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Long-Shot Fifteen Love Stuns The Field In An Upset Win Over The Late-Charging Favored Going Ballistic


HOUSTON (March 27, 2010)—Sam Houston Race Park (  hosted their final stakes event of the 2009/2010 Thoroughbred racing season with the  MAXXAM Gold Cup featuring 9 live races and more than $200,000 in purse money on Saturday, March 27, 2010.  Highlights of the 9-race card included the $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup and the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff, which showcased the country’s older and most elite horses.  

The $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff, the 6th race on the card, featured a field of 8 fillies and mares, ages four and up, racing a distance of 1 1/16 mile on the dirt track.  This year’s favored horse, Bubbler (3-1), visited the winner’s circle for the second time at Sam Houston Race Park after winning the $100,000 Gallery Furniture Distaff on Texas Champions Day on December 5, 2010. The four-year-old filly, trained by one of The Park’s leading trainers, Bret Calhoun, and owned by Du-Zee Stables, had a clean break from the starting gate and maintained a steady pace.  Coming into the final turn Bubbler broke away from the field, sprinting down the final stretch and winning by over 12 lengths in a time of 1:44.13.  

Bubbler, guided by jockey Eddie M. Martin, Jr., previously claimed the Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap in January.

“I’ve been riding this filly for awhile; won the Gallery Furniture Distaff with her back in December,” commented Martin. “I could tell in this race she was fresh, she has been training very well and I thought she put up a game race.”

Jay Severs, assistant to trainer Bret Calhoun, filled in while Calhoun tended to horses at the Fair Grounds.  “This filly is really claustrophobic so she’s struggled a little more at Fair Grounds,” commented Severs. “She really likes racing here at Sam Houston because it’s wide-open here. We’re proud of what she’s done.”

The remainder of the 8-horse field featured Shine Softly in second; Return the Jewel in third; followed by Idreamofafrica, Diva d’Oro, Super Esther, Crack of Dawn and Smooth Sea.

The $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup, the 8th race on the night’s card, featured a 9-horse field of four-year-olds and up competing in a 1 1/8 mile race on the dirt track. Long-shot Fifteen Love (15-1) stayed in the back of the pack, letting Numismatist and Mad Flatter keep the pace.  At the final turn, Fifteen Love shot ahead of the pack, holding off a late-charging Going Ballistic and winning in a time of 1:50.50.  This is the second straight win for Fifteen Love after he won a Sam Houston allowance race on February 28, 2010.  The 5-year-old is owned by Jose Luis Espinoza and trained by Jerenesto Torrez. 

“This horse ran a big race,” commented Espinoza. “I didn’t think he should’ve been at 15-1, but he showed them. We’re looking to take him up to Dallas next.”

Ridden to victory by jockey Junior Chacaltana, this horse paid betting fans $11.40.  “He had a perfect trip,” commented jockey Chacaltana. “I saw a little room and he just took off.”  This race marked Chacaltana’s first stakes win at Sam Houston Race Park.

The remainder of the 9-horse field featured morning-line odds favorite Going Ballistic finishing second; Dumar in third; followed by Ready Set, Mad Flatter, Red Lead, Jake Wil Gallop, Gretsky and Numismatist.

In addition to live racing events, fans received a FREE MAXXAM Gold Cup baseball cap as they entered The Park courtesy of Verizon Wireless. The celebration also featured the debut of Executive Chef Hugo Gomez’s Chef’s Table dining package in the Winner’s Circle restaurant, a National Anthem performance from Senior SHRP Idol winner Mia Washington, and between-race promotions from Verizon Wireless, Bud Light, Spring Dodge and L’Auberge Du Lac Casino Resort.

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

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