$40,000 Texas Heritage Stakes This Saturday

(February 28,2006) - Saturday night’s feature will be the $40,000 Texas Heritage Stakes for 3-year-olds competing at one mile on the main track. The stakes closed with 40 nominations including Brick Fight, winner of the $125,000 Jim’s Orbit Stakes on February 18 for trainer Danny Pish. Dismissed by the betting public, Brick Fight went off at odds of 41-1 and paid $85.40 to win, but will not be overlooked on Saturday. Other nominees include Slick City Nites from the barn of Steve Asmussen. The Kentucky-bred colt won the $30,000 Bucharest Stakes over a sloppy track on January 28. The second-place finisher in the Bucharest, Herman Muttster is also nominated for the Texas Heritage Stakes. Trained by Michelle Lovell, Herman Muttster’s owners and grooms wore Herman Munster t-shirts and masks, much to the delight of Sam Houston Race Park racing fans.

The draw for the Texas Heritage Stakes will take place on Wednesday, March 1.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Offered This Weekend

Racing fans interested in placing a future wager on the 2006 Kentucky Derby will have another chance this weekend. Sam Houston Race Park will host the second of three advance-wagering pools for this anticipated event. Wagering will begin on Thursday, March 2 at 11:00 a.m. (CST) and close on Sunday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m. Sam Houston Race Park will dedicate one television channel to broadcasting the odds of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Racing fans can place wagers on 23 horses listed as Derby candidates as well as a 24th betting interest, which will cover the mutuel field of all other 3-year-old Thoroughbreds. Wagers are for win betting only, with a minimum $2 wager accepted.

In addition to future wagers on the Kentucky Derby, there will also be a separate wager available on the Kentucky Oaks Future, available Thursday, March 2 at 11:00 a.m. (CST) through Sunday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m. (CST). The final future wager for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks will be offered from Thursday, April 6 through Sunday, April 9.

Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

Glen Murphy picked up another three wins over the weekend and currently stands in first place in the jockey colony with 56 wins and $528,797 in earnings. The race for leading rider honors is on and figures to be a battle between several riders. Larry Taylor trails Murphy by just win and has a total of 55 victories after scoring five wins last week. Quincy Hamilton continues to make up ground adding seven trips to the winner’s circle to wrap up the week with 53 wins. Filemon Rodriguez scored one win over the weekend, leaving him with 46 wins. Omar Rodriguez has made a move into the top five and is tied with Justin Shepherd with 28 wins.

Danny Pish has a secure lead in the trainer standings with 38 wins, five wins more than second place trainer, Steve Asmussen. Pish also has the highest earnings with $476,234. W. Bret Calhoun had a winning weekend, saddling four winners including two on Saturday. Calhoun has a total of 31 victories and is followed closely by John Locke, who has 30. Andy Konkoly continues to round out the top five trainers, now with 22 first-place finishes.

Jim Bausch continues to lead the owner standings, now with 12 total wins, while Shrum Racing, Inc. has moved up in the standings to second place with 10 wins. Stephen Baker has also worked his way up in the standings with nine wins, while Charles Hukill and Richard Bird are tied with eight wins each.

Nuke Shim Keeps Winning at Sam Houston Race Park

Jockey Nuke Shim, who at 62-years old, is still riding competitively, won two races last week at Sam Houston Race Park. He began by guiding Linmeabuck ($40.60) to victory Thursday’s fourth race for trainer Val Ray Foster and won another race last Sunday, February 26. Shim piloted Aaron’s Tug to victory in Sunday’s third race, a $5,000 claimer for 4-year-olds and upward, for conditioner John Vineyard.

This was the fifth win of the meeting for Shim, who has been riding professionally for over 40 years. Shim has received much attention from racing fans and his fellow riders, many of who are young enough to be his grandsons.

“He is in amazing shape,” commented fellow rider Justin Shepherd, who is 19-years-old.

Classoffiftyseven Returns to the Winner’s Circle

On Thursday, February 23, Classoffiftyseven, winner of the 2003 Richard King Handicap, returned to the winner’s circle for trainer Val Ray Foster. The handsome gray 7-year-old turf specialist is owned by Daniel Rodano and had not won a race since January 15, 2005.

“I was happy to see the old guy run a good race,” commented his regular pilot, Terry Stanton.

Trainer Foster won three races on the Thursday night card, beginning with Classoffiftyseven ($13.00) in the third; Linmeabuck ($40.60) in the fourth and Refugio Gold ($14.20) in the seventh race.

Tricky Race Call for Track Announcer Michael Chamberlain

Sam Houston Race Park track announcer Michael Chamberlain had one of his more unusual race calls on Saturday, February 25 in the seventh race. A field of ten competed in the $12,500 maiden special weight The favorite, Valley Boy, ridden by Omar Rodriguez, went to the lead at the top of the stretch and won the race. Jockey Terry Stanton guided B L’s Boy from ninth place to second and if that wasn’t enough, Amanda Crandall was closing aboard Angie’s Boy to finish third.

“What surprised me is that B L’s Boy and Angie’s Boy were trailing the field and both made huge closing runs,” recalled Chamberlain. “It was all I could do to refrain from saying ‘boy oh boy’ at the end of that race call.”

Three Ladies Split the Showvivor Handicapping Contest Top Prize

Sam Houston Race Park gave last Saturday’s crowd of 3,160 a chance to win $500 as it hosted the Showvivor Handicapping Contest. The contest took place during Sam Houston Race Park’s live ten-race card and invited contestants to handicap each race until a “survivor” was remaining through the elimination process.

Three ladies outlasted a total of 115 handicappers in the final race of the evening. Sandra Adams of La Porte, Texas, Christine Li-Smith of Houston and Trisha Stauffer of Stafford, Texas split the $500 contest prize.

More information on upcoming handicapping contests is available on the Sam Houston Race Park web site, www.shrp.com.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Contest Starts at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park will host the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” handicapping contest starting Saturday, March 4 and continuing every Saturday through April 22. The eight-week contest will offer $4,800 in cash prizes and is open to all racing fans, 21-years of age or older.

Contestants will make mythical $2 win and place wagers on all of the major prep races leading to the Kentucky Derby. Registration begins every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. until the official deadline, which will be prior to the post time of the first contest race.

The winners will be determined by the highest cumulative bankroll from all $2 win and place bets from each week’s contest. The contest is not limited to VIP Club members, but the prize money is double for all winning finishers who are members. The winner, if a VIP member will receive $1,000, second place finisher will receive $500, $300 will go the third place contestant and the fourth place participant will be awarded $200. Non-VIP Club members will receive $500 for first place, $250 for second, $150 for third and $100 for fourth. Weekly prizes will also be awarded to the three highest weekly bankrolls.

To become a VIP Club Member, visit the Player’s Lounge in the Grandstand or call 281-807-8760. More information regarding the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” handicapping contest, may also be obtained by calling 281-807-8760, or by visiting www.shrp.com.

Roger Creager to Perform at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park will present Roger Creager live in concert on Saturday, March 11. Creager will perform old favorites such as “The Everclear Song” and new hits from his latest album, Long Way to Mexico.

The Texas singer/songwriter attended Sam Houston State University and later obtained a degree from Texas A&M. Creager ventured into the working world as an accountant, but his passion for music and songwriting lead him to give up the steady paychecks, and take part in the Texas Music Revolution.

Creager will take to the stage following the thrilling evening of live Thoroughbred racing, which will include the $40,000 Sam Houston Oaks. Admission to live racing and the concert is $3 for adults before 9 p.m.; $1 for Senior Citizens; and children 12 are admitted free. For more information or reserved seats, call 281-807-8760.

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