Sam Houston wraps up thoroughbred season
Sam Houston Race Park wrapped up the thoroughbred racing season with two days of exciting race action this weekend.
Friday’s large purse action started in the third race of the day, an allowance optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies going a mile on the dirt track. Sunny San Leon was able to hold off Oh Doo Dah Day to win by a neck at the wire. Jansen Melancon picked up the win as the jockey, and Jayde Gelner was the winning trainer. Lucky Deputy finished third.
The fifth race was another allowance optional claimer, this time for Texas-accredited 3-year-olds sprinting five and a half furlongs on the dirt. My Little Prince tracked the pace before making his move and pulling away to record the upset win. Bling Bling Bling was second, and Red Summerbird finished in third.
Moving to race eight for the next big purse, we find a maiden special weight sprint over five and a half furlongs for horses 3, 4, or 5 years old. Gerardo Mora was able to gain the front aboard Louisiana Flash and eventually pulled away for the win. Wagon Train was good enough for second, and Without a Song rounded out the trifecta.
The ninth race was written as another maiden special weight, this time for Texas-accredited horses stretching out over 1 ⅟₁₆ miles on the dirt. Pickingupstrangers settled off the early pace before settling into stride and pulling away to win easily over King Arthur Ridge, who was second, and Iberian Runner, who was third. Floyd Whethey got credit as the winning rider, and Danny Pish was the victorious trainer.
The second race on Saturday continued the big purse action as 3-year-old horses competed in an allowance optional claiming race going a mile on the dirt. Mor Lana Spirit pulled off the upset over Man Dura and Tapadine. Leandro Goncalves was the winning jockey, with Kari Craddock picking up a win as trainer.
Race four kicked off a pair of maiden special weight races, this one for Texas-accredited horses 3 to 5 years old over a mile on the dirt. The win here went to Farm Dog, who outran John Louis’ Bevo, who was second, and Moro Trendsetter, who finished third.
The day’s second maiden special weight race was for Texas-accredited fillies and mares 3 to 5 years old battling1 ⅟₁₆ miles on the dirt. Run Witt Run was able to set the early pace and dictate terms to the field as she held on to win by almost two lengths. Governor Anne made a strong bid but could not overcome some traffic trouble and came up short, finishing second. Madame Rue was third.
Race seven was an allowance for fillies and mares 3 years old and up over seven furlongs on the dirt. In an upset, Reclusive came from off the pace to win a stretch duel to defeat Cadeau de Paix, who was second best, and Rosie Jane, who came in third.
Under the Gun proved much the best in race nine, an allowance for horses 3 years old and up going seven furlongs on the dirt under allowance conditions. Elliot and Asmussen combined as jockey and trainer for the winner. Ready to Roll got up for second, and First Avenue was third.
Tiz Magic led the way from the gate and pulled away to win the final race of the season. She was too fast for Neon Summer, who was second and Rumpus who was able to finish third.
Stewart Elliot finished the meet as the leading rider, winning fifty-three times and raking in just over $1.5 million. Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez finished just behind him with forty-two wins and just over $1 million in earnings.
The leading trainer of the meet was Steve Asmussen, who won thirty-nine times throughout the course of the season and brought home $1.2 million in purse money. Bret Calhoun was second on the trainer’s list with thirty victories and $955,000 in purses won.
Though the thoroughbred season is over at Sam Houston, the action is not over in Texas racing. Lone Star Park will kick off its meet this Thursday with a first post time of 6:35 p.m.