Expectant Diva - Yellow Rose Stakes
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Guacamole - Groovy Stakes
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Red Bird's Meister - Spirit of Texas Stakes
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Slewpy's Storm Action - Martanza Stakes
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Leaving On My Mind - Richard King Handicap
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Dixie Meister - Star of Texas Stakes
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Annie Savoy - Bara Lass Stakes
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Marfa's Taxes - San Jacinto Stakes
-photo by Jack Coady/Coady Photography

Notes and Quotes from Texas Champions Day at Sam Houston Race Park

Houston, Texas (November 19, 2005) - Below are notes and quotes from Texas Champions Day at Sam Houston Race Park:

Expectant Diva Rallies to Capture $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes

The $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes, a six-furlong contest, attracted a field of nine fillies and mares. Expectant Diva came off the pace to capture the stakes win for trainer Randy Mayfield and owner Virginia Elder. Bobby Walker, Jr. had the winning mount. Winning time was 1:11.528

Comments From Winning Jockey, Bobby Walker, Jr.:
“I was fortunate to have enough horse to finish up and catch her. Bones (Mayfield) had her ready to run. The other day when I rode her, she didn’t have to be asked. Tonight she was in good shape and I was fortunate to be on the best horse.”

Comments From Winning Trainer, Randy Mayfield:
“Bobby and I talked about the pace. We decided to take her back and make one run and it all worked out. He put a heck of a ride on her.”

Comments from Larry Taylor, rider of second place finisher and beaten favorite, Shannons Valentine:
“She ran her race but she just got beat. She has had good works and she gave everything she had.”

Comments from Andy Konkoly, trainer of Shannons Valentine:
She ran good and I’m happy with her. We are going to keep her here and give her a few good starts here. She’s a good horse and she always tries her hardest.”

Comment from Carl Woodley on third place finisher, Dodd:
"It wasn't the best of trips because we were stuck down on the inside. She doesn't have a lot of speed, so I had to pick my way through. Everything eventually opened up, but I had to be patient and wait."

Guacamole Dips into the Winner’s Circle in $50,000 Groovy Stakes

The $50,000 Groovy Stakes, a seven-furlong contest, attracted a field of 11 runners. Guacamole, owned by Dennis Foster and Rawley Ralls of Lexington Kentucky, made a big run and won by two and one-fourths lengths. Don Simington was at the controls for trainer Danny Pish. Winning time was 1:24.566

Comments From Winning Jockey Don Simington:
"Praise God that everything worked out tonight. Last time the race set up similar and I got behind a wall of horses. Tonight, He exploded when he got the room."

Comments From Winning Trainer Danny Pish:
"I have to agree with Don - the trip and his maturity made the difference. His ability to race several times as a 2-year-old and stay sound.”

Comments from Deirdre Panas, rider of second place finisher, Minstrel Runner:
“I was a little worried because he had his head up looking around. I had to get him motivated going into the small opening we had. We just got outrun. I knew Don (Simington) had a lot of horse left when we were on the backside, so I figured I better try to get into that hole while I could. That just shows much of the best the winner was.”

Comments from Luis Quinonez, rider of Upstream, beaten favorite:
"We had a good trip. We tried to use his speed to get up close, and he did. It felt, down the lane, that he was still trying, but they just ran by him. He had a good trip. He played with them, but we play to win and we didn't do it this time."

$50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes Goes to Red Bird’s Meister

The $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes, a six-furlong contest, attracted a field of 11, including defending champion Charming Socialite. Charming Socialite finished third to winner Red Bird’s Meister. Michelle Lovell trains the 4-year-old stakes winner for Red Bird Farms, Inc. and John Byrne had the mount. This was the first stakes win for Lovell, a former Thoroughbred jockey. Winning time was 1:10.838.

Comments from winning jockey, John Byrne:
“He’s a tough horse; we always believed he was a good horse. Michelle stuck with me and we did well.”

Comments from winning trainer, Michelle Lovell:
“I thought John made a great move on the rail and really stayed in the race. The horse dug in and we won the race. This was my first stakes win and it was so exciting - I almost had a heart attack.”

Comments from second place finisher, Omar Rodriguez, rider of Smile Away:
"It was perfect, we just didn’t get lucky at the wire. Nothing bad, it all went good and had a perfect break.”

Comments from Larry Taylor, rider of beaten favorite and defending champion, Charming Socialite:
"He got trapped down on the inside, and he likes to be on the outside of horses. I couldn't get him back to go around them, and I couldn't get him far enough ahead to get out. Coming back after two weeks versus his usual three weeks might have taken a little out of him. If I could have gotten him to the outside, I could have still made him run right by them. He just doesn't like being on the inside."

Leaving On My Mind Scores Narrow Victory in $50,000 Richard King Handicap

The $50,000 Richard King Handicap, run at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, attracted a field of eight geldings and one colt, including defending champion Late Expectations. Texas Thoroughbred Association’s 2004 Horse of the Year, Leaving On My Mind, battled the field for a win by a neck. Roman Chapa was the winning jockey for trainer Danny Pish and owner George Wolff. Winning time was 1:51.84

Comments From winning jockey Roman Chapa:
“This horse is always run his heart out for me. Tonight there was quite a bit of early pace and I had to hold him back a little. But when I had room on the rail, I asked him and he really fired for me. This has been a great year for me thanks to trainers like Danny Pish and Steve Asmussen. I’m really happy things are going as well as they year.”

Comments from winning trainer Danny Pish:
“We had a couple of spots for him and thought this was the best option. He is just a great horse and a pleasure to work with.”

