|Trainer Steve Asmussen Has Favorites
in Both the $125,000 Two Altazano and $125,000 Jimís Orbit at SHRP
on February 18
(February 16, 2006) - Two exiting
races will take place on Saturday, February 18 at Sam Houston Race
Park. The $125,000 Two Altazano and $125,000 Jim’s Orbit are
two legs of the Texas Stallion Stakes. The series is underwritten
by the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) and is designed as an
incentive for offspring of Texas-based stallions.
The Texas Stallion Stakes is a series of eight races that are run
at each of the three Class 1 racetracks in Texas: Sam Houston Race
Park, Retama Park and Lone Star Park. The purse for each division
is $125,000 for a total of $1 million, making it one of the richest
stallion stakes series in the country.
In 2005, the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) renamed each
of the Texas Stallion Stakes races to honor a famous Texas Thoroughbred.
The colts and gelding division at Sam Houston Race Park has been
named for Jim’s Orbit, who won the Grade 2 Ohio Derby and
started in the 1988 Kentucky Derby. The fillies division is a tribute
to Two Altazano, winner of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks
in 1994. The accomplished mare, owned by the late Harold V. Goodman,
was inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.
Seven fillies will go postward in the Two Altazano with Larisaanna
as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Bred and owned by Stewart M. Madison,
Larisaanna will be making her eighth career start and ships into
Houston following an allowance win at Louisiana Downs on December
29. The daughter of Valid Expectations is trained by Steve Asmussen
and will be ridden by Quincy Hamilton. Asmussen has three fillies
in the Two Altazano and has named Roman Chapa to ride It’s
Valid for owner William S. Farish and Glen Murphy aboard Seadrift,
who is owned and bred by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable.
The highest earner in the field is Kathy’s Rocket, owned
by Frank Fletcher and trained by William Howard. She won the $125,000
Texas Stallion Stakes last October at Retama Park and ran fourth
in the $50,000 Bara Lass here on Texas Champions Day. Terry Stanton,
who piloted Dixie Meister to victory in last year’s Jim’s
Orbit, has the mount. The contentious field also includes Chit Chat
Pam, who was impressive in her Cy-Fair Stakes victory at Sam Houston
Race Park on January 14 for trainer Bob Young and Expect Misty,
a Stonerside Stable homebred who will make her fourth career start
for trainer Michael Stidham.
The Jim’s Orbit drew a field of 12, lead by the Asmussen-trained
duo of Upstream and Tweed Suit. They will run as an entry bearing
the colors of Will Farish with Murphy named on Upstream and Chapa
on Tweed Suit. Upstream won an allowance here on December 17 and
Tweed Suit has been competing at Sunland Park where he broke his
maiden on December 3 and ran second and third in his last two allowance
races. Lissa’s Star ran fourth in the Groovy Stakes on Texas
Champions Day, but returned to Sam Houston Race Park on January
13 with an effortless allowance victory last month. Owned by Bob
McNair’s Stonerside Stable, Lissa’s Star will be ridden
by Ted Gondron.
The Two Altazano will run as the sixth race of the Saturday evening
program and the Jim’s Orbit is carded as the eighth. Post
time is 7:00 p.m.
Greg "Boomer" Wry This Weekend at Sam Houston
Professional handicapper Greg "Boomer" Wry, a veteran
track announcer, handicapper, columnist and author in the field
of horse racing with 25+ years of experience, will make an appearance
this weekend at Sam Houston Race Park.
Wry will be available Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon to
autograph copies of his book, "HOW TO TURN ANY RACETRACK INTO
YOUR OWN MONEY MACHINE" (and be just one of the 2% that do).
In addition, Wry will participate in a handicapping seminar on
Saturday, February 18 at 7:00 p.m. on the Club Level Stage. He will
be joined by Denis Blake, editor of the Texas Thoroughbred Magazine
and Martha Claussen, publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park.
They will offer analysis of the $125,000 Two Altazano and Jim’s
Orbit and offer wagering strategies for the evening card.