Sam Houston Race Park weekend preview

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

Sam Houston Race Park weekend preview

Live racing resumes at Sam Houston Race Park this weekend with packed eleven race cards on Friday and Saturday and an eight race card on Sunday.

J.R. Caldwell remains atop the trainer’s standings with 15 wins, while Federico Villafranco has the best winning percentage at almost 31%. The leading money earner among trainers is still Steve Asmussen, with nearly $458,000.

Among the jockeys, Lane Luzzi remains atop the leaderboard with 17 wins and is winning 26% of the races he enters. Stewart Elliot’s stakes wins keep him in first place in earnings with $554,000.

This weekend’s races are a mix of claiming and allowance races. The biggest race on Friday by purse is the tenth, an allowance optional claimer for four-year-olds and up over a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. This race has attracted a large field of eleven runners, and number eight, Newport Beach, appears to be the class of the field.

Saturday’s card features two allowance races, three maiden special weight contests, and two allowance optional claiming races. All of these races come with a purse of at least $35,000 and have drawn strong fields. The most intriguing race of the day might be the sixth, a sprint over six furlongs on the dirt for Texas-accredited horses four years old and up. Will the Thrill is coming off a strong performance in his last start, but he should get a good test from Stan’s Miracle Man and Jr’s Pacifico.

Race seven on Sunday looks intriguing. Eight horses will contest the six furlong sprint on the dirt with Eagle Express, Kause I’m Devine, and Gee She’s Fancy all looking to have a good chance to win.

The next day for stakes races is Texas Preview Day which is set to take place on Saturday, Feb. 18. Sam Houston will host five stakes races for Texas-bred horses that all boast purses of $75,000.

On the Kentucky Derby Trail, the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) was won by Rocket Can last Saturday pushing the son of Into Mischief into the thick of Kentucky Derby speculation. At Santa Anita, Newgate proved the best among four Bob Baffert entries in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3). 

This weekend Derby Hopefuls will contest the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs, and the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. The Withers and Sam F. Davis carry 40 possible Derby points, while the El Camino Real Derby will award 20.

Sam Houston Horses to Watch

Friday – Race 3 – Silver Wings – This horse has the best numbers on paper, he should have a good chance, and he probably won’t be the favorite.

Saturday – Race 8 – Stelliot’s Legacy – This horse won a stakes race two starts back and ran well in defeat last time out.

Sunday – Race 2 – Spoiler – This maiden son of First Samurai is out of a Mineshaft mare; this could be the spot for a breakthrough.

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