Sam Houston Race Park action continues this weekend

Sam Houston Race Park action continues this weekend

This Friday will begin another exciting weekend of live thoroughbred racing at Sam Houston Race Park. Friday and Saturday will feature nine-race cards, and there will be eight races on Sunday. The cards feature claiming and allowance races, but large fields should make for plenty of excitement. 

Updating the training standings through last Sunday, we find J.R. Caldwell has taken the lead in victories with eight wins from his 27 starters, while Ray Ashford leads in win percentage at 55%. Steve Asmussen tops the list in money won with $151,627. 

On the jockeys’ side of things, Lane Luzzi has taken over the top position with nine wins after a strong second weekend. Luzzi also leads all riders in win percentage, coming in first on 31% of his rides. Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez continues his strong performance, sitting just behind Luzzi with seven wins. Stewart Elliot currently leads all riders in earnings with $168,035.

Next Saturday, Jan. 28, Sam Houston Race Park will host the Houston Racing Festival. The festival will include multiple stakes races, including the Houston Lady’s Classic (G3) and the John Connally Turf Cup (G3). These races will attract some big names in the world of thoroughbred racing and should add to a tremendous day of racing. These races, along with the full stakes card, will be broken down in next week’s preview.

In international racing news, American super-horse Flightline was honored by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities with the title of Longines World’s Best Racehorse. The award was presented at a ceremony in London, England. Flightline capped off his undefeated six-race career with a dominant win last November in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The IFHA also announced that its’ expert panel had assigned Flightline a ranking of 140, putting him on the same level as Frankel, one of the sports’ all-time greats. 

The Kentucky Derby trail turns to The Fair Grounds in New Orleans this weekend. The Lecomte Stakes (G3) is the next opportunity for hopefuls to pick up the points needed to qualify for the Derby field. The Lecomte has drawn a field of eight, including Echo Again, a son of Gun Runner, and a pair of Brad Cox trainees, Tapit’s Conquest, and Instant Coffee. Another contender is Itzos, a full brother to Rachel Alexandra. There are 40 Derby points at stake in the Lecomte, 20 to the winner, 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth, and 2 for a fifth-place finish. On the first Saturday in May, the 20 horses with the most points will run for the roses, so a race like this one in January could prove to be critical.

Sam Houston Horses to Watch

Friday – Race 2 – Brazil Nut – This horse was a winner at Churchill Downs and has been on the board several times in the last few starts.

Saturday – Race 6 – Barefoot Samurai – This horse is by Lea, who is out of a Galileo mare. To me, that makes him worth a look.

Sunday – Race 2 – Sunlit Song – He will be one of the favorites, but he should be. This horse has only been off the board once in his last 23 starts.

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