February 23, 2013
SKIP A SMILE PREVAILS IN DUEL OF TEXAS
CHAMPIONS IN THE $50,000 JERSEY VILLAGE STAKES
AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Turf Stakes Featured the 2011 and 2012 Texas Thoroughbred Association Horses of the Year
Jersey Village is a residential community located a few miles west of Sam Houston Race Park. It is recognized as a safe, comfortable community ideal for families. In tonight's feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $50,000 Jersey Village Stakes, it was Skip a Smile who returned to the comfort of the Connally Turf course, notching his second stakes of the meet.
Skip a Smile was honored as 2011 Texas Thoroughbred Association Horse of the Year for his owner and breeder, Rose Mary Chandler. The 6-year-old son of Skip Away has won his last two turf stakes, the $50,000 Texas Hall of Fame at Retama Park and the $50,000 Richard King on January 19 at Sam Houston Race Park. He is trained by Steve Asmussen and was ridden by Glen Murphy, who found an opening on the rail and guided the dark bay gelding to a one-length victory over a determined Doctor Romane.
“He’s a very special horse,” said Asmussen, by telephone following the stakes. “Turf is his best surface and Glen handled the rail post well. He had plenty of horse left.”
Murphy, the leading rider of the 2012 Sam Houston Thoroughbred meet, concurred.
“I had a lot of horse under me,” said Murphy. “When he saw daylight, he went for it. He always knows his way to the wire.”
Doctor Romane, who was fourth in the Richard King for trainer Jerimiah West, was a game runner-up at odds of 27-1.
“He relaxed beautifully and ran his tail off,” said jockey Jeremy Collier of the 4-year-old colt. “He’s getting better with every race.”
Coyote Legend, the 2012 Texas Thoroughbred Association Horse of the Year, returned to the turf for the first time since finishing second to Skip a Smile in November, 2011 at Remington Park. Trained by Bret Calhoun and bred by his owner Clarence Scharbaurer, Jr., the 6-year-old son of Gold Legend captured the $100,000 Star of Texas on the main track last month at Sam Houston. He was mounting a bid at the top of the stretch under rider Roman Chapa, who was cut off and lodged a claim of foul against the winner. After a steward’s review, the order of finished was not altered.
Chandler and her husband, Wendell, were on hand to accept the trophy as their horse captured his 11th career win and seventh on the turf.
“We are so proud of him; he is an awesome individual,” said Chandler.
Chandler gives high praise for Skip a Smile’s dam, Strawberry Smile, who has produced six foals to date.
“She is the sweetest horse; she licks everybody and loves her carrots,” said Chandler.
Skip a Smile was sent off as the heavy favorite in the eight-horse field and returned $3.40 for the win. Fly the Red Eye ran a game third for his owner Colleen Davidson, followed by Quiet Acceleration, Sarah’s Chief, Coyote Legend, Spiderman Ridge and Patty's Pride.
Asmussen indicated that Skip a Smile would likely make his next start at Lone Star Park.
ARABIANS DELIVER IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCES IN THE YELLOW ROSE AND TEXAS SIX SHOOTER AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Arabians were featured in two graded stakes tonight at Sam Houston Race Park and the fillies kicked the evening off in the Grade 2, $30,000 Yellow Rose.
Sand On Fire picked up her second stakes race in Texas with a well-timed closing effort over Delishess. Jockey Dakota Wood guided the 4-year-old daughter of Burning Sand to victory, covering seven furlongs in 1:35.02. Owned and bred by Jane Teutsch of Larkspur, Colorado, Sand on Fire has now won three of her seven lifetime starts.
“I rode this filly a couple of times and won the stake with her at Retama,” said Wood. “She’s one of those that you let her do her thing, and she’ll get the job done.”
“We’re really proud of her, said owner Ray Teutsch. “This was her distance and she can compete with the best. We’re very thankful that she proved herself tonight.”
Sent off as the betting favorite, Sand on Fire paid $5.00 for the win. Delishess held for second and Ta Dance With the Star ran third.
Owner and breeder Sam Vasquez had reason to celebrate in the Grade 2, $30,000 Texas Six Shooter for Arabian colts and geldings when Lacy Vaz went gate to wire, and held off the late run by In X Hess.
Trained by Juan Antonio Ascencio, the 4-year-old Texas-bred colt picked up his second consecutive win, and has now emerged victorious in five of his eight career starts.
“He ran well,” said rider Gerardo Mora. “I knew the five was coming, but my horse kept trying to the end.”
Lacy Vaz paid $6.80 for the win, completing seven furlongs in 1:34.90. Trainer Lynn Ashby saddled the second and third place finishers: In X Hess and Secret Treasour.
Sam Houston Race Park Makes Adjustment in Race Dates for Final Two Weeks of Thoroughbred Meet
Sam Houston Race Park requested and received a change of live Thoroughbred racing dates in March. In a letter to the Texas Racing Commission (TRC), officials requested that the Sunday, March 10 and March 17 live dates be moved to Monday, March 11 and March 18. Since the beginning of the 2013 Thoroughbred racing season on January 18, Monday's handle has outperformed Sunday. The Thoroughbred meet will continue through March 18 followed by the 2013 live American Quarter Horse season, which gets underway on Thursday, March 28.
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 minutes from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including 16 recently renovated luxury suites overlooking the race track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the Champion Energy Services Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.