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Weighing In with Martha Claussen
January 5, 2012 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.

JOCKEY GLEN MURPHY RETURNS TO SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK

Captain Countdown: Coady Photography

When the 2012 Thoroughbred meeting kicks off on Friday, January 20 at Sam Houston Race Park, racing fans will be seeing quite of bit of rider Glen Murphy.

Murphy grew up in El Paso, Texas, and received his early equine education from his father, who trained horses in New Mexico. He began riding professionally at 16 and has had a long and productive career. Texas has been good to the 43-year-old jockey; he won the leading rider at Sam Houston Race Park in 1999/2000.

Since 1984, Murphy has piloted over 20,000 horses, winning 2,600 races with mount earnings of $33 million.  He has had more than his share of injuries and broken bones, but with the exception of 2004, Murphy's mounts have eclipsed the one million mark in earnings annually since 1997. The well-traveled veteran has competed at racetracks across the country including Lone Star, Remington Park, Oaklawn Park, Zia Park and Sunland Park. Murphy finished eighth in the standings at Remington Park, which hosted its Thoroughbred meet from August 18 - December 10, 2011.


Glen and his daughter, Noelle: Joy Rose

His experience and reliability were two key factors in Sam Houston Race Park leading conditioner, Karl Broberg asking Murphy to ride first call this season.

"It was a great opportunity for me," said Murphy. "I am happy to ride for Karl and to return to Sam Houston. There is good money to be had, and I hope to win a fair share of it."

Murphy has many fond memories of Houston, and fondly recalls the 2000/2001 live meet in particular, when he was the regular rider aboard Horse of the Meet, Captain Countdown. The Texas-bred was bred and owned by Gearald Farris of Longview, Texas and trained by Steve Asmussen. Retired in 2002, Captain Countdown won 11 races and earned close to $400,000. He is standing stud in Texas.

"He was a horse I could always count on," stated Murphy. "We connected and I always knew he would give his best. He never ran a bad race; it didn't matter if he was on the lead, or making a run from ten lengths off the pace."

The lanky rider made a brief foray to Sam Houston in January, 2010 to ride in the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Turf Cup. He piloted Orientate Express to a second-place finish behind Acting Zippy. Murphy looks forward to riding turf races this season at Sam Houston.
"I love the Sam Houston turf course," said Murphy. "I always tell people that it's the best in the country."

Murphy is married to the talented Joy Rose, who deftly juggles her duties as promotions manager and paddock host at Remington Park. The couple welcomed their first child, Noelle, on February 14, 2011. He has relished every minute of the first year of her life.

"A year has gone by really quickly," acknowledges Murphy. "She is growing and changing every day. I love Joy and my family, but didn't know you could love someone so much until I had my daughter."

Jockey agent, Kevin Martin, will handle business for Murphy, who will likely be tapped to ride horses for other conditioners this season.

“Always in the back of your mind you want to be leading rider, but first and foremost, you want to have a good meet, win lots of races and stay healthy."

 

NOMINATIONS CLOSE JANUARY 11 FOR TEXAS CHAMPIONS DAY


Spirit Of Tx: Coady Photography

The 2012 Thoroughbred stakes schedule will begin with an exciting change to Texas Champions Dayon opening weekend, and for the first time ever the traditional one day event will be extended over two days starting on Friday, January 20 and continuing on Saturday, January 21. Texas Champions Weekend will feature over $400,000 in total purses beginning Friday, a day highlighted for fillies and mares carrying over to Saturday, a day that will feature open races for Texas-breds. The annual racing event features seven stakes races; the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes for 4-years-old and up, $50,000 Richard King Stakes, $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes, $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes for fillies and mares, $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes, $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and the $50,000 Groovy Stakes for 3-year-olds. 

Nominations for Texas Champions Day, saluting accredited Texas-breds, close on Wednesday, January 11. For more information on racing, stakes and special events, visit shrp.com.

NEW WAGERS TO DEBUT AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
With expected full fields in the upcoming Sam Houston Race Park meet, which gets underway in just two weeks, there will be additional betting opportunities for racing fans.

In addition to exacta, trifecta, superfecta and daily doubles, Sam Houston will introduce two new wagers in 2012. The Houston Hi-Five will be offered daily on the fifth and final race of the card. Fans will be rewarded by selecting the first five horses in order of finish. There will be a carryover in the event that no fan hits the Houston Hi-Five. The second new opportunity is the Pick Five involving the selection of the winners in the final five races of the card. Both wagers will be at an industry low 12% takeout along with the popular Pick 3’s. Fans will be able to place a minimum bet of $.50 on all Trifecta, Pick Three, Pick Four, Pick Five and Houston Hi- Fivewagers during the 2012 live racing meet.

 
COLD CASH 123 TOPS OLDER HORSES IN AQHA STANDINGS IN 2011

Cold Cash: Coady Photography

Quarter Horse champion, Cold Cash 123 capped off a stellar year by winning his sixth race in 2011, the $350,000 The Championship at Sunland Park (G1). Owned by Walter and Carolyn Bay’s T Bill Stables Inc. and trained by C. Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath, Cold Cash 123 defeated some of the top older horses in the country on December 31 and all but guaranteed his status as AQHA world champion.

His other graded stakes wins last year included the Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs and Texas Classic Derby at Lone Star Park. In his victory in The Championship at Sunland Park (G1), he broke sharply and covered 400 yards in :18.733 for 400 yards, just off the world record of  :18.613 set by Double Down Special in at 2010 at Sunland Park.

