|Grade III $200,000 Connally Breeders'
Cup Turf Cup on Tap for Saturday at SHRP
5, 2006) - Sam Houston Race Park will host the $200,000 Connally
Breeders’ Cup Turf Race on Saturday, April 8, 2006. In its
twelfth running and first year as a Graded event, the Connally Breeders'
Cup Turf is the richest stakes of the Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred
In addition to the $200,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf Race,
the evening will feature two other stakes races, the $40,000 Jersey
Lilly Stakes for fillies and mares going one mile-and-a-sixteenth
and the $40,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint at a distance of five furlongs.
Fort Prado should be one of the top contenders in the Connally
Breeders' Cup Turf. The 5-year-old son of El Prado won the Grade
III Fair Grounds Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Louisiana Downs
on January 21 and followed that up with a victory in the $125,000
Tampa Breeders’ Cup on February 25. Trained by Jeff Trosclair
for owners Team Block and Patricia and David Ryan. Fort Prado, who
will be ridden on Saturday by Robby Albarado, has bankrolled $523,100
Defending champion Rapid Proof, bred and owned by Dolphus Morrison,
is one of the probable starters for the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf.
The 6-year-old son of Fast Play won the biggest race of his career
in 2005 when he captured the $500,000 Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap
on March 19. He followed that victory with his win in the 2005 Connally
Breeders' Cup Turf. Trained by Hal Wiggins, Rapid Proof will be
ridden on Saturday by Brian Hernandez, Jr. Hernandez was aboard
Rapid Proof on March 17 in a turf allowance prep, his first race
since November. He ran second in that race to Seainsky, who is also
expected to contend in the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf for trainer
“Saturday night’s card will be exceptional with the
Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf and two additional turf stakes,”
said Robert L. Bork, Sam Houston Race Park president and general
manager. “We are proud to present the first Thoroughbred graded
stakes in the history of Sam Houston Race Park and look forward
to making the final weekend of our Thoroughbred season memorable
for racing fans here and across the country.”
The draw for the Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf and the
accompanying stakes will take place on Wednesday, April 6. Post
time for the Saturday, April 8 card at Sam Houston Race Park is
Final Weekend of the 2005/2006 Thoroughbred Meeting
The 2005/2006 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting will conclude
on Sunday, April 9. Live racing will take place on 7:00 p.m. Thursday,
Friday and Saturday evening. Post time for the final day of the
meeting is 5:00 p.m. and will include the presentation of the End
of the Meeting awards for leading owner, rider and trainer.
Advanced Wagering for the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Card
Sam Houston Race Park will offer advanced wagering on the entire
Connally Breeders' Cup Turf card on Friday, April 7. Gates open
at 10:30 a.m. for simulcasting and the first Sam Houston Race Park
Thoroughbred race is set for 7:00 p.m.
Johnny Lee to Perform at 5:00 p.m. This Saturday
The festivities for the Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf include
a free concert by country music artist Johnny Lee before the evening’s
races. Lee who is probably best known by Houston fans for his hit
song “Looking for Love” from Urban Cowboy, will belt
out his hits on the Paddock Balcony Stage. The Texas native was
named the Academy of Country Music Best New Artist in 1980. Lee’s
hits include “Pickin' Up Strangers”, “Be There
For Me Baby”, “Cherokee Fiddle”, “Bet Your
Heart On Me” and “One In A Million”.
Lee will perform his good time favorites at 5:00 p.m.on Saturday,
April 8, 2006. Racing fans are encouraged to come early to enjoy
his concert and receive a free Connally Breeders' Cup Turf t-shirt.
Best Country Singer in Houston, Mark Ward to Sing the National
Mark Ward of Cypress, Texas, won the coveted title of the Best
Country Singer in Houston last February at Sam Houston Race Park.
He will return to the northwest Houston racetrack on Saturday evening
to perform the National Anthem.
Ward impressed the judges with his rendition of the Brooks and
Dunn hit, “Believe”. It was an emotional victory for
Ward, 33, who has been singing for over 15 years. His father, who
had a profound musical influence on him, just passed away in December.
The father of three is a document management consultant and has
lived in Houston all his life. He was awarded the top prize of $1,000
and a trip to the Academy of Country Music Awards.
Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Handicapping Seminar Set for
Sam Houston Race Park will present a free Connally Breeders' Cup
Turf Handicapping Seminar at 7:00 p.m. on the Club Level Stage.
Brian Pochman, handicapper for the Daily Racing Form will be joined
by Denis Blake, editor of the Texas Thoroughbred Magazine and Sam
Houston Race Park publicity director Martha Claussen.
They will preview the Saturday night card and offer wagering strategies
on the Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf and other races. The
first 25 attendees will receive a free Daily Racing Form.
Grade III Connally Breeders’ Cup Online Handicapping
Racing fans in Texas and across the country are welcome to register
for the $1,000 Connally Breeders’ Cup Online Handicapping
Contest. The contest is open to all racing fans, 21-years of age
or older, with a total of $1,000 in prizes to the top four finishers.
