Charming Socialite
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Charming Socialite Returns on One Week's Rest to Capture the $25,000 Buffalo Bayou Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park

(December 10, 2006) - Defending champion, Charming Socialite returned to the winner’s circle at Sam Houston Race Park in tonight’s feature, the $25,000 Buffalo Bayou Stakes. He did it in the same style as last year, guided by Larry Taylor in front-running fashion over the Connally Turf Course. The difference was that he was coming back just seven days after competing in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes on Texas Champions Day. Trained by William Pettit and bred in Texas and co-owned by Pettit and Paul A. Sutton, Charming Socialite has performed admirably at all the Texas racetracks and set a turf track record last April at Sam Houston Race Park.

“This horse likes to run on the lead,” said Taylor. “I was kind of worried about coming back after seven days, but Bill told me he was in good form. He ran well and held on for the win. I’ve probably won six or seven stakes on him; he’s one of my favorite horses; right at the top of my list.”

“He ran a good race last week (second in the Spirit of Texas) and came out of the race so good, bucking and playing, so I said ‘let’s go for it. He’s a Texas horse and we want to showcase his talent. We got outrun by a better horse (Mystery Classic) last week, but we were a little better tonight.”

Longshot Doctor Doctor Mrmd, trained by Sandra Montgomery rallied for second under rider Anthony Cruz, just losing by a nose.

“I’m ticked to death,” said Montgomery. “Especially since he’s gotten some bad trips lately. You have to expect that, though, because it’s a horse race. But he ran a great race tonight. (The jockey) had to check him because they all kind of bunched up there. Then he evened out and ran great. He hasn’t had many starts this year because there just haven’t been that many good races for him. There are just a small group of horses that he goes against that any of them can win. And he got beat by a good horse tonight. But it was close. I think if I could have yelled just a little bit louder he would have won.”

While last year Charming Socialite was sent off at 7-1, the betting public gave him lots more respect and bet him down to .80-1. The dark bay gelding returned $3.60 to win. The exacta paid $47.20 and the trifecta returned $161. The remainder of the field included Blinding Prospect, Ol’ Dump, Greggo, Laura’s Choice and Tiki Island.

Charming Socialite, who was named Sam Houston Race Park Champion Texas-Bred of the Meet last year, earned $15,000 this evening and increased his lifetime earnings to $405,510. He covered the mile and one-sixteenth stakes over a firm turf course in 1:45.78.

News and Notes- Sweep for Trackside Racing and Loren Nichols

Two divisions of the Texas Arabian Futurity were run at Sam Houston Race Park tonight. Seven Arabian colts and geldings were entered in the $21,000 Texas Arabian Futurity and The Last Danse ($3.40) lived up to his 3-5 post-time favorite billing as he drew off by five lengths. Trained by Loren Nichols and ridden for the first time by Roimes Chirinos, the Florida-bred colt crossed the wire of the six-furlong stakes in 1:19.45 for Trackside Racing. The Last Danse is half-brother to multiple-stakes winner, Tour de France.

“He’s a really nice colt,” commented Nichols. “Roimes rode him perfect. He did just what I wanted him to do. Anytime you can get clear of traffic, it’s an advantage. And the shortest distance to the winner’s circle is on the front. We’re going to give him a little break now, then we’ll bring him right back here in March. They have some racing in California, and I did that last year. But they just don’t get a chance to rest. This is our only colt, but we have three or four nice fillies we’re going to bring with him.”

Rolly Polly ($3.00) captured the filly division of the $30,000 feature, which attracted a field of 11. Bred by Trackside Farm in Florida, Rolly Polly made the most of her first trip to Texas, drawing off to win by seven lengths with a confident ride from Chirinos.

“She’s done very well,” said Nichols. “She’s a true champion and should be champion 3-year-old filly of the year. We are going to pass up California; it’s just too hard on the horses. They need a break and have been training solid for a year, but we’ll be back here in March. ”

Rolly Polly’s entrymate, Café Latte rallied for second and 18-1 Lulu Gamboo, trained by Lynnett Hershbell, completed the trifecta.

“Michelle (Morgan Of Mandolynn Hill Farm) is wonderful to train for,” said Hershbell. “She told me to take my time with this filly and shoot for this race. If you don’t run her, great. So that leaves me free rein. So we put her in cheap at Delaware because they’re not claiming there. Took her back and let her get experience weaving in and out of horses. It’s always nice to win, but we didn’t really care if we won those races because we were shooting for this. We put the blinkers on her tonight because she wants to look around. Billy (Hollick) said she was still looking around a little bit, and that probably cost us a length. But we just got outran. But I was happy that she stayed closer, and we just needed a little more oomph at the end. At Delaware she was making a nice move and then kind of flattening out at the sixteenth pole, and that’s kind of what she did tonight. But I think we’re still planning to go to California. Those top two fillies aren’t going, and it looks like she came out of the race tonight just fine.”

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