Belmont Stakes & Bag of Donuts
June 8, 2024
Jun 24, 2021


Jockey Victor Urieta Jr. Wins Both Features

HOUSTON, TX –Three times was the charm for Beduino La Jolla who became a stakes winner this evening winning the $50,000 Friendship Stakes for 3-year-old accredited Texas-breds. Owned by Carlos Ponce, the son of Separtist out of the Streakin La Jolla mare Southern La Jolla won his last two starts at Sam Houston Race Park and advanced confidently to the stakes level under jockey Victor Urieta, Jr.


Breaking cleanly from the rail, the gray gelding, bred by Maria Guadalupe Araiza, had command throughout the 330-yard race, crossing the wire in :16.931 seconds over a fast track. He earned a 94 speed index as he defeated Dash N Leader by 1 ¼ lengths.


Trainer Alonso Neri was reached on the phone following the win and was pleased with his driving finish.


“He showed speed in both of his starts at Sam Houston so we had our eyes on a stakes for him,” said Neri. “We couldn’t have asked for a better effort; he ran a really awesome race tonight.”


Pete Scarmardo’s Dash N Leader, a homebred son of the First Down Dash stallion Down N Dash and a finalist in last year’s 400-yard, $1.031-million Texas Classic Futurity (G1), ran second under jockey Pedro C. Espinosa for trainer Leon Bard. Eye Will Decide, who was sent off as the favorite, was bumped and recovered for third. Blue Capo, First Lady TLC and Tomball Stakes winner Air to Jess Em, completed the order of finish. Dash N To The Cartel was an early scratch.

Beduino La Jolla ($10.40) has now won three of his seven lifetime starts. His check of $30,000 for his first stakes win increased his career earnings to $51,990.

Neri was uncertain of the next start for his charge, but said it was likely he would run again this season at Sam Houston Race Park.

Greysland Returns to Top Form in the $50,000 La Villita Stakes

Juan Manuel Pastrana’s Greysland lived up to her stakes-winning standard with an impressive performance in the second feature of the night, the $50,000 La Villita Stakes for Texas-bred 3-year-old fillies. 


The daughter of Kiss My Hocks out of the Captain Courage mare Grey Daze faced several rivals from last month’s John Buchanan Memorial Stakes, where she finished third. However, she was dominant from the break under Victor Urieta, Jr. and flew to the wire of the 330-yard stakes in :17.123 seconds into a 5 mph head wind, equaling a 94 speed index. 


“She needed her last race,” said Urieta. “Tonight, she broke much better and finished much better.”


The victory marked the fourth win for the brown filly, who was bred in Texas by Bobby Cox. The runner-up in last year’s TQHA Sale Futurity  at Retama Park, Greysland won the  2020 Dash For Cash Juvenile Stakes at Lone Star Park. Trained by Juan Diaz, Jr. she has now banked $161,272 in ten starts.

VP Cold Strong Heart rallied for second with rider Francisco Giles in the saddle, followed by Tempting Knockout, My Rocking Memories, Newarcos Legacy, Lone Star, Viva Le Merica and Lethal Women.


Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse Racing Post Times

Post time will be 6:45 pm (Central) throughout the 20-day season, which will conclude on August 7. A complete list of racing dates, stakes and trial dates is available on


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





Photos:  Coady Photography