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March 29, 2013

JC MY DIAMOND MAN
WINS THE HARRIS COUNTY STAKES
ON OPENING WEEKEND OF THE
2013 AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE MEET
AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK

Flirtingwithamiracle Fastest Qualifier in Trials for the Sam Houston Derby

The $20,000 Harris County Stakes attracted a solid field of competing at 550 yards. The very capable veteran JC My Diamond Man made easy work of his rivals as he powered to the wire in commanding fashion.

The 8-year-old son of Streakin La Jolla has been a wonderful performer for his owner Clem D. Nava, III.

“I’d like to give thanks to Brian and my good friend (the late) Benny Pennington,” said Nava. “I know he’s watched from up there.  I got real lucky to buy him when he was just three-years-old. He’s been a great old horse.”

Nava paid just $2,000 for JC My Diamond Man, who has now earned $176,142  and improved his career record to 17 wins from 48 starts.

Ricardo Aguirre rode the Texas-bred gelding for trainer Brian Stroud, and covered 550 yards in :27.765, over three lengths ahead of longshot Bythedawnsearlylight.

“He’s a great horse,” said Aguirre.  “All you have to do is let him run his race.”

Stroud had high praise for the versatile runner, who has victories at 440, 550 and 870 yards.

“We’ve been fortunate he’s stayed sound,” said Stroud. “He’s got a big heart, finished strong and tries hard every step of the way.”

JC My Diamond Man ($3.60) was sent off as the heavy favorite.   Bythedawnsearlylight with Luis Vivanco aboard ran second and Kite Flyer, winner of the 870 yard Governors' Cup Marathon last May, ran third under Santos Carrizales.

Flirtingwithamiracle Impressive as the Fastest Qualifier in Trials for the Sam Houston Derby (G3)
Seven trials were run on Friday evening for the $35,000-added Sam Houston Derby (G3). The sixth trial produced the fastest time of the evening as Flirtingwithamiracle surged to the wire of his 350-yard trial in :17.739 seconds.

The 3-year-old son of Dean Miracle was bred in Texas by Patricia Potts and is owned by Marina Nino. Regular rider Eleazar Rivera Hernandez was aboard as the Juan Carlos Saucedo-trainee returned to the winner’s circle for the second time since breaking his maiden at Retama Park last July. Sent off at odds of 13.1, his supporters were rewarded with a win payout of $28.20.

“He came into this race as sound as he has ever been,” said Saucedo. “It was great to see the way he opened up.”

Trainer Fructusoso Huitron qualified the second fastest qualifier in the first trial. CC Wants It All owned by Salvador Olivera was clocked at :17.805. This was the third win from seven starts. The son of Chief Corona was ridden by  Saul Ramirez, Jr.

Sam Houston Race Park will host the final of the Sam Houston Derby on  Saturday, April 13. To view the ten fastest qualifiers, click on stallionesearch.com.

Plunge The Depths Fastest Qualifier for the Sam Houston Maiden Classic
Plunge The Depths was an impressive winner in the first of seven trials for the  $65,000-added Sam Houston Maiden Classic on the race park's 2013 opening night Quarter Horse card.

Owned by Julia Cesar Ramirez and trained by Willie J. Simien, Jr, the 4-year-old son of Wave Carver drew off from his far outside post, covering 350 yards in
in :17.849 seconds.  Rider Ricardo Aguirre, who had four wins on the Thursday night card, was aboard the Joe Kirk Fulton-bred Plunge The Depths, drawing off by three lengths.

“I’ve just had him three months, and we put some weight on him and added blinkers,” said Simien of his impressive maiden-breaking score. “He came back good and is fit.  He was a little hard to load, so we’ll school him in the gate before the final.”

The 10 fastest qualifiers from the seven trial races will return to Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, April 12, and vie for the winner's portion of a $65,000-est. purse for 3-year-old and up maidens at time of nomination.

Taste Of Corona, under jockey Alfonso Lujan, was the second fastest qualifier,  winning his trial in :17.916 seconds. Cjs Rocksolid had the third fastest clocking of the evening, winning the fifth trial in :17.995 seconds.

The ten fastest qualifiers will return on April 12 for the final. For a complete list of finalists, times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys to the 2013 Sam Houston Maiden Classic, visit stallionesearch.com.

Special Post Time Set for Saturday, March 30
Due to an exceptional number of nominations for the Sam Houston Futurity (G2), there will be 15 trials run on Saturday, March 30. As a result, Sam Houston Race Park has moved its evening. post time to 3:00 p.m.  The ten fastest 2-year-olds will advance to the final which will be run on Saturday, April 13.

Last year it was Sassmaster who captured the richest Quarter Horse race of the meet, the $487,700 Sam Houston Futurity (G2). The son of Tr Dasher out of the Separatist mare Catch You Now was the fourth fastest qualifier in 15 trials.

Blue October First Performer in the Spring Concert Series
Popular alternative rock band Blue October will be the first performer in the 2013 Concert Series at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, March 30.

New to this year’s concert series will be FREE concert admission for all guests that purchase $6 general admission tickets to live racing before 8:00 p.m. Admission will be $20 for guests arriving after 8:00 p.m.

The 2013 Concert Series at Sam Houston Race Park will take place on Friday and Saturdays on the Bud Light Stage following live racing. A variety of Country and Alternative music artists will take to the Bud Light Stage where the venue will offer general admission tickets to the open lawn. In addition, Sam Houston Race Park will offer a variety of food and beverage concessions so that racing and music fans can fully enjoy this total entertainment experience.

The Bud Light Stage lists of performers is as follows:

Blue October
Saturday, March 30 presented by Cricket Wireless

Old 97’s
Saturday, April 6

Charlie Robison
Friday, April 12

Reckless Kelly
 Saturday, April 27

Roger Creager
Friday, May 3  presented by ABC Home & Commercial Services

Kevin Fowler
Saturday, May 11 presented by Auto Nation 

The 2013 live American Quarter Horse meet will feature racing every Thursday and Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The racing season will run through Saturday, May 18.

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.

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