|Defending Champion Expectant Diva
Faces Ten Rivals in Saturday’s Yellow Rose Stakes at SHRP
(November 30, 2006) - There are eight stakes on the Texas
Champions Day card, powered by Dodge, this Saturday at Sam Houston
Race Park. One of the most competitive races on the card is likely
to be the $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies
The defending champion of this race is Expectant Diva, a 5-year-old
mare owned and bred by Virginia Jago Elder. She faced eight rivals
last year and came off the pace to capture the 2005 Yellow Rose
Stakes for trainer Randy Mayfield in a time of 1:11.52. Bobby Walker,
Jr., who has won the first two stakes of the 2006/2007 Thoroughbred
meeting, rode the daughter of Valid Expectations and has the return
call on Saturday.
“She had a lung infection and didn’t run up to her
potential in her last race,” said Mayfield of her fourth place
finish on October 27 at Retama Park. “I feel she’s coming
into this stakes in good shape and will run well. We’re hoping
for a good, quick pace; she loves to come from behind.”
Expectant Diva will have some tough company in the Yellow Rose,
most notably, Annie Savoy and Open Meadows. Annie Savoy captured
the $50,000 Bara Lass last year for trainer Kari Craddock and owner
Hal Browning and will be ridden by Quincy Hamilton, who has been
the leading rider at Sam Houston Race Park for the past two years.
“She’s beaten Open Meadows and Open Meadows has beaten
her,” commented Craddock. “We’re here; she’s
been training well and it’s time for her to step up and face
her elders. I think she will give a good account of herself.”
Open Meadows will make her ninth career start for owner Tom Durant
and trainer Jack Bruner. The versatile filly has won turf and main
track sprints and will be ridden by Justin Shepherd.
Mayfield could have a very good Texas Champions Day as he will
also saddle Wrenice, in the $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes. The 2-year-old
rising star has won her last four races for owner/breeder Stewart
Hamblen of Canyon, Texas. Her most recent victory was just two weeks
ago at Sam Houston Race Park in the $45,000 Houston Chronicle Stakes.
Cold Front Hits Houston Today
As forecast, a major cold front hit Texas this morning with temperatures
dipping 25 degrees this morning. Rain and windy conditions are expected
for Thursday’s card, but there is only a 10% chance of rain
on Texas Champions Day. Daytime temperatures are expected to top
60 degrees with a cool, clear forecast set for Saturday night.
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. 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
Rick Trevino Concert and Handicapping Seminar Set for
Texas Champions Day
In addition to the exciting racing action, Sam Houston Race Park
will welcome patrons with a free concert and other events. 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.