Valid Pulpit is Victorious in the $35,000 Bayou City Stakes

(January 25, 2003)- Valid Pulpit is a filly on a roll, adding another stakes win as she closed powerfully to capture the $35,000 Bayou City Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. Trained by Steve Asmussen for owner Stephen R. Baker of Dallas, Texas, Valid Pulpit crossed the wire of the six furlong contest in a time of 1:11.41 under rider Cliff Berry.

This was the second stakes victory for the daughter of Pulpit. She captured the $50,000 Princess Handicap at Sunland Park on November 22 and has now won $105,540 in her career. In tonight’s effort, Berry settled the Kentucky-bred filly while Jewels For A Lady and Simply Siber battled for the lead. He was sitting in third as they headed into the turn and called on Valid Pulpit at the top of the lane.

"I was sitting comfortable and then it looked like the front runners got away from me at the head of the stretch," said Berry. "But she never gave up; she dug in and came right at the wire. She’s a real classy filly; quiet as she can be, broke good and did everything well."

Valid Pulpit and Miss Listo, winner of the Miss Houston Stakes on November 23, were both saddled tonight by Shawn Talbot, assistant to Steve Asmussen.

"She overcomes a lot for as small as she is," noted Talbot. "She ships well and overcomes any adversity bestowed upon her. It’s extremely difficult having two in the barn run against each other, but tonight Valid Pulpit turned the tables (Miss Listo beat her by a head in an allowance race at Keeneland on October 4, 2002)."

Simply Siber, trained by Allen Milligan, hung on for second under rider Tuffy Collier.

"She ran a good race," said Collier. "I really didn't expect to find myself on the lead. I looked in the Daily Racing Form and there were a lot of horses that had speed, so my plan was just to hang back off the early leaders and run them down the lane. But I inherited the early lead right away and nobody was going, so I just let her go. She ran her guts out, but they just ended up catching her. She gave all she had."

Olguina, a talented filly who had run her previous races in Mexico, completed the trifecta for trainer Enrique Garcia. She was making her first start since July 21 and was ridden tonight by Felipe Valdez.

"I rode the other part of the entry (Mirush) in her first start and I felt this one was much better of the two," commented Valdez. "This filly needed this race. She'll be tough to beat next time."

Valid Pulpit, the favorite in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, paid $5.60, $3.80 and $2.80 across the board. Simply Siber ran second and Olguina completed the $240.40 trifecta. Miss Listo, Mirush, Page Me Later, Jewels For A Lady and Our Millennia completed the order of finish.

News and Notes

Two Sam Houston Race Park shippers hit the board in the $100,000 LeComte Stakes this afternoon at the Fair Grounds. The Dallas Stewart-trained Saintly Look won the grade 3 stakes but Call Me Lefty, trained by Tommie Morgan ran second under rider Kirk Leblanc. The 3-year-old Texas-bred colt continues to merit respect, finishing first or second in each of his seven career starts, including a victory in the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on December 28. Longshot Winning Fans, trained by Ramon Flores completed the trifecta, returning $24.40 to show with John Jacinto in the irons.

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