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SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK BEGINS ROOF REPLACEMENT CONSTRUCTION Simulcast Operations Relocated, Repairs to Grandstand & Stable Area Caused by Hurricane Ike Set to Begin January 22, 2009

HOUSTON (January 19, 2009)—Sam Houston Race Park ( will begin repairs to the roof of the Grandstand building, as well as additional construction to rebuild portions of the stable and track areas, weather permitting,  beginning Thursday, January 22, 2009.

The roof replacement, the largest and most complicated portion of the rebuilding project, will utilize a crane assist in the removal of the existing damaged roof, replace all insulation and reinstall new sections of metal roofing back on the building.  The roof, which weighs roughly 130,000 lbs, will require approximately 12 weeks time in order to completely renovate.  The Park will recycle the damaged roof sections with local scrap metal giant C&D Scrap Metal Recyclers, Inc.  Access to the Grandstands during construction is prohibited.

As a result of Hurricane Ike, The Park was forced to relocate the 2008/2009 Thoroughbred meet due to damages sustained by the facility.  In addition, The Park relocated simulcast operations to the Pavilion Centre to ensure the safety of patrons during the construction period.  The storm’s high winds and rainfall caused significant damage throughout the property including the facility’s Grandstands, stable areas and the large infield tote board. 
The Park has retained Linbeck ( to oversee the construction project. 

“We are ready to move forward with rebuilding our facility,” stated Andrea Young, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sam Houston Race Park.  “We have partnered with one of Houston’s best firms, Linbeck, and have every confidence that the project will run smoothly and efficiently so we can open with a bigger and better facility this spring.”

Linbeck Vice President John Go stated, “We have been helping The Park develop and grow for more than 14 years now and we are excited to work with old friends.”

Once the roof repairs are complete, The Park will install new drywall, paint, carpet, ceiling tiles and Silestone countertops throughout the building, including on the suite and club levels, as well as in The Park’s private membership club, the Jockey Club.

In addition, The Park will replace the current infield tote board with a state-of-the-art LED video screen score board which will greatly enhance the live racing experience, offering patrons continuous viewing of races in real time as well as provide additional opportunities for replays and visual programming for live racing and concert events.  The new tote board system is expected to be in place by the start of the live racing season.

The Park will begin construction to the stable area, including rebuilding approximately 115 dorm and tack rooms, along with repairs to areas of the barns that were damaged as a result of the high winds and rain, later this month.

The Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park ( will open the 2009 concert season with alternative rock act Fall Out Boy and the “Believers Never Die Part Deux” Tour on Saturday, April 18, 2009.  The tour will also feature performances from Cobra Starship, All Time Low, Metro Station and Hey Monday. 
The Park will re-open for live racing events on May 1, 2009, for the 16th American Quarter Horse meet.  The next day, The Park will host its annual Kentucky Derby festivities and a concert event at The Showgrounds. 

Linbeck is a nationwide facility solutions company offering a variety of services including:  project management, program management and construction management services.  Since its inception in 1938, the company has been built on a culture based on integrity and trust. Using its collaborative TeamBuild® approach, Linbeck helps clients minimize risk and achieve optimal results.  Linbeck has offices in Texas, California, Massachusetts, and South Carolina (     

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located 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

For more coverage about this story, click the links below:

Houston Chronicle
Tack Box -

“Believers Never Die Part Deux” Tour On-Sale
Saturday, January 24th at 10 a.m.

WHAT:           The Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park ( will kick off the 2009 concert season with alternative rock act Fall Out Boy ( and the “Believers Never Die Part Deux” Tour on Saturday, April 18, 2009.  The tour will also feature performances from Cobra Starship, All Time Low, Metro Station and Hey Monday. 

Tickets are available for $36.00 beginning Saturday, January 24 at 10 a.m. A special $104 lawn 4-pack is available January 24 at 10 a.m. through January 26 at 10 p.m.  A VIP ticket packages is available for $125 and includes general admission, early entry into the venue, limited edition tour lithograph autographed by the band and a VIP commemorative laminate; $150 Meet & Greet VIP ticket package is available and includes the VIP package perks along with a meet and greet with the band.  The show is a general admission event.  Tickets will be available at The Showgrounds box office beginning Monday, January 26.    For groups of 10 more, call 281-807-8750.  Tickets are available online at or at participating Houston area Randalls locations or by calling 800-211-3381.  Shows are open to patrons of all ages; Rain or Shine. 

WHO:             The Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s newest outdoor entertainment venue, located 15 minutes from downtown Houston, featuring performances from national recording artists across all genres of music, as well as high-profile festivals and special events beginning May 2008.  The all-ages venue will host annual Country, Classic Rock, Contemporary and Alternative concert events throughout the year.  For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit or call 800-211-3381.