Gilbreath, who resides in Brock, Texas, also conditions the leading 2-year-old Quarter Horse, Ochoa.  The Texas-bred son of Tres Seis dominated his rivals in the $2.4 million All American Futurity on Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs.

The 2011 AQHA Racing Champions will be announced on January 18 at 6 p.m. Central at Heritage Place in Oklahoma City. Racing fans will be able to watch the awards announcement live on aqharacing.com.

HAVRE DE GRACE TO RUN AT FAIR GROUNDS IN NEW ORLEANS

Havre de Grace: Coady Photography

The big announcement about 2011 Horse of the Year will come on Monday, January 16 at the Eclipse Awards, but one contender is back in training for her 2012 campaign. Fair Grounds Race Course announced that Havre de Grace has arrived in New Orleans with the $100,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes on March 17 as her probable first race of the New Year. Trained by Larry Jones for Rick Porter's Foxhill Farms, Havre de Grace had an exceptional year, winning the Grade 1 Apple Blossom, Beldame and Woodward Stakes. She stepped up against males in the $5,000,000 Breeders' Classic last November at Churchill Downs, finishing fourth. The daughter of Saint Liam won five of her seven graded stakes efforts in 2011, and is a deserving candidate for Horse of the Year is one of the most wide-open contests in decades.

 The 41st Annual Eclipse Awards will be held on Monday, January 16, 2012 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California. Jeannine Edwards, who serves as a racing reporter for ESPN, will host the ceremonies.

 TOP JOURNALISTS HONORED WITH ECLIPSE AWARDS
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters (NTWAB) announced that turf writers Jennie Rees and Clare Novak have won 2011 Media Eclipse Award for Writing.

Rees won in the News/Enterprise category for “Breeders’ Cup 2011: Jockeys Rein in Their Emotions,” which appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal on October 30. 
In her article, Rees examined the circumstances and aftermath of the altercation between jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano which ensued in the winner’s circle following the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon and explored the reasons for how these situations are normally resolved. In addition to the principals involved, Rees interviewed jockeys Robby Albarado, Jon Court, Ramon Dominguez, and former riders Gary Stevens and Richard Migliore. Her full story can be viewed at:

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20111029/SPORTS08/310290116/Breeders-Cup-2011-Jockeys-rein-their-emotions

Novak won the 2011 Media Eclipse Award for Writing in the Feature/Commentary category for “Pressure off Durkin at Belmont,” which appeared on ESPN.com on June 10.

Prior to this year’s Belmont Stakes, Novak wrote a profile of the renowned racecaller Tom Durkin, on his reflections weeks after his decision to step down early in 2011 as the NBC Sports’ “Voice of the Triple Crown.” In the piece, Durkin revealed his anxieties, the nerve-racking preparations to leave the network position, but also a man more at peace with his new circumstances. Novak also spoke to Louisiana Downs’ racecaller Travis Stone, who idolized Durkin growing up, and the thoughts of Larry Collmus, who replaced Durkin as NBC’s Triple Crown announcer. The complete article is available at:  http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/triplecrown2011/news/story?id=6648531.

 

The Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form and Breeders’ Cup Limited, are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. The equine and human awards are voted upon by NTRA, Daily Racing Form and members of the NTWAB. Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.

 

SIMULCAST RACE OF THE WEEK: $100,000 MARSHUA'S RIVER STAKE
Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida, will present the Grade 3, $100,000 Marshua's River Stakes on Saturday afternoon. A competitive field of turf specialists includes Tapitsfly, who won the 2009 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and will be ridden by top turf jockey, Javier Castellano. Tapitsfly is trained by Dale Romans, who also sends out Persuading, who ran second last month over the Gulfstream Park turf course. Multiple stakes winner, Daveron, French-bred Louvakhova, Exclusive Love, from the barn of Mark Casse and Canadian Grade 3 winner Jenny's So Great are also slated to run in the mile and one-sixteenth feature. Post time for the Marshua's River Stakes is 3:45 p.m. (CT). Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast the full card at Gulfstream Park.

QUESTIONS??? ASK MARTHA!
Martha loves questions, so fire away on any Texas or national racing topic.
This week's question comes from Kayla, who asked the following:

Which Thoroughbred holds the fastest track record at Sam Houston Race Park?”

Martha says: Kayla, track records are recorded for each of the many sprint and route distances horses run at Sam Houston Race Park. The records are divided for Arabians, Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds (turf and dirt). As the Thoroughbred meet is fast approaching, I would like to mention one special horse, Bucharest, who holds three Houston track records. He set the track record of 1:08.91 for six furlongs in the opening meet in 1994 when he was 4-years-old. Two years later, he broke two additional track records: winning at 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.92 and 7 furlongs in 1:21.29.

Owned by Israel Flores, Amos Laborde conditioned Bucharest and took meticulous care of the Kentucky-bred gelding, who won seven of his 15 career starts, and was named Horse of the Meet in 1996 at Sam Houston Race Park.
A complete list of all the Houston track records can be viewed at the following website: http://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbTrackRecords.cfm?trk=HOU&cy=USA
Thanks for your inquiry and racing fans, please feel free to submit any questions to info@shrp.com.


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
December 15, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
December 1, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
November 17, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
November 3, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
October 20, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
October 6, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
September 22, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
September 8, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
August 25, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
August 11, 2011 – Texas Tidings

Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
July 28, 2011 – Texas Tidings
Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Read More...


Weighing In with Martha Claussen
July 14, 2011 – Texas Tidings
Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park in January, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Houston horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen
Read More...

 

 

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