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GALLERY FURNITURE PRESENTS TEXAS CHAMPIONS DAY BROUGHT TO YOU BY EMIRATES AIRLINES & SPRING CHRYSLER-JEEP-DODGE

Signature Day of Racing Features More Than $500,000 In Purse Money, 8 Stakes Races, Texas-Themed Hat Contest & More on Saturday, December 5, 2009

    

HOUSTON (December 4, 2009)—Sam Houston Race Park (www.shrp.com) held the post position draw on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, for Gallery Furniture presents Texas Champions Day brought to you by Emirates Airlines and Spring Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge racing event, which will be held at The Park this Saturday, December 5.  Texas Champions Day is made possible with the support and cooperation of the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA).
           
The 10-race card will include a total of eight stakes races with more than $500,000 in purse money, making Texas Champions Day one of the most prestigious race days of The Park’s 60-day Thoroughbred meet.  A full crowd gathered in the Jockey Club for the afternoon post position draw while Vice President of Racing Eric Johnston went through each of the day’s scheduled stakes races.
           
The inaugural $100,000 Gallery Furniture Distaff, a 1 1/8 mile race open to fillies and mares ages three and up, features a solid field of six horses with entries from nationally recognized trainers Steve Asmussen, Bret Calhoun and Eric R. Reed as well as regionally established trainers Michelle Lovell, Charles Edwin Smith and W. Don Bennett.  Trainer Eric R. Reed’s three-year old filly Sweet And Flawless is the 2-1 favored horse going against a tough field, which includes the Asmussen-owned and trained Pleasantly Blessed and the Calhoun-trained Bubbler.  Sweet And Flawless is owned by Jerry Jamgotchian and jockey Jamie Theriot has the call to lead the charge.  The field will also consist of Morsel, Sheza Botha Ours and Going To The Sun.  The $100,000 Gallery Furniture Distaff will be the ninth race on the evening’s card.
           
The $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes presented by Emirates Airlines will be the eighth race of the evening with a field of 11 racers traveling 1 1/16 miles.  This field, which features four-year old filly Taptam as the 4-1 favorite, includes strong contenders Ablaze With Spirit, trained by Steve Asmussen, the Danny Pish-trained Goosey Moose, Burbon Road and Michelle Lovell trainee Becky’s Express.  Taptam is co-owned by Wayne Saunders and Larry Hirsch and will be ridden by jockey Jamie Theriot.  Additional racers that make up the field are Valid Stripes, Windy Lou, Crook’s Bodgit, Taksent, Fly So Open and Mean Demand.
           
The $50,000 Bass Lara Stakes features 13 two-year old fillies going seven furlongs.  The Steve Asmussen trainee Bud’s Little Edge is the 5-1 favorite for the night’s third race.  The horse is coming off a solid winning effort at Retama Park.  She is owned by Clayton A. Walker and will be ridden by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.
           
The Park’s fourth race of the night will be the $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes for fillies and mares ages three and up.  The field of 12 will travel 1 1/16 mile on the John B. Connally turf track.  Another Steve Asmussen trainee, Slick Kitty, comes in as the morning line odds favored horse at 4-1.  The four-year old chestnut filly is owned by Asmussen as well, and jockey Bridgmohan will take the reins for the ride.
           
The $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes presented by Spring Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge will be the fifth race of the night and include a field of eight horses, ages three and up racing six furlongs on the dirt course. Four-year old gelding Gold Coyote, trained by Calhoun, comes in as the 5-2 favored horse.  The horse is owned by Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. and will be ridden by jockey Bobby Walker, Jr.
           
The sixth stakes race of the night will be the $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes with 11 fillies and mares going six furlongs.  Coming in as the 4-1 favored horse is Sam Houston Race Park veteran stakes winner Wrenice.  Wrenice, owned by Stewart Hamblen and trained by Randy Mayfield, has been a winner at Texas Champions Day in previous years so she is familiar with the course and the pressure the event often brings.  The five-year old mare faces some tough competition from Asmussen trainees Tiffany Royal, Valid Code and Stealth Cat, which should make for an exciting fight to the finish in this race.  The field also includes previous Sam Houston Race Park winners Hollye Lynn, Annie Savoy and Moneyinmywranglers.
           
The $50,000 Richard King Stakes offers a full field of 14 horses, ages three and up, traveling 1 1/8 mile on the John B. Connally turf.  The race has co-favored horses Bullet Crane and Boom Boom Bubba coming in at 3-1.  Both horses are trained by M. Brent Davidson; Bullet Crane will have jockey Carlos L. Marquez on board for the ride and jockey Larry Taylor gets the call to ride Boom Boom Bubba.  This will be the seventh race of the evening.
           
The final race on The Park’s 10-race card will be the $50,000 Groovy Stakes offering a full field of 14 two-year old horses going seven furlongs.  Favored horse Set Expectations, owned by Bobby A. Jenkins, comes in at 5-1 and looks to face a fight to the finish with racers like the John G. Locke-trained Rerun Them Bones, Steve Asmussen-trainees Lastnightonearth and Claybird, Bret Calhoun’s Coyote Legend and Danny Pish’s Lydia’s Last Step.  Set Expectations will be ridden by Jeremy Collier.
           
Additional activities for the evening include a free handicapping seminar with ESPN personality Fred Faour, DRF/NTRA handicapping finalist Nick Tammaro and Park announcer Tom Harris.  The seminar will begin at 6 p.m. on the Club Level.  Guests are encouraged to create a Texas-themed hat for the Texas Champions Day Hat Contest.  Registration begins on-site at 5:30 p.m.  Contestants will model their custom head wear before a panel of judges including a representative from Gallery Furniture, Anna-Megan Raley from chron.com and Houston Chronicle writer Valerie Sweeten.  The grand prize winner will receive a luxury leather recliner, more than $1,000 value, courtesy of Gallery Furniture.
           
Gallery Furniture presents Texas Champions Day
brought to you by Emirates Airlines and Spring Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge, is made possible with the support and cooperation of the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA).  For tickets and reservations, please visit www.shrp.com.
           
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 Jockey Club.  The Park’s newest addition, The Showgrounds, is an all-ages venue that hosts annual Country, Classic Rock and Contemporary concert events throughout the year.  For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit www.theshowgrounds.com.

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