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Sam Houston hosted 15 trials today in preparation for the richest race of the 2012 Quarter Horse Meeting, the $487,770 Sam Houston Futurity (G2). The first trial, which took place at 2:30 p.m. produced the fastest qualifier when Spartocus won his 330-yard trial in a time of :16.724 under rider David Alvarez

Owned and bred by Jorge Meraz of Bastrop, Texas, Spartocus is a son of Shazoom out of the Dashin Bye mare First Dashin Bye.

Trainer Bobby Martinez was not surprised that the sorrel colt produced such an impressive win at first asking.

“I told the owner he was a runner,” said Martinez. “We took him to Louisiana Downs and he worked really well.”

Spartocus will return for the final on April 14 to compete for a share of the $487,770 purse.

Martinez won the 2010 Sam Houston Futurity with Sixes Liaison for owner Ted  Abrams, Sr.

“I had a lot of confidence in Sixes two years ago and I really feel this horse has talent,” said Martinez.”

Martinez also qualified One Eyed Eagle, a filly owned by  Dr. Tommy Hays and Charles Forbes, Jr. She ran second to Macho Maggie, the third-fastest qualifier, in the fifth trial, crossing the wire in :16.802

“The filly got beat in the trials at Shreveport,” said Martinez.  “She was in the lead, but jumped at the shadows at the side of the building. I think we have a shot with her.”

The sorrel filly has overcome adversity; she was playing in the field as a weanling, got kicked and lost her right eye.

RC Had to Be My Day recorded the second fastest qualifying time, winning h9s trial in :16.745 for trainer Alex Villarreal. Bred in Texas by RX Running Horses, the son of Hadtobenuts won his training race at Retama Park on February 24.  Luis Vivanco was the winning rider in the second trial of the day.

To view the list of the ten fastest qualifiers with owners, breeders, jockeys and trainers, visit

Sam Houston Race Park's 2012 live American Quarter Horse meet will feature racing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. There will be one Sunday card on May 13; racing for the week of May 11-13 shifts to Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The 27-day racing season will run through Saturday, May 19. 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 19 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. Sam Houston Race Park Platinum Partners include Bud Light and Champion Energy Services. For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit

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