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Exciting Afternoon of Racing Featured More Than $300,000 in Total Purse Money, the Inaugural BBQ Cook-Off Event & Washer Tournament on Saturday, July 11, 2009


HOUSTON (July 11, 2009) — Sam Houston Race Park ( hosted a full day of live American Quarter Horse racing featuring 12 live races with more nearly $310,000 in total purse money on Saturday, July 11, 2009.   The race card showcased six high-dollar stakes races including the $107,550 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship (G1)

The 440-yard race on the dirt track witnessed one of the biggest upsets of the day as favored horse and defending champion Sassys Tuffy lost jockey Jose Montoya in the middle portion of the race after stumbling out of the gate, momentarily recovering before hitting the rail, losing his jockey and leaving the race open to another horse to claim the title. 

Jockey Santos Carrizales took the opportunity aboard Easy Dashin Sixes ($7.40) to pull ahead and challenge the tightly aligned leading horses and pulled off a stunning photo finish win crossing the wire in 21.921.  The 4-year-old Bay Gelding is owned by Jesus Huitron and trained by Eusevio Huitron.
“I respect all the riders in the race today and what they all set out to do.  I believe in this horse and felt like today was the chance we both have waited for and trained for very hard.  Today was our day to win and I am really proud of the race we ran,” said jockey Carrizales.

He continued, “I take each race one at a time and you hope to run well and cross the line in safe and hopefully, as the winner!”

Jose Montoya, who was shaken and mildly bruised from his fall, walked off the track and returned to the Jockey’s Room where he participated in the last two races of the afternoon. 

Final placement for the race was: Easy Dashin Sixes, Jess Got Bayou, Royce Rogers, Diamond Tres Seis, Jess My Moon, First Down Devon, My Philosophy, Hydrostatic, A Stoli Mate and Sassys Tuffy.

The Bank of America Quarter Horse Racing Challenge is Quarter Horse racing’s richest program, with the championship series designed for “America's Fastest Athlete.”  The goal of the Bank of America Racing Challenge is to provide more racing opportunities for older American Quarter Horses, ensuring them and their owners the rewards of longer racing careers.

A total of 59 races take place in 11 regions across the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America throughout the year. American Quarter Horses compete in one of six different types of races, depending on their age and ability.

The series culminates with a title night, featuring a total of six championship events and six undercard races, where Bank of America Challenge-enrolled horses are preferred for entry.  The race boasts a $5 million purse and bonus awards program, of which more than 60% is added money from American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) corporate sponsors and host racetracks.

The 2009 Bank of America Challenge Championships will be held October 30-31, 2009, at Los Alamitos Race Track, Los Alamitos, California. 

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

In addition to the Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship, five other stakes races filled the 12-race card on Saturday, July11 at The Park. 

$57,060 John Deere Juvenile Texas Challenge
The 5th race of the day, the $57,060 John Deere Juvenile Texas Challenge witnessed favored horse Red Heels ($4.80) claiming the win in the 350-yard race on the dirt track. The 2-year-old Sorrell filly, running against 9 other horses, had a solid start from the far outside post and with a late surge, quickly closed and barely nudged out West Texas Energy for the win with a final time of 17.754.  Red Heels, who posted a speed index of 96, is owned by Jose Ramiro Guajardo Villareal, trained by Eusevio Huitron and was ridden by jockey Julian Cantu.  Final placement was: Red Heels in first; West Texas Energy in second; Winnie Corona in third; followed by Quicktini, Patriot Of Fortune, Featured OToole, Nowitzki, Speedin Streak, Im Not Hilary and Red Hot Chile Pepper.

$24,795 Red Cell Texas Distance Challenge (G3)
The 6th race of day, the $24,795 Red Cell Texas Distance Challenge (G3), an 870-yard race for horses ages 3 and up, went off with a field of 8 horses vying for the win.  Favored horse Fast Eddie 123 took the lead immediately out of the gate and held strong to the rail throughout the race but Blue Ribbon Dash ($5.60) kicked up the pace, with a speed index of 96, and managed to pull ahead for the win with a final running time of 45.69.  Blue Ribbon Dash is owned by Donna Mushinski, trained by Kie Mushinski and was ridden by veteran jockey James Brooks.   Final placement was: Blue Ribbon Dash, Fast Eddie 123, Jack Pudding, Cash At The Line, A Dasha Red and JBS Money Maker.

