Sam Houston Race Park to wrap up thoroughbred season
The final weekend of live thoroughbred action kicks off this Friday with a 10-race card. Four races Friday have a purse of at least $35,000.
The allowance action begins in Race 3 as 3-year-old fillies will race over a mile on the turf course. Trainer Jayde Gelner will send Sunny San Leon to the post as the likely favorite to be ridden by Jansen Melancon. This daughter of Cloud Computing was fourth in her last start but won two back over this same distance. If the race is off the turf, the dangerous Lucky Deputy would draw in and make things interesting.
Race 5 is an allowance optional claimer over five and a half furlongs on the dirt for Texas-accredited 3-year-olds. Village Way is one to watch here. Distance might be an issue; this horse won at five furlongs in February but was third at five and a half on St. Patrick’s Day. If Village Way doesn’t come through, the next likely candidate is Philogyny Street, who was victorious at this distance on March 26.
Race 8 begins a run of maiden special weight races, this one for horses 3, 4, or 5 years old, sprinting five and a half furlongs on the dirt. Eight horses are slated to start here, but the number 5, Without a Song, looks like the best. This horse is a son of Medaglia d’Oro and is out of a Storm Cat mare, and if that wasn’t enough, he is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Stewart Elliot. If the rules of racing hold true and this obvious choice doesn’t cross the post first, Louisiana Flash and Stasis might be logical alternatives.
The second maiden special weight of the day turns to the turf and will see Texas accredited 3, 4, and 5 years old battle over a mile and a sixteenth. Texas Clubman has a good chance to graduate here; he was third in his last start and finished second three back. Bay Be Gone could spoil the plan, he was second in his last start, and his best form might be enough. Pickingupstrangers could be another likely alternative at a better price.
Saturday’s card will be the last of the thoroughbred season, featuring six races with bigger purses out of the 10 offered.
The allowance action begins in the second race, where 3-year-olds will battle over a mile on the turf course. Mano Dura has drawn outside and looks like a strong option. Trained by Steve Asmussen, this son of Keen Ice has been on the board in three consecutive starts and picked up a win back in January.
The fourth race is a maiden special weight for Texas accredited 3, 4, and 5-year-olds traveling a mile on the dirt. Farm Dog looks like a good option here, he has been on the board in three straight, and he is stretching out to a longer distance here. John Louis’ Bevo might be the second choice; he was third in his last start.
Race 5 returns to the turf for another maiden special weight, this time for Texas-accredited fillies and mares 3, 4, or 5 years old going a mile and a sixteenth. This race looks pretty even, with several horses having a chance to pull off the victory. Gracie’s Kitten might be the favorite, but Run Witt Run and Madame Rue should get attention also. Do not count out the seven, Governor Anne.
In the seventh race, fillies and mares 3 years old and up will battle over seven furlongs on the dirt. Roya is coming off a win in her last start at the Fair Grounds in March; she is also cutting back in distance. The other strong contender here looks like Rosie Jane, who turned in a second-place finish three starts ago and is also cutting back.
Race 9 is an allowance for horses 3 years old and up over seven furlongs on the dirt. Under the Gun is a tempting choice here, the son of Gun Runner is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Stewart Elliot, and he did win at Oaklawn Park in March. Drawn just inside him is First Avenue, who has put up similar speed numbers and could come at a longer price.
The final race of the day and season is an allowance optional claimer for fillies and mares at least 3 years old sprinting five furlongs on the dirt. Tiz Magic is drawn outside and looks like the class of the field, she is coming off a win in her last start in February. Tizplenty and Discreet Smile could be appealing alternatives.