150th Kentucky Derby
May 4th, 2024
Apr 24, 2018


Three stakes will be contested Saturday, April 28th at Sam Houston Race Park. The nine-race program begins at 6:10 pm with the finals of the $440,600 Sam Houston Futurity (G2), the $191,900 Sam Houston Derby (G3) and the $44,060 Sam Houston Juvenile.


Fastest Qualifier Slyng Schott Returns in the $440,600 Sam Houston Futurity (G2)

Sam Houston hosted 13 trials on Friday, April 6 for the richest race of the Quarter Horse season, the $440,600 Sam Houston Futurity (G2). The eighth trial of the evening produced the fastest qualifier when Slyng Schott posted an impressive gate-to wire debut, covering 330 yards in :16.914 seconds over a fast track.


Bred by AQHA Champion Breeder Bobby D. Cox, the son of Ivory James out of the Strawfly Special mare A Shot At Glory was purchased at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale for $51,000 by Alfredo Garza. Trainer Abelardo Flores, Jr. reports that his charge came out of his trial is good order and drew post position five at odds of 7-2.  He will give a leg up to two-time All American Futurity winning rider Esgar Ramirez.


“We knew from the beginning that he was a special colt,” said Flores. ” Even on the walker, he moved better than any of our 2-year-olds. He’s been training well, and we are looking forward to the final.”


Trainer Saul Ramirez, Jr. will saddle two finalists on Saturday night: Dominyun Tee Off and Cadillac Cash. Interestingly, Ramirez was a nationally acclaimed jockey before transitioning to his training career two years ago. He won the inaugural edition of the Sam Houston Futurity in 1994 aboard A Touch of Victory and added a second win in 2010 with Sixes Liaison. 


Dominyun Tee Off, bred and owned by Francisco Javier Garza, won the tenth trial in a time of :17.067 to set the third-fastest time of the evening. The colt is sired by Dominyun the Burrs First Down mare First Down Tee. Cadillac Cash, a son of FDD Dynasty broke his maiden in a solid trial win for owner Rolando Morales. His clocking of :17.074 resulted in the fifth-fastest time.


Ramirez and his owners did have a challenge choosing riders as Eddie Sanchez, who qualified both juveniles, will ride at Delta Downs Saturday in trials for the $360,000 Laddie Futurity. Ramirez tabbed Sam Houston leading rider Francisco Calderon and Jose Martinez to ride his horses in the finals.


“I felt Francisco would fit Dominyun Tee Off,” explained Ramirez. “He’s a low-running horse and Francisco knows how to ride that style. Jose will ride Cadillac Cash, who won his training race under the lights and should continue to improve.”


Moment of Fury, owned by Rogelio Marquez, Jr. ran second by a neck to Slyng Schott, crossing the wire in :16.938.  Raul Ramirez, Jr., who won the 2015 Sam Houston Futurity on Ivan James, will ride the gelded son of Furyofthewind for trainer Albert Solis.


“We were very lucky to get “Chico”, who is one of the most experienced riders on the circuit,” said Marquez, who resides in Rosenberg, Texas.


Tempting Dash was the only stallion to produce two finalists. He sired fourth-fastest qualifier Fm Im A Zatanaz Too for owner Jose Fabian Hernandez and BMAQ Racing LLC’s Tempting Bye Dash, the ninth-fastest qualifier.


The field for the Sam Houston Futurity in post position order, with jockeys and odds:

FM Im A Zatanaz Too; Manny Gutierrez, 6-1
Tempting Bye Dash; Claudio Aguilar, 10-1
Jess Master Angel; Jesse Levario, 15-1  
Elite Five; Noe Villatoro, 12-1
Slyng Schott; Esgar Ramirez, 7-2
Moment of Fury; Raul Ramirez, Jr, 15-1
Cadillac Cash; Jose Martinez, 9-2                             
Dominyun Tee Off; Francisco Calderon, 2-1
Patriotic Games; Rodrigo Aceves, 8-1
Hesgonnabesomebody; Nestor Duran, 20-1

The winner will earn $176,240 and join a distinguished list of Sam Houston Futurity champions, including 2014 AQHA Champion 2-year-old colt, Kiss My Hocks; Azoom; Snowy Alibi, Ivan James, Especially Tres and This Is An Eagle.


