May 10, 2013
RUNAWAY WAGON UNDAUNTED BY DOWNPOUR
IN THE $50,000 SAM HOUSTON CLASSIC
AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
There was no denying Runaway Wagon in Friday night's feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $50,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2), at the “classic” distance of 440 yards.
Despite driving rain, the 4-year-old son of Pyc Paint Your Wagon broke sharply and drew off to a two-length victory under rider David Alvarez. Owned by Dr. Tommy Hays and Bobby J. Barnett, the Kansas-bred gelding is no stranger to overcoming adversity. Michelle Meiwes bred Runaway Wagon from the Dashin Bye mare Dashin Vike.
As a 2-year-old, he won his trial for the Sam Houston Futurity (G2) and finished third in an All American Futurity (G1) trial but did not qualify for either. He "tied up" following his trial at Ruidoso Downs and was in serious distress. Hays, a noted equine surgeon, tended to his runner and he was able to make a full recovery.
This was the second win in three starts this year by Runaway Wagon at Sam Houston Race Park. He stumbled out of the gate in the final of the $106,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) and finished third on April 20. Tonight, everything went his way and he crossed the wire in :21.526, earning a Speed Index of 106.
"He was perfect tonight," said Alvarez. "The rain did not bother him a bit; he is a wonderful horse."
Trainer Bobby Martinez watched the race from Delta Downs, where he qualified Jazz Under the Oaks for the $72,655 Louisiana-Bred Graduation Stakes.
“He ran a heck of a race," said Martinez of Runaway Wagons game victory. "We have so much faith in this horse. If he hadn't stumbled in his Challenge race, he would have won. I was real happy the way he ran tonight."
Lethal Volt, a finalist in the 2011 All American Futurity (G1), was a game second at odds of 13-1 under Sam Houston race Park's leading rider, Luis Vivanco. Bar Struck ran third, followed by The Field Cricket. Post-time favorite, Mr Truly Uno ran fifth. Jess Fly With Me, Sassmaster, Bz Amazin Grace, Jc My Diamond Man and Executive Prince completed the order of finish.
Sent off as the second betting choice, Runaway Wagon paid $11.40 for the win and improved his career record to five wins from 14 starts. The $30,000 share of the Sam Houston Classic victory vaulted his career earnings to $132,990.
The remaining two races of Friday's 11-race card were canceled due to heavy rain, thunder and lightning.
Special Sunday Mother's Day Live Race Program Set for May 12 at Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park hosts its final two weekends of live American Quarter Horse racing with a multitude of special events and stakes action. Live racing continues Saturday, May 11 at 6:00 p.m. with top Billboard Country Music artist, Kevin Fowler taking the Bud Light Stage following live racing. Fowler's concert, presented by Auto Nation, will wrap up the 2013 Spring Concert Series at Sam Houston Race Park. Racing and music fans will receive FREE concert admission with their $6 general admission tickets to live racing before 8:00 p.m. Admission will be $20 for guests arriving after 8:00 p.m.
Racing fans are invited to enjoy a special Sunday racing program in honor of Mother's Day on May 12. First post is 1:00 p.m. with a sumptuous Mother's Day Brunch offered in the Winner's Circle Restaurant.
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.