-photo by Jenifer Juelsgaard/Coady Photography
Jack Grant Duels to the Wire in the $45,000 Bountiful Harvest Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park

Houston, Texas (November 25, 2006) - A competitive field of six two-year-olds highlighted tonight’s feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $45,000 Bountiful Harvest Stakes.

Jack Grant, who was purchased at the Keeneland Sale last year for $70,000 by Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch of Dallas, was the best of the 2-year-olds this evening. The son of Capote rebounded from his tenth-place finish in the Remington Park Mile last month at Remington Park and won the first stakes of his career, covering six furlongs in 1:10.63.

Trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden by Bobby Walker, Jr., Jack Grant was making his sixth start tonight. He broke his maiden at Arlington Park with two front-running wins and struggled in three stakes attempts before getting the job done at Sam Houston Race Park.

“He left in front,” said Walker. “He’s a pretty quick horse. I didn’t want to fight him. I managed to get him off the quick pace and to relax just a little bit. On the turn, he picked it up without me asking. Once we straightened up and I gathered him up and asked him, he gave me a little more and it was just enough to get us home. I was fortunate to be on the best horse tonight.”

The colt is named after the grandsons of co-owner, Sanders. Hirsch was in the winner’s circle following the race with praise for their colt.

“This is a slower developing 2-year-old,” commented Hirsch. “We’ve had some 2-year-olds that have really done well this year. He did have a bit of a breathing problem and had some trouble rating. Bobby did such a great job tonight; taking him back and bringing him back in the stretch. He did a wonderful job and Bret Calhoun is a terrific trainer, so the combination of those two really made it happen.”

The race was briefly delayed when post time favorite, Sir Five Star had to be reshod in the paddock. Bred in Kentucky, the son of Five Star Day was making his eighth lifetime start since winning his debut last May at Lone Star Park. His most recent effort was a third-place finish in the $145,000 Jean Lafitt at Delta Downs on November 3.

“He stepped on a shoe in the paddock and had to be reshod just before the race,” said Tony Mathiasen, assistant for trainer Scott Blasi. “It might have had an effect on him in the race. Jockey John Jacinto said he just didn’t feel comfortable all the way through. He didn’t break well and just never really settled in.”

It was a big night for trainer Bret Calhoun, who had four horses run on the Saturday night card and won each race; three for Sanders and Hirsh and one for Bobby D. Cox. Calhoun is in Remington Park until their meet concludes on November 28. His longtime assistant, Jay Severs saddled the winning group here this evening.

Sent off at 14-1, Jack Grant rewarded his backers with payouts of $29.00, $12.20 and $5.60 across the board. Tytus ran second and post-time favorite, Sir Five Star, was third. Eldon’s Effort, Yes It’s the Truth and Texas Cowboy completed the order of finish.

Live racing continues on Sunday, November 26 at 5:00 p.m. Thursday racing returns this week at 7:00 p.m. Sam Houston Race Park will host Texas Champions Day, one of its biggest nights of the Thoroughbred meeting next Saturday, December 2. The card will feature eight stakes and purses of $500,000 for Texas-bred racehorses.

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