Texas Champions Day on Tap at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, December 1

(Thursday, November 29, 2007) - Sam Houston Race Park, with the support and cooperation of the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA), is the proud host of Texas Champions Day, a live Thoroughbred racing event with a Texas theme. This signature event will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2007, and celebrates Thoroughbred horses, trainers, breeders and owners in the Lone Star State. The event will include eight stakes races and $500,000 in racing purses.

“We are excited to host Texas Champions Day at Sam Houston Race Park,” stated Director of Racing Eric Johnston. “This year’s event offers a great card with horses like Mystery Classic and Wrenice, and some great match-ups in the 2-year-old races as well. There are all kinds of little interesting sidebars all through that card. We’re looking forward to a great weekend.”

Wrenice, the talented Texas-bred filly and winner of three stakes in the 2006/2007 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred season, was voted 2006 Horse of the Meeting. The 3-year old filly was bred in Texas by Stewart Hamblen of Canyon, Texas, and was undefeated last year at The Park. Wrenice began the meet with a victory in the $45,000 Houston Chronicle Stakes and returned two weeks later with an impressive win in the $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes on Texas Champions Day. This year Wrenice will be challenged by Valid Lil in the $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes. The 4-year old Valid Lil, making her Texas Champions Day debut, has never been beaten in seven main-track starts and has gone 7 for 8 overall this year.

Sandburr, winner of the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes at the 2006 Texas Champions Day, is picked to reclaim his title for this race. Sandburr was claimed last April at The Park for just $20,000 by Stidham and an owner's partnership called Feel the Thunder Stable, and immediately won a $25,000 claimer and $40,000 claimer at the Arlington meet. Following both wins, Sandburr had a pair of third place finishes and a fourth place finish, but the 7-year old’s luck changed at the 2006 Texas Champions Day when he won the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes. Following the win, he upset the favorite Patriot Act to win the $75,000 Louisiana Breeders' Cup.

General Charley, bred in Texas by Bob McNair’s Stonerside Stable, is the 5-year-old son of Truluck and will compete in this year’s $50,000 Richard King Stakes and is the 9-5 morning line favorite. He recently closed gamely at Retama Park under rider Paul Nolan to capture the $100,000 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Stakes. General Charley was named after Charley Casserly, who was tapped by McNair as the first general manager of the Houston Texans. Trained by Michael Stidham, the chestnut runner was making his 21st career start and improved his turf record to four wins from nine starts.

Other horse of note to watch at this year’s meet include Tunnel Time and Wild Encounter, who finished in a dead heat in last year's $50,000 San Jacinto and are back for the turf route for fillies and mares. Also on the card, Mystery Classic will be shooting for his fifth straight stakes win when he starts in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas.

“Texas Champions Day has always been a terrific night of racing for Texas horses and their owners, breeders and trainers, since Sam Houston Race Park became the host track in 1994,” said David Hooper, Executive Director, Texas Thoroughbred Association. “As usual, the results of several of the eight stakes on the 10-race card will help crown several Texas-bred champions of their respective racing divisions. Texas Champions Day annually produces one of the largest crowds and highest pari-mutuel handle of the Sam Houston Thoroughbred season and this Saturday night should be no exception.”

The all ages event will also feature live entertainment, a $2,500 handicapping contest for all eight stakes races to make win, place and show selections beginning Thursday, November 29, and a pre-racing handicapping seminar with Park Announcer Michael Chamberlain, Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form and the Houston Chronicle’s Martha Claussen. Tickets are $4 for adults, $2 for Senior Citizens and children under 12 are FREE.

For more information visit www.shrp.com or call 281.807.8760.

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