|Texas Champions Day Set for Saturday,
December 2 at Sam Houston Race Park
2006) - Sam Houston Race Park is proud to host Texas Champions
Day, powered by Dodge, a celebration of the most remarkable horses,
breeders, owners and trainers in Texas. The Saturday, December 2
event shines the national and local spotlight on the most exceptional
Thoroughbreds in the Lone Star State.
Texas Champions Day will feature eight stakes races and purses
of $500,000, a significant boon to the owners, trainers and jockeys
The evening of the Texan experience will begin with a live concert
with The evening of the Texan experience will begin with a live
concert with Rick Trevino. Trevino is well known for super hits
such as, “She Can’t Say I Didn’t Cry,” “Just
Enough Rope,” “I Only Get This Way With You,”
and “Honky Tonk Crowd.” The country artist will perform
from 5:00-6:30 p.m. then Patrick Murphy will provide musical entertainment
between each of the ten live races.
Racing fans are invited to enter the $1,000 Texas Champions Day
Online Handicapping Contest. A complete set of rules is posted on
the web site, shrp.com. In addition, the northwest Houston racetrack
will offer a Texas Champions Day Handicapping Seminar at 6:30 p.m.
on the free Theatre seat stage. Panelists will include Mary Rampellini
of the Daily Racing Form, Denis Blake editor of the Texas Thoroughbred
Association Magazine and Martha Claussen, Publicity Director at
Sam Houston Race Park.
To make reservations for Texas Champions Day, call (281) 807-8760
or visit shrp.com.
Cool, Clear Weather Conditions Expected for Texas Champions
While the draw for Texas Champions Day will not take place until
Wednesday, November 29, there is good news in the weather department.
The extended forecast for Houston calls for clear, cool weather
with a high of 60 degrees and temperatures dipping into the 40’s
later in the evening. No rain is expected for the showcase event
for Texas-bred racehorses on Saturday, December 2.
Jockey Crisis Fund Silent Auction Set for Saturday
Sam Houston Race Park will host a silent auction to benefit the
Jockey Crisis Fund on Saturday, December 2, 2006. The fund was established
to lend support to injured riders and their families in times of
need and has assisted over 30 riders at Sam Houston Race Park.
“We have a very talented jockey colony this year at Sam
Houston Race Park and they are extremely important to our organization,
” said Eric Johnston, racing secretary. “While we do
everything to protect our riders, injuries can occur when a rider
is aboard a 1,000 pound racehorse at speeds of 35 - 40 m.p.h. Trainers,
owners and racing fans have expressed an interest in helping injured
riders and their families. We are hopeful that the silent auction
is successful in raising funds to assist our jockeys in their times
December 2 is Texas Champions Day, one of the most exceptional
days of racing in the 2006/2007 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred
meeting. The premier racing event shines the spotlight on Texas-breds
as they compete in eight stakes races with purses totaling $500,000.
Racing fans will have an opportunity to bid on the following items,
with all the proceeds benefiting the Jockey Crisis Fund:
- Tickets to the Houston Texans vs The Cleveland Browns
- Autographed baseball from Luke Scott of the Houston Astros
- Stable tour conducted by jockey Amanda Crandall
- Tickets to the Houston Rockets vs the Los Angeles Clippers
- Superbowl Party for Ten in the Sam Houston Race Park Jockey
- Weekend Package at the Exclusive Hotel Derek
- Golf Bag courtesy of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Houston
- Stars of the Turf Peb Portfolio and Complete Set of the Elements
of Handicapping Series Books courtesy of the Daily Racing Form
- Photo of Kentucky Derby Winner, Barbaro
- Dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy
For more information on the Jockey Crisis Fund at Sam Houston Race
Park, contact Chaplain John Shumaker at (281) 807-7236.
Sam Houston Race Park Jockeys Laud Record Set by Russell
Thoroughbred jockey Russell Baze as continues his quest to break
the all-time record of the legendary Laffitt Pincay, Jr., who retired
in 2003 with 9,530 career wins. Baze, is five short of the record
and is named on six mounts for the Sunday Bay Meadows program. Several
of the Sam Houston Race Park riders were rooting for Baze and amazed
by his milestone.
“That’s incredible,” said Larry Taylor, who
celebrated his 1,000th career win last year. “I’ve been
riding 20 years and I can tell you, that’s a lot of wins.
I take my hat off to him.”
“He’s such a hard worker and a great role model for
all riders,” commented Paul Nolan. “He may not have
gotten the limelight that others have, but he’s won over 400
races a year, which is an incredible feat.”
Don Simington, who won his 2,000th career race on June 25, 2005
at Louisiana Downs, concurs.
“I think it’s a great accomplishment,” said
Simington. “To be around that long and win that many races
is special. I don’t care where you’re racing or who
you’re racing against, they don’t give any of them away.
You have to earn every one of them and he certainly has done that.
He deserves all the respect in the world; he’s got mine.”
Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings
John Jacinto, who was leading rider here in the 2001/2002, remains
in the lead in the jockey standings following the second week of
the meeting. Jacinto won four races last week and has a total of
11 wins to date. His win percentage of 26% tops his fellow riders.
Larry Taylor and Roimes Chirinos, who finished first and second,
respectively in the 2006 Retama Park meeting, are tied for second
place with seven wins each. Paul Nolan added four wins for the week
and has made six trips to the winner's circle. Filemon Rodriguez
follows with five wins and Bobby Walker, Jr. has won four races
this meet, including back-to-back weekend stakes. Walker guided
Wrenice to victory in the $45,000 Houston Chronicle Stakes on November
18 and returned last Saturday with a hard-fought victory aboard
Jack Grant in the $45,000 Bountiful Harvest Stakes.