Comments from Gerard Melancon rider of third place finisher, Blinding Prospect:
“My horse has been training super, and he ran his heart out. He ran hard and pressed the whole way. He tried to come back in the end after the bid.”

Comments from Guy Smith rider of beaten favorite and second place finisher, Northern Scene:
"We had a good trip. We were able to slow the pace down. Gerard (Melancon) and I were pretty much the only speed in there. Some horses came around on the first turn that caused our horses to pick it up a little bit sooner than we would've liked to, and I think that is what caused us to get caught. But other than that we had a really good trip, and my horse ran his race. It just didn't work out."

Comments from Morris Nicks, trainer of Northern Scene:
"I think a different post would've been better. We couldn't get him in behind horses, and he likes to run at a horse. He gets a little hyper when he gets out there by himself. He had him slowed down, but that's not being relaxed. If he had gotten in there where he was covered up a little he might have been a different horse. But he ran big and was beat by a good horse."

Slewpy’s Storm Captures $75,000 Martanza Stakes

The $75,000 Martanza Stakes, a one-mile contest, attracted a field of seven fillies and mares. Slewpy’s Storm captured the win under Larry Taylor for trainer M. Brent Davidson and owner Stephen Baker. Winning time was 1:40.371.

Comments from winning jockey, Larry Taylor:
“I believed in this filly. I really did. The race set up good for her and she performed.”

Comments from wife of winning trainer, Colleen Davidson:
She’s a great mare and really came through for us. Our whole family worked with her, especially our daughter Sara. We treat her like a princess and we’re thrilled she won tonight.”

Comments from second place finisher and rider of Shons Secret, Filemon Rodriguez:
“It was a very hard try.”

Comments from Daniel Boudreau, rider of beaten favorite Cookin’s Cast:
"She was great. I thought I was going to get it at the 3/8 when she did a little move at the quarter pole as I was coming up towards the winner. But the winner got there before I did. She handled the distance really well. I think next time she needs to go long and she'll be really tough."

Dixie Meister Rallies for $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes Win

The $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile contest for 3-year-olds and up, attracted a field of nine runners, including 2003 champion, Record Assembly. Dixie Meister was lead to victory by Roman Chapa. The three-year-old gelding is trained by Steve Asmussen and owned by Millennium Farms. Winning time was 1:44.937

Comments from winning jockey, Roman Chapa:
“I just kind of set off on the pace and let the rest burn out a little. (Agrivating General) kind of kicked in another gear at the 16th pole and I was a little worried.

Comments from Casey Lambert, rider of second place finisher and beaten favorite, Agrivating General:
"It just didn't work out like we had wanted it to."

Comments from Danny Pish trainer of Agrivating General:
"The horse ran his heart out. He just didn't get up for the win. No excuses. He just didn't quite get up there. I can't knock the horse. I can't knock the ride. We just didn't quite get there. I haven't really looked ahead yet; I like to take it one race at a time, but there’s the Maxxam Gold Cup and Connally Turf coming up, which we'll certainly consider."

Comments from third place finisher, Luis Quinonez:
“My main concern was getting him to relax. He jumped a little too early on the bit, then he moved well turning for home, but flattened out. Otherwise, he had a good trip.”

Annie Savoy Prevails in $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes

The $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes, a seven-furlong contest on the main track, attracted a field of 11 two-year-old fillies. Annie Savoy was the prevailing filly of the field and was led to victory by jockey Jamie Theriot. The dark brown filly is owned by Hall Browning of Dallas, Texas. Winning time was 1:25.866.

Comments from winning jockey Jamie Theriot:
“She showed a lot of talent first time out. Tonight she ran a great race and was game down the lane. She had the tactical speed, but could also run comfortably on the front end.”

Comments by Hal Browning, winning owner:
“We're very excited and very appreciative of Jamie coming down to ride. We knew we had a talented filly, but hadn't faced a field like this. Kari (Craddock) is one of my favorite people on the planet. We would never trust a horse with anyone else. We're just tickled to death.”

Comments from Ted Gondron, rider of Betty Garr, second place finisher:
“She did great running the first time under the lights. I really didn’t expect that much from her. She really impressed me. I think she could go a little further. I think if we would have been going a mile tonight, we would have caught them.”

Comments from Michael Stidham, trainer of Betty Garr:
“I’m real pleased with her. We were asking a lot of her coming off of the last race where she didn’t run that well. I think she likes this track a little bit better and we’re going to eventually stretch her out around two turns and I think that’s going to help her out, too. We were pleased with the effort.”

Comments from Jeremy Beasley, rider of beaten favorite, Kathy’s Rocket:
"Well we didn't have the best of luck. To be honest with you, I think I just had a 3/4-mile horse. Hopefully next time we'll get them."

Marfa’s Taxes Repeats in $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes

The $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile contest on the turf, attracted a field of 10 fillies and mares. Roman Chapa captured the stakes victory aboard with defending champion Marfa’s Taxes for trainer Danny Pish. The 8-year-old mare is the victor for the second year in a row for owner Ro Parra‘s Millennium Farms. The winning time was 1:46.498.

Comments from winning jockey, Roman Chapa:
“I appreciate the people that put me on these horses: Steve Asmussen and Danny Pish. I just had to sit back and watch the race and make one run. The rail opened up for me and I came through and won the race.”

Comments from Marilyn Asmussen, mother of trainer Steve Asmussen:
“We are very committed to racing in Texas and we know its going to be big. We love coming to Sam Houston Race Park.”

Comments from trainer of beaten favorite Robert Knight:
“She loves the turf. The five horse came in and blocked her tonight, or we would've won this race. We'll give her a couple of weeks rest, and then we'd like to bring her back for another turf race. We might even try a longer distance for her."

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