WHERE:       The Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park    
7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway W
Houston, Texas 77064
(800) 211-3381

WHEN:          Saturday, April 18, 2009
                       Gates @ 5:30 p.m.
TICKETS:     $36.00 General Admission; $125 VIP package & $150 Meet and Greet  VIP package available at or

INFO:             For more information, visit or                                                   or call (800) 211-3381.

For more coverage on this story, click the link below:

Houston Chronicle
HandStamp -


Spectacular Rides, Games and More For the Whole Family
December 19, 2008 Through January 25, 2009

WHAT:           Sam Houston Race Park ( will host a Winter Carnival in the parking lot of the facility from Friday, December 19, 2008 through Sunday, January 25, 2009.  The month-long festival features thrilling rides for adults and kids, exciting boardwalk games, an array of carnival food, prizes and more.  Tickets are $20 all-you-can-ride and can be purchased at the event. Parking for the event is free.  For more information visit

WHO:             Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located 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

WHEN:           Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - Sunday, January 25, 2009
                        Monday – Thursday              4 p.m.  – 11 p.m.
                        Friday – Sunday                     1 p.m. – 11 p.m.                     

WHERE:        Sam Houston Race Park          
                       7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway W
                       Houston, Texas 77064

TICKETS:      $20 all-you-can-ride; available for purchase on-site.

INFO:             For more information, visit or call (281)-807-8700.

Event Features Costume Contest, Prizes, Awards Ceremony
and More on Saturday, February 14, 2009


WHAT:            Sam Houston Race Park ( and OnUrLeft Sports ( have partnered in hosting an event on Saturday, February 14, 2009.  The event will include a 5K and 10K race for adults, 1K race for kids, “Dress like Cupid” costume contest, awards ceremony, prize giveaways, raffle drawing and more!  A portion of the race profits will be donated to the American Heart Association, along with one lucky youth participant, between the ages of 16-22, chosen for the Joy Karakashian Scholarship Award.  For more information regarding registration and fees, please visit

WHO:             OnUrLeft’s instruction is based on twenty combined years of experience in Triathlon, Swimming, Cycling, and Running. They believe that by being the only Endurance Training Company in all of Houston (and its surrounding areas) with two Certified USAT Coaches they are able to offer their members much more than they would get through a single coach. They offer a variety of services including:Coach to athlete fitness consultations, blood lactate tests and analysis, a workout zone establishment, full body composition readings, customized monthly training plans, and private coaching sessions. 
For more information, please visit

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility located in Northwest Houston. The state-of-the-art facility offers a variety of attractions including 19 luxury suites overlooking the track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club.
For more information, please visit

WHEN:           Saturday, February 14, 2009
                        5:30 a.m.       Parking & Registration Begins
7:30 a.m.       5K/10K Run Begins
8:30 a.m.       1K Kids Run Starts
9:30 a.m.       Awards Ceremony & Auctions              

WHERE:         Sam Houston Race Park
7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway West
Houston, Texas 77064

REGISTRATION:    Participants may register in person, by mail or online at For information on registration and fees contact Aaron Palaian at (832)334-6362 or               

INFO:              For more information, visit or contact Aaron Palaian at (832)334-6362 or by email at

12 – 3 p.m.





(As previously printed in Blood-Horse)

13 to Choose From in Sunshine Distaff

Briecat and Amazing, both riding three-race winning streaks, take on multiple grade II victor Leah's Secret in a highly competitive renewal of the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff, the last of four races to be held at Santa Anita Jan. 24 in the eight-race Florida-California competition worth $3.6 million.

Five of the 13 entrants in the 1 1/16-mile main track event for older fillies and mares will put multiple-race winning streaks on the line, including Leah's Secret, who is trained by Todd Pletcher. Waveline and Lady Railrider are the others to have back-to-back wins going into the Distaff.

The Distaff is supported on the Santa Anita card by three other stakes for California-breds and Florida-breds — the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf, the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint and the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks (see below). Florida’s four Sunshine Millions stakes at Gulfstream Park will be interspersed among the California races via simulcast.

Leah’s Secret, a hard-knocking Florida-bred by Tiger Ridge owned by WinStar Farm, enters the Distaff following victories in a pair of grade II events: the Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct. The 6-year-old mare, to be ridden back by Eibar Coa, leads the field in earnings with $865,805 from an 8-4-2 record in 25 starts.

Though she has done her racing in California, Briecat will represent Florida in the Sunshine Millions. Holly and David Wilson's 4-year-old daughter of Adcat is fresh off a 13-1 upset by 2 1/4 lengths in Hollywood Park’s Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) Dec. 7. Trained by Vladimir Cerin, Briecat has won five of 10 starts while banking $226,800. Jon Court, who was aboard the chestnut filly in the Bayakoa, rides again.

