winner’s Circle Restaurant overlooks the track and is situated so everyone is able to feel as if they had front row seats. Each table has a private monitor and easy access to mutuel tellers for convenient wagering.

For reservations or more information, call 281-807-8760 or visit

Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

Larry Taylor has taken control over the jockey standings after a very successful showing over Texas Champions Day weekend. Taylor made seven trips to the winner’s circle over the weekend, including a victory aboard Slewpy’s Storm in the $75,000 Martanza Stakes on Texas Champions Day. Taylor currently has 15 wins and $175,158 in earnings. Don Simington and Glen Murphy are still neck-to-neck in the standings as they are now tied at second place. Each have scored 13 wins since opening weekend in October. Terry Stanton has moved up in the standings, ranked third with seven victories. Several jockeys are tied with five wins, including Omar Rodriguez, Adrian Ramos and Jeremy Beasley.

Danny Pish had a victorious Texas Champions Day, saddling two winners on the premier Texan night. Roman Chapa made a trip to Houston to capture the $50,000 Richard King Stakes aboard Leaving On My Mind for Pish and Simington piloted Guacamole in the $50,000 Groovy Stakes. Pish has had much success in past Texas Champions Days with eight wins to dates. Steve Asmussen was not able to watch first- hand as his horses crossed the finish line in their stakes victories, but he picked up two more wins with defending champion, Marfa’s Taxes in the $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes and Dixie Meister in the feature stakes of the evening, the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes. Asmussen continues to follow Pish, and now has 12 wins and the highest earnings of $176,787. John Locke scored only one win over the weekend and is ranked third in the standings. Andrew Konkoly and William Pettit follow with five wins each. Trainer Michelle Lovell recorded the first stakes win of her career on Texas Champions Day saddling Red Bird’s Meister in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes.

H.B. and Luz Robeson now share their lead in the owner standings with Anjo Racing, Inc. and the Steve Asmussen and Jack Grunwald duo. The leading owners all have three wins each.

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