There is no entry fee for Connally Breeders’ Cup Online
Handicapping Contest. Each contestant will be required to make win,
place and show selections for the evening’s featured stakes,
plus one additional race from the Saturday night card. Registration
will take place on the Sam Houston Race Park web site, www.shrp.com
beginning Thursday, April 6 at 3:00 p.m. with the deadline to enter
at 7:00 on Saturday, April 8.
The player who earns the highest cumulative total based on the
$2 win, $2 place and $2 show selections, will be awarded $500. The
second place finisher will receive $300, $150 for the player in
third and $50 to the fourth place contestant.
For more information and a complete set of rules for the Connally
Breeders’ Cup Online Handicapping Contest, please call 281-807-8760
or visit the Sam Houston Race Park web site at www.shrp.com.
Jockey, Trainer and Owner Standings
Quincy Hamilton continues to rack up the wins at Sam Houston Race
Park and has all but wrapped us his second leading rider title.
On Friday, Hamilton rode five horses to victory, the most wins scored
in one night so far this Thoroughbred meeting. The young and talented
rider concluded the week with a total of 85 wins and $791,650 in
earnings. He won the title last year with 88 wins. Glen Murphy follows
Hamilton with 70 trips to the winner’s circle and Larry Taylor
places third with 65 wins. Filemon Rodriguez currently retains the
fourth place position, while Jorge Guzman makes his first appearance
in the top five standings. The leading apprentice of the meet, Guzman
picked up two wins on Saturday and two more on Sunday. Both he and
Justin Shepherd are tied with 38 wins each.
Danny Pish is seeking his first training title at Sam Houston
Race Park and will once again, have to battle it out until the final
race of the meeting. Last year Pish had the lead in the standings
and was tied with trainer Steve Asmussen heading into closing day.
Asmussen won the final race of the card to lock up his fifth leading
trainer title at the northwest Houston racetrack. This year’s
competition will come from John Locke, who trails Pish by just one
win. Pish completed the week with 48 wins, while Locke saddled four
winners and is just one win behind the leader with 47 victories.
W. Bret Calhoun maintains his third place position in the standings
with 44 wins, and Steve Asmussen is in fourth with 39 wins. M. Brent
Davidson reached the top five with 31 wins.
There has been no change in the Sam Houston Race Park owner standings.
Shrum Racing, Inc. and Jim Bausch are tied for the lead with 13
wins each. Charles Hukill follows with 10 victories. Stephen Baker,
Nelco Farms, Israel Flores and Richard Bird are tied with nine wins
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Offered This Weekend
Racing fans interested in placing a future wager on the 2006 Kentucky
Derby will have their final chance this weekend. Sam Houston Race
Park will host the last of the three advance-wagering pools for
this anticipated event. Wagering will begin on Thursday, April 6
at 11:00 a.m. (CST) and close on Sunday, April 9 at 5:00 p.m. Sam
Houston Race Park will dedicate one television channel to broadcasting
the odds of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Lawyer Ron, Barbaro, Brother Derek and Bob and John are among
the 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
In addition to future wagers on the Kentucky Derby, there will
also be a separate wager available on the Kentucky Oaks Future,
available Thursday, April 6 at 11:00 a.m. (CST) through Sunday,
April 9 at 5:30 p.m. (CST).
Road to the Kentucky Derby Contest Continues at Sam Houston
Sam Houston Race Park is now in week six of the Road to the Kentucky
Derby handicapping contest. The contest started on March 4 and continues
every Saturday through April 22. The eight-week contest offers $4,800
in cash prizes and is open to all racing fans, 21-years of age or
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.
VIP Member Tim Lim was awarded $200 for finishing first in week
five of the contest. Lim’s total bankroll was $15.60. Will
Tisdale, also a VIP Member, was awarded $100 for his second place
finish, and Debbie Graves received $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.
VIP Club and April Specials at Sam Houston Race Park
In conjunction with the great racing and fantastic excitement for
the Connally Breeders’ Cup Turf Festival on Saturday, April
8, VIP Members will have a chance to win a $500 betting voucher.
VIP Members may swipe their VIP Club Card at any of the VIP kiosks
before the sixth race on Saturday to register for the drawing. The
$500 wagering voucher is awarded for the patron to make any type
of wager desired on the $200,000 Grade III John B. Connally Breeders’
Other VIP Club specials include double player points on all wagers
placed on Sam Houston Race Park’s live race card, and buy
one carrel get one free on Mondays. The private betting carrels
are located in the Player’s Lounge, a state-of-the-art race
book and sports bar.
Free admission is a perk all simulcast patrons will enjoy. After
the conclusion of the live Thoroughbred meeting at the northwest
Houston racetrack on Sunday, April 9, all simulcast patrons will
be admitted free for the remainder of the month.
For more information or to become a VIP Club Member, call 281-807-8760
or visit www.shrp.com.