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The $15,000 Ikon Stakes had just five runners, but there was no shortage of talent in the exciting 550-yard feature. Trainer Bobby Touchet was confident that Shake Em Special Pop would make his 550-yard debut a winning effort and the regal gray son of Royal Shake Em did not disappoint. Owned by Sergio Maldonado of Laredo, Texas, the 4-year-old gelding was handled with confidence by Sam Houston leading rider Luis Vivanco. He dueled gamely down the center of the racetrack and won by a neck over Shineys Magic T.

"The horse was feeling good all week," said Touchet. "This horse ran so well; he reminded me of (multiple stakes winner) Gray Invasion.  Luis rode him perfectly. I knew he could do it."

"I was delighted with his race," said Maldonado, of Laredo, Texas. "I knew he could go 550; we thought it was the best distance for him.  I give all the thanks to Bobby; this win was very promising for the future of my horse.

Shineys Magic T, trained by Jesse Yoakum, ran a solid race, just losing the head bob at the wire.

“He stood up in the gate and that probably cost us,” said rider Jerry Lee Yoakum. “If he hadn’t slipped and missed that first jump, it would have been different.”

Shake Em Special Pop ($6.80) was bred in Texas by Gary Kurz. He crossed the wire in :27.906 and earned $9,000 for the victory. His A Tycoon Cowboy ran third for J.B. and Sherrie Morace; Dash N Free was fourth and JC My Diamond Man completed the order of finish.


The 2011 American Quarter Horse continues through Sunday, May 15th with races every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For the full calendar of Sam Houston Race Park’s 2011 live race dates, visit 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, Verizon Wireless and Champion Energy Services. For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit


Painted Sable Fastest Qualifier in Trials for the $52,920 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge

Three trials were run on Saturday evening for the $52,920 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge. The first trial produced the fastest time of the evening as Painted Sable rallied gamely in a 20 mph head wind and won in :20.221. The 3-year-old daughter of Pyc Paint Your Wagon is owned by Dr. Tommy Hays and Bobby Barnett. She was making her 2011 debut after qualifying and running in the $1 million Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park. Luis Vivanco rode the bay filly for trainer Bobby Martinez.

“She had a couple of chips removed after the Texas Classic,” said Hays. “We were going to run her in the Sam Houston Derby, but wanted to give her some extra time. She has filled out nicely and ran a good one tonight.”

Trainer Judd Kearl qualified two runners for the final, which will take place on Saturday, May 14. Eyes Blew By You was clocked at :20.233; the second fastest time and Money Hungry Cartel was the tenth fastest qualifier. Both 3-year-olds were ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo.

Painted Sable ($11.40) and the other nine qualifiers will compete for a berth to the $200,000 Adequan Racing Challenge Derby Championship (G1) on October 29 at Los Alamitos Race Course.  Acorn, last year’s Adequan Texas Derby Challenge won the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1) at Fair Grounds for trainer Janet VanBebber and owner/breeder Rose Mary Chandler.

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