Quality Field Assembled in the $191,900 Sam Houston Derby (G3)

Seven trials for the $191,900 Sam Houston Derby (G3) were contested on Friday, April 13 and a very talented group of 3-year-olds will compete in Saturday’s 350 yard final.


The seventh trial produced the fastest clocking of the night when Washta Magnolia blazed to the wire of the 350-yard dash in :17.660 seconds. Owned by Jorge Aguilera, the Oklahoma-bred son of Cartel Success broke his maiden as he set the fastest time. Jorge Lopez trains the bay gelding, who began his career at Remington Park last March in Oklahoma Futurity trials. Jockey Manuel Gutierrez will reunite Washta Magnolia at odds of 7-2.


Kas Tempting, a son of Tempting Dash owned by Garza Laurel Partnership, LLC, is no stranger to success at Sam Houston Race Park, having set the fastest qualifying time in trials for the 2017 Sam Houston Futurity, running fifth in the final to This Is An Eagle. Trained by Saul Ramirez, Jr. Kas Tempting, in pursuit of his fourth career victory, will be ridden by Raul Ramirez, Jr, a cousin of the conditioner.


“He’s a good honest colt,” said Saul Ramirez.


Ramirez will also saddle Schutts who won his debut for owner Luis Alberto Villarreal and winning his trial in :17.665, which was the second-fastest qualifying time. The Texas-bred son of Captain Courage will break from the rail under Jesse Lee Levario.


2017 Sam Houston Futurity champion This Is An Eagle was the ninth fastest qualifier.  Owner Mary G. Lynne Thompson purchased the son of One Famous Eagle for $100,000 at the 2016 TQHA Yearling Sale. He has won five of his nine career starts and banked $306,922 for trainer Leon Bard. Regular pilot Francisco Calderon stays aboard and tries for the historical first to win both the Sam Houston Futurity and Derby.


The field for the Sam Houston Derby in post position order, with jockeys and odds:

Schutts; Jesse Levario, 9-2                  
Tempting Pink; Noe Suarez, 6-1
Special Darling; Jose Martinez, 12-1  
This Is An Eagle; Francisco Calderon, 10-1
Kas Tempting; Raul Ramirez, Jr, 2-1
Jess Rocking Thunder; Claudio Aguilar, 15-1
Washta Magnolia; Manny Gutierrez, 7-2                            
Serendipity Rocks; Noe Villatoro, 8-1
One Jess Streakin; Esgar Ramirez, 20-1
A Sweet Dynasty; Rodrigo Aceves, 15-1


$44,060 Sam Houston Juvenile Kicks Off Stakes Action Saturday Night

The $44,060 Sam Houston Juvenile, at 330 yards, will get stakes action started on Saturday evening. The field is comprised of 2-year-olds that competed in trials for the Sam Houston Futurity three weeks ago but did not qualify in the top ten.


Baller has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite. Bred by Ted Abrams, the son of Jess Zoomin broke his maiden in trials for owners Paul Lozalla and Catarino Terrazas in a time of :17.133. Current leading rider Francisco Calderon has the mount and will break from post position four.  Another 2-year-old likely to get his share of attention is Fmcanttemptthisrock, a Tempting Dash colt owned by Jose Fabian Hernandez. He won his trial in :17.122 under rider Manuel Gutierrez, just missing the Sam Houston Futurity cutoff time of :17.112.


The field for the Sam Houston Juvenile, which runs as race seven, in post position order, with jockeys and odds:

1.    Jet Black King; Eleazer Hernandez, 7-2

2.    Dashingwithnorate; Jose Martinez, 9-2

3.    Monza; Raul Ramirez, Jr, 15-1

4.    Baller; Francisco Calderon, 5-2

5.    White Hot Poker; Noe Villatoro, 12-1

6.    Moons First CD; Victor Urieta, Jr, 6-1

7.    Kinekt; Esgar Ramirez, 15-1

8.    Mosco Fly With Me; Nestor Duran, 10-1

9.    Fmcanttemptthisrock; Manny Gutierrez, 8-1

10.  Elite Connection; Jesse Levario, 20-1


Sam Houston Race Park, Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, is located just 15 miles from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including 16 luxury suites overlooking the race track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club.  For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.




Photo​s :Coady Photography​