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Texas Quarter Horse Association Provides Purse Money Allowing The Park to Hold the Governors’ Cup Marathon (G3) and Sam Houston Classic (G2)


HOUSTON (July 2, 2009)—The Texas Quarter Horse Association (TQHA) ( has provided additional purse money to Sam Houston Race Park ( allowing The Park to re-instate two graded stakes races to the 2009 American Quarter Horse meet, which runs through August 29.

The money provided by the TQHA will allow The Park to hold the Governors’ Cup Marathon (G3), an 870-yard race for horses ages 3 and up, on Friday, August 21; and the Sam Houston Classic (G2), a 440-yard race for horses ages 3 and up, on Saturday, August 22.

The Park announced the elimination of three stakes races from the summer meet on June 25, in an effort to minimize the purse cut to the overnight races as well as noting the adverse affects of Hurricane Ike, which forced the cancellation of the 2008/2009 Thoroughbred meet. 

“Losing any stakes races is extremely difficult and losing two graded stakes races was something the TQHA felt was not an option at this time,” said Rob Werstler, Executive Director, TQHA.  “Achieving graded stakes status is becoming increasingly difficult so we felt it was imperative to keep races like the Governors’ Cup Marathon and the Sam Houston Classic.  These are important races for the owners and breeders in Texas.”

“We are very appreciative of the TQHA providing funds so we can move forward with both of these exciting graded stakes races for our summer meet,” stated Eric Johnston, Vice President of Racing, Sam Houston Race Park.  “The TQHA continues to work tirelessly to promote racing and our horsemen so we can keep racing alive and well in Texas.”   

The Park will host a special July 4th Celebration beginning Thursday, July 2 with Dollar Day at The Park, the 15th Anniversary of Vans Warped Tour along with live racing events and Guys Night Out on Friday, July 2, and live racing along with one of the biggest fireworks events in Houston on Saturday, July 4. 

The Park will host live racing events every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in July.  The 2009 Quarter Horse meet will run through Saturday, August 29.  For more information and a complete stakes schedule, visit

The Texas Quarter Horse Association began in 1978 and is the largest American Quarter Horse affiliate. We are located in Austin, Texas and have a full-time staff of eight that run two divisions: Racing and Halter & Performance. Current membership is over 2,500 horse enthusiasts.

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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