Amazing, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly by Greatness, captured the Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap at Calder Race Court by a nose over Millions Distaff rival Annabill Nov. 8 to stretch her streak to three wins for owner Marilyn Seltzer and trainer Terry Oliver. Elvis Trujillo takes over the riding duties from Shaun Bridgmohan, who has the ride on Unforgotten in this race.

Annabill, trained by Marty Wolfson, makes her first appearance at Santa Anita in a career that has included 17 wins in 39 starts for earnings of $604,270. The 6-year-old Florida-bred Outflanker mare, owned by N.T.S. Stable, won four in a row last summer.

Waveline, a 4-year-old Stravinsky filly, steps up following back-to-back allowance wins late last year for trainer Ben Cecil. The J. Paul Reddam-owned California homebred  began her career in England.

Northern California-based Lady Railrider, also a Cal-bred daughter of Ride the Rails, won the Pacific Heights Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Dec. 6 for trainer Steve Specht.

California's best hope, however, could be the Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust's 6-year-old Bai and Bai, winner of 11 of 28 in her career and $724,983. Trained by Craig Dollase, the multiple stakes winner by Falstaff is coming off a victory in the Cat's Cradle Handicap at Hollywood Park Dec. 20.

A strong Distaff field also marks the return of 2008 La Canada (gr. II) winner Dawn After Dawn, a 5-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Successful Appeal who has been absent for more than five months for trainer John Sadler. A four-time winner in 19 starts with earnings of $427,393, Dawn After Dawn disappointed in two starts prior to being sidelined.

Florida Raiders Head 14 in Millions Turf

Presious Passion, who bounced back from a ninth-place finish in last year's Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park to become a grade I winner, invades Santa Anita for the 2009 renewal Jan. 24.

The 1 1/8-mile grass test worth $500,000 attracted a 14-horse crowd. Patricia Generazio's millionaire Presious Passion, winner of the United Nations (gr. IT) and two other graded stakes in 2008 for trainer Mary Hartmann, brings the strongest credentials. The front-running Royal Anthem gelding has the preferred running style for a field of this size, which he demonstrated when he held off all challengers for a neck victory in Monmouth Park's United Nations.

Presious Passion will be running at Santa Anita for the first time in 34 career starts that include nine victories. He is coming off a gate-to-wire two-length victory in the W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT) at Calder Race Course Dec. 13.
A year ago in the Sunshine Millions, 6-year-old Presious Passion was unable to overcome a poor break and was never a factor. Elvis Trujillo, who was aboard the chestnut in the McKnight, has the mount this weekend. They will break from post 3.

Florida breds Icy Atlantic and Soldier's Dancer give the Sunshine State two more strong candidates in the Turf.

Herman Heinlein's Soldier's Dancer, a multiple grade III winner who gains the services of top Southern California jockey Rafael Bejarano, was second to War Monger in last year's race. Coming off a nose defeat in the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Dec. 6 for trainer David Vivian, the gray 5-year-old Lost Soldier gelding has a lifetime mark of 9-7-4 in 27 starts with earnings of $952,480.

Icy Atlantic has become a fixture in the this race, making his fifth try at the age of 8. Sixth last year, the son of Stormy Atlantic has also finished fifth, third and second since 2005. He is a winner of four graded stakes including Santa Anita’s Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) in 2007. The bay has two victories and a runner-up finish in four tries on the Santa Anita lawn.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Icy Atlantic has raced 45 times while posting an 8-11-3 mark worth $990,050 for James T. Scatuorchio. Eibar Coa rides.

California's best hopes in the Turf appear to be John Harris' Lucky J.H., coming off back-to-back stakes wins on Santa Anita's hillside course for trainer Carla Gaines, and Swift Winds, winner of the California Cup Mile over the course Oct. 5. Trained by Victor Garcia for owner Jack Bruk, Swift Winds had a three-race win streak snapped in a sixth-place finish in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) Dec. 28.

Mr. Chairman, conditioned by Doug O'Neill for Great Friends Stable, dictated the pace in the Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) in his most recent try Dec. 6 before weakening to fifth, three lengths behind the victorious Champs Elysees.

