$40,000 Sam Houston Oaks This Saturday at SHRP

(March 7, 2006) - Three-year-old fillies will be featured in Saturday night’s $40,000 Sam Houston Oaks, to be contested at a distance of one mile on the main track. Behrenitall will make her stakes debut for trainer Andy Konkoly. Bred and owned by Ted Britt, the daughter of Behrens broke her maiden here on December 10 and followed that up with an impressive allowance score on January 6. The stakes closed with 34 nominations including two from the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen, Well Hidden and Yaddo Cat as well as the maiden Golden Given, a daughter of Point Given, who is conditioned by George Northrop, Jr.

The draw for the Sam Houston Oaks will take place on Wednesday, March 8.

Roman Chapa Returns to Sam Houston Race Park

Jockey Roman Chapa is named on three mounts on this Thursday’s card and plans to ride at Sam Houston Race Park for the remainder of the 2005/2006 Thoroughbred meeting.

Chapa had one of his best years ever in 2005. He won 65 races at Lone Star Park last summer, earning over $1.4 million in purses. He won the riding title at the Louisiana Downs-Fair Grounds meeting which took ran from November 19 through January 22. Chapa rode 45 winners and concluded the meet with $1,348,120 in earnings. From Louisiana, he headed to Oaklawn Park, where he struggled against a very tough jockey colony. Last week, he was hospitalized and diagnosed with bleeding ulcers. He received four pints of blood before he was discharged. From a physical and emotional standpoint, Chapa decided to come home to Texas.

“Oaklawn just wasn’t the place for me this year,” admitted Chapa, who headed back to Houston last weekend. “For me, riding at Sam Houston is an opportunity to go back to my roots,” said Chapa. “My wife and her family live here and it gives me a chance to build my business for Lone Star.”

Chapa will ride three horses for trainer Danny Pish in the Thursday evening card: Kaceynthemoonlite in the third; Thunder E.O.G. in the eighth and Cupid’s Play Boy in the ninth race. Agent Shawn Bergquist will book mounts for Chapa at Sam Houston Race Park for the remainder of the meet which concludes on Sunday, April 9, 2006.

Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Probables Competed Last Saturday

Sam Houston Race Park offered two turf allowance races on the Saturday card and several horses nominated for the Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf , looked good in their prep efforts.

In the third, Waupaca, owned by Wayne A. Sanders and trained by Donnie Von Hemel tracked the Steve Asmussen-trained Gondolieri and closed gamely for the win. Quincy Hamilton rode the 6-year-old Kentucky-bred to victory.

“He broke sharp; he was pretty aggressive,” commented Hamilton. “I was lucky that was able to get him to relax when we were pressed by the Asmussen horse. Once he got through, he was running and really accelerated through the turn. He ran a great race. I had never ridden him before but I talked to Mr. Von Hemel and he told me that he had made a bit change and I think it worked out for the best.

Middleweight, who won the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup on January 21 for trainer Al Stall, Jr., finished third.

In the second turf allowance of the evening, Twilight Vision went gate-to-wire for trainer John Locke. This was the second turf victory of the meet for the 6-year-old son of Twilight Agenda, who won the $40,000 Jersey Village Stakes.

“They sure let him go awfully slow on the front end,” said Locke. “It was good for us. We’ll nominate for the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf.”

Jockey Glen Murphy rode Twilight Vision for owner Evelyn Bean.

“It was beautiful. I just wanted to get him comfortable and he got away in a nice, easy gallop,” recalled Murphy. “Nobody pressed us so I just got to lope like we wanted to and saved my horse for the end. I got back with a lot of horse.”

Nominations for the Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf close on Wednesday, March 29.

Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

Glen Murphy had a stellar weekend, racking up an impressive eight wins. Murphy scored two wins on Friday and three more on Saturday and Sunday to remain on top in the standings with 64 wins and $596,722 in earnings. Quincy Hamilton made a move in the standings from third to second and has 61 victories. Hamilton also scored multiple wins; he made three trips to the winner’s circle on Friday and three more on Saturday. One of Hamilton’s aboard the Kip Deville ($14.50) in the $40,000 Texas Heritage Stakes. Larry Taylor dropped to third place, but still has a secure position among the top five. Taylor has 58 wins and a 10-win lead over Filemon Rodriguez, who has 48. The top five jockeys are rounded out with a continued tie between Justin Shepherd and Omar Rodriguez, each have 30 wins.

In Saturday’s Texas Heritage Stakes, one of the most impressive finishes was the second place showing of Majestic Note, who paid $58.00 to place under jockey Richard Eramia. The Hamilton-Eramia Exacta paid $501.60, the highest recorded exacta of the meeting.

Danny Pish did not have any winners last week, but still leads Steve Asmussen by two wins. Pish has saddled 38 winners and his mounts have earned $485,836, while Asmussen follows closely with 36 victories. W. Bret Calhoun gained four wins, including two on Friday night’s race card. Calhoun is in third place in the standings with 35 wins, while John Locke had a nice week, also saddling four winners to secure fourth place with 34 wins. Andy Konkoly rounds out the top five with 23 wins.

Last week did not bring any change to the top five owner standings. Jim Bausch continues to lead the owner standings with 12 total wins with Shrum Racing, Inc. following in second place with 10. Stephen Baker remains in third with nine wins, while Charles Hukill and Richard Bird are tied with eight wins each.

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

Sam Houston Race Park kicked off the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” handicapping contest starting last Saturday, March 4 and will continue the contest 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.

Sam Houston Race Park Offers King of the Hill Contest

Sam Houston Race Park’s “King of the Hill” Handicapping Contest will take place on Saturday, March 23 and requires participants to handicap four races from the Sam Houston Race Park live Thoroughbred race card. The rules or qualifications for each of the four races will vary, adding an entertaining challenge to the handicapping. The rules are as follows:

  • First race: contestants must select a horse to finish in the first five positions
  • Second race: contestants must select a horse to finish in the first four positions
  • Third race: contestants must select a horse to finish in the first three positions
  • Fourth race: contestants must select a horse to finish in the first two positions
  • Fifth race: contestants must select a horse to win the race

The contestant to successfully make selections satisfying each of the race qualifications will be awarded $500. Interested patrons may enter the contest starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 23 until 15 minutes prior to the post time for the fourth race. Contestants must be 21 years of age or older to participate.

For more information regarding the “King of the Hill” Handicapping Contest, please call 281-807-8760 or visit 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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