Danny Pish, who was the leading trainer here last year, continues
to lead in the standings with six wins, including two wins last
weekend. Scott Blasi and Bret Calhoun are tied for second with five
wins each. Both are posting some impressive stats with Blasi winning
45% of his starts and Calhoun scoring with each of his four starters
on the November 25 card for a stellar win percentage of 71%. Michael
Stidham follows with four wins and Jim Bausch has saddled three
winners this meeting.
In the owner standings, Dallas horsemen, Larry Hirsch and Wayne
Sanders had a big night on Saturday, November 25 as each of their
three horses won. All are trained by Bret Calhoun and the highlight
was the first stakes win for the talented 2-year-old, Jack Grant
in the $45,000 Bountiful Harvest Stakes. Shrum Racing, Inc. follows
with three wins and Colt Racing, Inc., Stephen R. Baker, Keith Asmussen
and Oceanfront Properties and John B. Goodman each have won two
races over the first six days of the Thoroughbred racing season.
Jockey Paul Nolan Off to a Good Start at Sam Houston
Rider Paul Nolan has started the meet on a winning streak. Nolan,
44, returned to the Sam Houston Race Park jockey colony this year,
largely at the request of trainer Michael Stidham. He rode successfully
for Stidham at Canterbury Park and Hawthorne this year and when
Stidham’s regular Texas rider, Ted Gondron broke his leg last
month, Stidham asked Nolan to head south.
Born in Rugeley, England, Nolan began his career at Royal Windsor
in Great Britain and made his US debut in 2000. He has ridden six
winners so far this meet; three have been for the Stidham barn and
a close second on Tytus in the $45,000 Bountiful Harvest Stakes
“My wife, Sherry and I have always liked Texas and were happy
to return,” said Nolan. “It meant a great deal to me
that Mike Stidham had confidence in my ability and this is a great
career opportunity to ride for a major outfit.”
Liberty Lebrun Saddles Winner on Friday, November 24
Former Thoroughbred and Arabian jockey, Liberty Lebrun is now training
horses and recorded her first career Thoroughbred victory on Friday,
November 24 with Miss Mint Julep ($43.40) in the seventh race, a
six-furlong claimer for fillies and mares.
“I love being able to work one-on-one and really get to know
my horses,” said Lebrun. “When you ride, it’s
hard to really bond with a horse because you ride so many. Then,
a trainer can take you off, even if you did well for them. It’s
also nice that several of my fellow riders (Jody Wright, Charlotte
Bronstad) are training now too.”
There was yet another female trainer boasting her first career
victory on Sunday, November 26. Kharina Hunt saddled Miss Dove ($14.80),
a Texas-bred filly owned by Bayshore Racing Stable. Hunt currently
has 12 horses stabled at Sam Houston Race Park.
Texans Football and $1 Beer This Sunday at Sam Houston
Sunday is full of entertainment at Sam Houston Race Park. Patrons
may enjoy watching simulcast races from tracks across the country,
while rooting for the Houston Texans.
The Finish Line Bar, located on the Club Level of the Grandstand,
will feature all the Texans games and offer $1 beer during the game.
The Finish Line Bar is a fully stocked bar with an excellent view,
as it overlooks the track and the Infield lakes.
Join us this Sunday as the Texans take on the Oakland Raiders
at 3:00 p.m. Admission to the park is free for VIP Club members
during non live racing hours and just $4 for others. To become a
VIP Club member, visit The Player’s Lounge or call 281-807-8801.
December VIP Specials at Sam Houston Race Park
VIP Club Members are very important at Sam Houston Race Park! Through
the month of December, all VIP Club members will enjoy free admission
during simulcast hours, before gates open for live racing. Members
may also appreciate the discounted Counter Seats offer on Sunday,
December 3, 10 and 17, as each Counter Seat is just $1. The Winner’s
Circle Restaurant is offering $2 off their Grand Buffet on Thursday,
December 7 and December 14. The bountiful buffet features a fried
shrimp special each Thursday for just $12.99. With the VIP Club
advantage, members will pay just $10.99 but must swipe their VIP
Club card before 5:00 p.m. to receive the discount.
Opportunities to earn money are just as exciting as saving money.
The VIP Club will host a $1,000 Texas Champions Day Online Handicapping
Contest and a $500 Christmas Cash Contest, which will take place
on Thursday, December 7 and the 14. Rules and details for both contests
are available in the Player’s Lounge.
On Saturday, December 9 and the 23, complimentary Shipley Donuts
and coffee will be available in Paddock Central from 10:30 a.m.
until 11:30 a.m.
There are many great incentives for joining the VIP Club, including
the VIP point-earning program. For swiping the VIP card, members
earn player points for a 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 281-807-8801.
Simulcasting this Weekend
at Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast the Grade III, $1 Million
Delta Jackpot Stakes and the $300,000 Delta Princess Stakes on Friday,
December 1 from Delta Downs. On Saturday, December 2, Calder Race
Course has three stakes on the card, including the $100,000 Tropical
Turf Handicap. Sunday’s highlighted races include the $150,000
Bayakoa Handicap from Hollywood Park and the $65,000 East View Stakes
For a complete list of simulcast tracks and post times, visit shrp.com
or call (281) 807-8740.