$31,140 Fort Dodge Texas Starter Allowance Challenge
The 7th race of the day was the $31,140 Fort Dodge Texas Starter Allowance Challenge for horses ages 3 and up going a distance of 350 yards.  After a delay at the starting gate caused by a last minute rider change for La Jollas Allegation, the race went off at 3:54 p.m. and proved to be one of the biggest upsets of the day.  Favored horse Majestic Crest was nudged out of the win by 18-1 long shot Showum You Whirl ($38.00) who crossed the wire at 17.759 with a speed index of 96.  After an official objection,  the stewards ruled that Majestic Crest as disqualified and landed in last place.  Showum You Whirl is owned by Ismael Orduna, trained by Fidel F. Perez and was ridden by jockey J.R. Ramirez.  Final placement was: Showum You Whirl, Eye To Zoom, Newarcos Bambina, Eyes On Dee Corona, Fast Stevie, CrazyDancinFlame, Skymiles, Brightest Okey, La Jollas Allegation and Majestic Crest.

$58,410 Bayer Legend Texas Derby Challenge

The $58,410 Bayer Legend Texas Derby Challenge was the 8th race of the afternoon and featured 10 horses running 400 yards.  Favored horse Jodys Money Pop ($6.40) easily cruised to victory in 19.785, with a speed index of 102, beating out Mr Jess Perrier for the win.  The 3-year-old Sorrel Colt, owned by Jim D. Pitts and trained by C. Dwayne Gilbreath, was ridden by jockey Ricky Ramirez.   Final placement was: Jodys Money Pop, Mr Jess Perrier, Shadaisy 123, Rampage, Brother Grimm, RC Mezoom, Sheza Lady 123, Million Maid, Las Pink Panther and ICU Can Zoom.

$29,070 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge (G3)

The $29,070 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge (G3) was off at 4:51 p.m. as the 9th race of the day and featured 11 horses running 400 yards.  In another exciting upset, favored horse Wowzer Won was beat out by 24-1 long shot JA Impetuously ($50.40) and established racer Panther Purr.  JA Impetuously put up a late surge against Panther Purr and Wowzer Won and was able to pull in front, crossing the wire by a head in 20.26.  The 4-year-old Sorrel Filly is owned by Joe B. Allen, trained by Judd S. Kearl and was ridden by jockey David A. Alvarez. Final placement was: JA Impetuously, followed by Panther Purr, and Wowzer Won, Eye Be Swift, FeaturingMissJess, Eyewhere, Hot Easy Chick, Takenback, Eye B Quick Chick, Teki Cetan and Alibis N Nashville.

In addition to live racing events, The Park hosted the Inaugural BBQ Cook Off where 10 teams battled it out to find Houston’s Best Ribs along with bonus categories Best Sausage and Best Beans.  The grand prize trophy, $300 cash and bragging rights for Houston’s Best Ribs went to team She Thinks My Slabs Are Sexy, led by head cook Glen Jarrett; second place went to team Great Balls of Fire led by head cook Eric Johnston; and third place went to team Cork N Fork led by head cook Mike Gray.  Best Sausage was awarded to team Wounded Rabbit led by Brian Trafton, and Best Beans was awarded to team Palmas led by Santiago Rivera.

“The BBQ event was tremendously popular and each of the 10 teams worked really hard all afternoon and had a great time ,” said event coordinator Jason Price.  “In addition, we had a lot of people come out taste the BBQ plates as well 24 teams come out to participate in the Washer Tournament so all in all, it was successful afternoon at The Park.”

The Park also held a Washer Tournament, the second of the summer, featuring $700 in cash prizes awarded to the top three teams.  Grass Stains led by Brian Moore claimed the first place $400 cash prize; Get It Girl led by Michelle Russell took the second place $200 cash prize; and the Bud Light Drinkers led by Kolby Land took third place and a $100 cash prize.

Live racing events continue in July with $1 Pony Beer Night every Thursday, Guys Night Out every Friday and Value Day featuring free games and activities in the Fun Zone every Saturday.  The Verizon Wireless Summer Concert Series on the Bud Light stage continues next weekend with a performance from Cross Canadian Ragweed on Saturday, July 18.  The Park will host the annual TQHA Yearling Sale and Summer Showdown event July 24-25.  For more information on racing and concert events, please visit

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