Back in the saddle: Sam Houston weekend preview and out-of-state simulcasting resumes

View from behind of jockeys on horses rounding the corner during horse race.

Back in the saddle: Sam Houston weekend preview and out-of-state simulcasting resumes

Racing will resume this weekend at Sam Houston Race Park, and when it does out of state viewers will be able to tune in for the first time this year. A monthslong dispute between the Texas Racing Commission and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has been halted, and Sam Houston’s simulcast is now available.

This weekend will feature nine-race cards on Friday and Saturday and a ten-race program on Sunday. There are no stakes contests this weekend, but with lots of races and full fields, there should be no shortage of excitement and action.

Heading into this weekend, J.R. Caldwell has taken over the top spot for trainers at the meet with 12 wins, while Federico Villafranco tops the list by winning percentage ending up in the winner’s circle with 40% of his starters. The top-earning trainer is Steve Asmussen, who has earned just shy of $430,000 at the meet.

When it comes to riders, Lane Luzzi leads all others with 13 wins and is tops in winning percentage, coming in first place on almost 22% of his rides. The top jockey by money won is Stewart Elliot by a wide margin, he has taken down $505,000 and ranks second in wins.

The Kentucky Derby trail heats up this week with three points races across the country. The Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct has drawn a field of six with 40 points on the line. Arctic Arrogance could be one to watch here, but at this stage, it is hard to know who is for real.

Gulfstream Park will host the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) with Lord Miles and Cyclone Mischief looking like the top contenders. Lord Miles is by Curlin and will have Irad Ortiz aboard, while Tyler Gaffalione will guide Cyclone Mischief.

Santa Anita will host the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, which will be the Bob Baffert Show, as the trainer will saddle all four runners in the Grade 3 Race. Arabian Lion might be the best runner, but Baffert is famous for having his “other” horse win in big spots; in this case, he has all the others.

Sam Houston Horses to Watch:

Friday – Race 3 – Will the Thrill – This son of Speightster features the formidable Caldwell-Luzzi combination.

Saturday – Race 4 – Crazy Legs Hirsch – If this horse can recover his form from last summer, he will be one to reckon with.

Sunday – Race 3 – Lagoon – A son of Runhappy, this horse has been on the board in both of his starts this year.

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