Liberian Freighter, an allowance winner in his most recent start for trainer Neil Drysdale Nov. 1, has nine consecutive in-the-money performances. The 4-year-old seeks his first stakes victory.
$500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf (Race 6, 2:15 p.m. at Santa Anita), 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Jack's Wild (CA), 122, Joel Rosario
2. Epic Power (CA), 122, Corey S. Nakatani
3. Presious Passion (FL), 122, Elvis Trujillo
4. Swift Winds (CA), 122, Alonso Quinonez
5. Liberian Freighter (CA), 120, David R. Flores
6. Victory Pete (FL), 120, Mike E. Smith
7. Icy Atlantic (FL), 122, Eibar Coa
8. Soldier's Dancer (FL), 122, Rafael Bejarano
9. Pistol Pete Afleet (FL), 120, Jesus M. Rios
10. Lucky J. H. (CA), 122, Victor Espinoza
11. Unusual Suspect (CA), 122. Joseph Talamo
12. Mr. Chairman (CA), 122, Michael C. Baze
13. Seminole Native (CA), 122, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
14. Screen to Screen (FL), 120, Garrett K. Gomez

Contessa dropdowns key to carryover

By Dave Litfin of DRF

Bettors had two dark days to ponder a pick six carryover of $35,753 left from Monday's holiday program.

To get through unscathed, they must weigh the chances of Gary Contessa-trained class dropdowns in the last three legs: Malibu Moonshine in a bread-and-butter claiming route; Pitched Perfectly in a first-level allowance route for 3-year-olds; and Mr. Umphrey in a $16,000 claiming sprint for nonwinners in six months.

"This should be a good day for me," said Contessa, whose shortest price among seven entries comes before the pick six - Hanna Can Fly who looms an obvious favorite to win race 2, a maiden route.

Last winter, Malibu Moonshine won the Stymie Handicap for the 10th and fastest victory of his career. But coming off a layoff three weeks ago he stumbled at the break and never got untracked behind Barrier Reef, who came back to win the Evening Attire Stakes. Malibu Moonshine's best chance in race 7 comes if Tiger D.R. sets too fast a pace over an inner track that has been favorable to stretch runners recently.

"He's getting a little long in the tooth," said Contessa of the 7-year-old Malibu Moonshine. "But this is a suitable drop for him."

Pitched Perfectly takes on six rivals in race 8 at a mile and 70 yards, and breaks from the rail, the same post he had in the Count Fleet Stakes when he gave futile chase to the streaking Haynesfield.

"He's got the rail again and we're not going to make the same mistake - he's going [for the lead]," said Contessa.

Two starts back Pitched Perfectly was a front-end maiden winner despite jumping gate tracks. "I've got a shadow roll on him that's so big, it looks like a balloon," Contessa said. "I don't know how he even sees them.

"From day one, I've thought the world of him. I think he's going to be a stakes horse someday."

Pitched Perfectly's main rivals are Land Grant and the just-purchased Cliffy's Future, second and third last out, respectively, behind Professor Z - who stopped badly as the favorite in Monday's $50,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park.

Mr. Umphrey won the Longfellow Stakes last June, but his form has deteriorated since.

"He hasn't run a lick for me, but if there's a wake-up in him, this is the right level," said Contessa. "I want this horse taken a hold of and finishing strong, and I think Rosie [Napravnik] fits him well."

Complete Simulcasting Calendar for this Weekend at The Park!

Come to Sam Houston Race Park for the BEST simulcasting action in town 7 days a
week!  We feature a variety of broadcasts from Oaklawn, Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, the Fair Grounds, Australia and more!  Gates open at 10:30 a.m.


Dania Beach Stakes



Gulfstream Park


Mr. Prospector Stakes



Gulfstream Park


San Rafael Stakes



Santa Anita


Santa Ynez Stakes



Santa Anita


San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes



Santa Anita


La Senora Handicap



Sunland Park







First Lady Stakes



Gulfstream Park


Sweetest Chant Stakes



Gulfstream Park


El Encino Stakes



Santa Anita







San Marcos Stakes



Santa Anita


How the wager works:

  • Must select the first five finishers in order
  • The wager is offered in the last race from the particular track. This will vary from track to track.
  • If there are no winning tickets, the pools will carryover to next time the wager is offered.

Tracks offering the wager:

  • Hollywood Park
  • Churchill Downs
  • Keeneland
  • River Downs

**All simulcasting tracks subject to the approval of the TXRC.

Super Hi Five Wagers Available at Sam Houston Race Park


WEDNESDAYS: 2X your points on Valley Race Park beginning at NOON
SATURDAY, January 24: $500 Sunshine Millions Handicapping Contest


  • Thursdays: Showvivor Contest - $100 Voucher or 20,000 points(Oaklawn Park First Post 1pm)
  • Wednesdays: 3X Park Rewards points on Valley Race Park AND FREE Valley Stat Attack
    (limit one per player)
  • Sundays: “Twin Quin” – select the quinella in two predetermined races and win $50 OR
    10,000 Park Rewards points

Sam Houston Race Park provides great offers and benefits for our Park Rewards members.  All contest rules can be found on To become a Park Rewards member, visit the Players Lounge located at the North end of the Grandstand on the Paddock Level.  For more information visit the Players Lounge or call 281-807-8278.

Plan Your Next Event

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