Rapid Proof Returns in Friday Night’s Sixth Race at Sam Houston Race Park

(March 14, 2006) - Rapid Proof, winner of the 2005 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf last April at Sam Houston Race Park, returns to action this Friday, March 17. The 6-year-old multiple-stakes winner is bred and owned by Dolphus Morrison of Birmingham, Alabama. Last year he won the $500,000 Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds and followed that with a victory in the richest race at Sam Houston Race Park, the $216,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf.

Brian Hernandez, Jr., who rode Rapid Proof to victory in both races for trainer Hal Wiggins, will be in Houston to ride him in the sixth, a 1 1/16 mile turf allowance. The ten horse field includes Lonesome Launch from the barn of Bret Calhoun and Gondolieri, trained by Steve Asmussen.

Competition Heats Up for Leading Rider Title at Sam Houston Race Park

There are five weeks remaining in the 2005/2006 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting and a very competitive duel is emerging for the leading rider title. Although Larry Taylor, Filemon Rodriguez, Omar Rodriguez and Justin Shepherd have had their share of wins, the final showdown may come down to just two jockeys.

In one corner is the wily veteran, Glen Murphy, who currently has 65 wins to date. The 37-year-old native Texan won the leading rider at Sam Houston Race Park in 1999/2000 and has been a major force from the first day of this meet. He is grateful for his good health and the support of a number of loyal trainers.

“Always in the back of your mind you want to be leading rider, but first and foremost, you want to have a good meet, win lots of races and stay healthy,” admitted Murphy. “If the leading rider title comes, that’s the epitome of the whole thing.”

His biggest rival will be the young Quincy Hamilton, who dominated the jockey colony in the final stages of the 2004/2005 Thoroughbred meeting and has been gaining momentum over the last several weeks. The 22-year-old rider, son of Quarter Horse jockey, John Hamilton, won 88 races last season and 67 wins for the current meeting. The Houston native has much respect for Murphy, but wants to repeat as leading rider here.

“Glen is a great rider and a really nice guy,” said Hamilton. “But I still want to beat him.”

The 2005/2006 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting concludes on Sunday, April 9, 2006.

$40,000 Spring Stakes This Saturday

Accredited Texas-breds will compete in Saturday night’s $40,000 Spring Stakes. The nominees include multiple stakes winner, Charming Socialite and his stablemate Giant Bellyache. Both are trained by Bill Pettit. Trainer Danny Pish has nominated two runners: Smile Away and Waco Fun for the seven-furlong main track event.

The draw for the Sam Houston Oaks will take place on Wednesday, March 15.

Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings

Quincy Hamilton made a leap in the standings to take the lead after scoring seven wins last weekend. One of Hamilton’s victories included the stakes win of Sweet Idea ($6.00) in Saturday night’s feature, the $40,000 Sam Houston Oaks. Hamilton now has a total of 68 wins and $654,179 in earnings. Glen Murphy has moved from the top of the standings to second place with 65 wins, and is followed by Larry Taylor, who has 59. Filemon Rodriguez picked up four wins last week and concluded the week with 52 wins. Omar Rodriguez and Justin Shepherd continue their battle in the top five jockey standings and remain tied for the third week in a row with 32 wins each.

Danny Pish continues to lead in the trainer standings after saddling three winners, two of which were on Saturday night’s card. Pish has a total of 41 wins and $513,312 in earnings and is now followed by John Locke, who now has 38 total victories. Locke had a very successful week, and has jumped to second in the standings from his previous fourth place position. Locke made four trips to the winner’s circle including one after saddling Wild Texas Knights, who paid $20.40. W. Bret Calhoun also has 38 wins and shares the second place rank with Locke. Calhoun saddled $40,000 Sam Houston Oaks winner, Sweet Idea, on Saturday night. After a no win weekend, Steve Asmussen has dropped from second place to third, behind Locke and Calhoun. Asmussen has a total of 36 wins and is followed by Andy Konkoly, who rounds out the top five with 26 wins.

Jim Bausch now shares the top position in the owner standings with Shrum Racing, Inc. Trainer Andy Konkoly saddled two winners for Shrum Racing, Inc., which gave the boost to the first place position in the standings. Stephen Baker, Charles Hukill and Richard Bird are tied with nine wins each.

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

Sam Houston Race Park is now in week three of the Road to the Kentucky Derby handicapping contest. The contest started on 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.

Gilbert Clowe was awarded $200 for finishing first in week one of the contest. Clowe’s total bankroll was $37, and was very closely matched by second place finisher, Benjamin Orlando’s $36.80. Arthur Ciampi finished third in the week’s contest with a $36.80 bankroll. Orlando and Ciampi were awarded $100 and $50 respectively.

Last week’s winners were Jerry Mantooth, John Hearne and Robert Kerr. Each of the top three contestants had a $5.20 bankroll, but Mantooth and Hearne actually tied for first due to the tie breaking race time they selected. Manthooth and Hearne each received $150, while Kerr was awarded $50.

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.

Simulcasting This Weekend at Sam Houston Race Park

Simulcast action heats up this weekend and racing fans can watch and wager on all the Kentucky Derby prep races at Sam Houston Race Park. This Saturday, 3-year-olds will be featured in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The event is the final prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 15. Other key prep races include the $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby from Tampa Bay Downs, the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita and the $200,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in New York.

For a complete listing of simulcast tracks and post time, visit the Sam Houston Race Park web site, www.shrp.com or call (281) 807-8740.

back to TTHBPA Infomation