Race horses with jockeys on the home straight. Shaving effect.
Texas Champions Day headlines Sam Houston Race weekend
This weekend’s racing action at Sam Houston Race Park is headlined by Texas Champions Day on Saturday. Saturday’s card features seven stakes races and purses worth over $700,000.
The stakes action begins in the third race on Saturday with the Star of Texas Stakes. This race is for Texas-accredited older horses racing one mile on the dirt. In the five-horse field, the standout appears to be Gold Pilot, a son of My Golden Song who is trained by Brett Calhoun and will be ridden by Jose Alvarez. Gold Pilot is riding a two-race win streak, including a victory in the H-Town Stakes in February.
Next up on the card is the Texas Thoroughbred Association Oaks. This race is restricted to Texas-accredited 3-year-old fillies or Texas Thoroughbred Association sales graduates. It will be contested over a mile and seventy yards on the dirt. The field in this race appears to be very evenly matched, with at least four fillies with a real shot at winning. The strongest contender might be Santa Fe Gold, once again trained by Bret Calhoun, but New Destiny should also be in the mix.
The fifth race is the San Jacinto Turf Stakes. This race is for Texas-accredited older mares and will be a mile and a sixteenth over the turf course. No Mas Tequila looks strong in this race. She was second in the Miss Bluebonnet Turf Stakes in February, coming off a layoff, and won the San Jacinto last year. Imaluckycharm defeated No Mas Tequila in the Miss Bluebonnet and should be the biggest competition.
Race six, the Spirit of Texas Stakes, is a six furlong affair on the dirt for Texas-accredited horses 4 years old and up. Mr. Money Bags should be the heavy favorite here; this son of Silver City has amassed almost $700,000 in earnings over his career and is the defending champion in this race. This is his first start since last April, and if he is rusty off the layoff, Sunday Bling or Algebra could pull the upset.
Texas-accredited fillies and mares 4 years old and up will contest the Yellow Rose Stakes over six furlongs on the dirt in race seven. Lady Ave comes into the race riding a five-race win streak and should be a strong contender. She will be ridden by Stewart Elliot and is trained by North American wins leader Steve Asmussen. Ima Discreet Lady is a stakes winner, and if she can recover her top form, she should also be a threat.
In the eighth race, the Richard King Turf Stakes, Texas-accredited horses 4 years old and up will battle over a mile and an eighth over the turf course. The heavy favorite, Sunlit Song, has been a heavyweight on the Texas turf, and he is at his best; all others should be racing for second.
In Saturday’s finale, the Texas Thoroughbred Association Derby, Texas-accredited 3-year-old colts, geldings, or graduates of the TTA sales will compete over one mile and seventy yards on the dirt. This race appears to be wide-open, with at least four horses with a chance to win. Send the Boss might have the best shot, but Funny Uncle, Release McCracken, and Vietnam Victory also should be dangerous here.
Though Saturday is the biggest stakes day of the weekend, live racing action will also be held Friday and Sunday. Friday’s card consists of nine races, five featuring large purses. On Sunday, the weekend will wrap up with an eight-race card with another four big purse races.
First post for each day is one o’clock.