EYE N CAPO DOMINATES IN THE $50,000 SAM HOUSTON CLASSIC (G2) AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Trainer Abelardo Flores, Jr. Wins Two Stakes on the Closing Night Card
Sam Houston Race Park closed out its 2018 Quarter Horse live racing season with an excellent card featuring three stakes and the presentation of the end of meet awards to the leading owner, jockey and trainer.
A very solid field of stakes winners entered the starting gate in tonight’s $50,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2). With an exceptional break and powerful closing kick, Eye N Capo soundly defeated his nine rivals in the 440-yard stakes.
Trainer Abelardo Flores, Jr. saddled the 4-year-old son of Capo de Capi for owner Ruben Garcia Montemayor. The Oklahoma-bred first made his mark in his 2-year-old season when he captured the $385,000 Dash for Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park. Tonight, in his first start at 440-yards, he continued to show even more.
“We were never worried about the distance,” said Flores. “He’s been running well and when we saw how strongly he finished in his allowance race (here on April 16), we knew he was ready. It worked out well.”
This was the sixth stakes win for Flores and the first time that jockey Jesse Lee Levario was called on to ride the talented gelding. He covered 440 yards in :21.631 seconds, earning a 96 speed index.
“Last time he ran 350 and ran pretty good,” stated Levario. “Today I just wanted to get out of his way and let him finish. He just kicked on in the last fifty yards.”
While Eye N Capo never gave up his lead, Flyingforunclesam, owned and bred by Kirk Goodfellow, outran his odds and delivered an excellent runner-up finish under rider Jose Martinez. This was the third start for the Oklahoma-bred, who ran third in the $67,680 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship (G2) here on April 21 for trainer James Padgett, II. Running third was Beaus Famous with Eddie Sanchez up, followed by RC Me Leaving You, also trained by Padgett. Chuys
Valcom, Here Comes Callan, Big Tex, Dash Quick Perry, Blazin Moon Force and
TLC Dale completed the order of finish
Eye N Capo, sent off as the betting choice, paid $3.80 for the win. He added his name to a list of very notable Sam Houston Classic champions. Past winners include Kool Kue Baby, Streakin Sin Tacha, The Louisiana Cartel and two AQHA world champions: Tailor Fit and Jessies First Down.
Front Running Score for Jack Ketel in the $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon
The final night of the 2018 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meet kicked off with the running of the $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon.
Diamond L. Racing's Jack Ketel drew the enviable rail post position in the 870-yard feature and clinched his first career stakes victory.
The 6-year-old son of Ketel Won was making his 16th start and prepped for this with an 870-yard claiming win here on Aprils 16. jockey Eliazar T. Vera had the return call and guided the bay gelding to victory in :45.856 seconds into a 15 mph head wind.
Trainer Arnold Lewis was proud of his stakes winner and gave credit to his son. Brooks, who gallops and "pretty much does it all".
Lewis knew his charge was facing some tough rivals, including multiple stakes winner Fire On The Fly, but felt he deserved a chance.
"It's been a long time coming," said Lewis. "It was a step up in class, but we thought we'd give it a shot. We like to have fun and that will take place tonight!"
Bred by Joe and Elaine McAnally, Jack Ketel ($5.40) has now won six of his 16 career efforts. He earned $15,000 this evening, increasing his overall bankroll to $39,289.
Tars Tarkus, under jockey Francisco Calderon ran second. Saddled by trainer Jimmy Padgett II, the son of Tac It Like A Man runs for owners Jonathan Brandy and Rick Cline.
Tommy Bullard's multiple graded winner Fire On The Fly finished 4 ½ lengths back in third under jockey Jerry Lee Yoakum. Also trained by Bullard, the Jet Cartel 8-year-old is out of Shades Pink (TB) by Fight Over (TB). He has earned $219,478.
Streakin Tenaya, Jess Killistos and Shake Rattle N Soar completed the field. Love Ta Zoom was an early scratch.
Three Bar Cartel Triumphs in the $15,000 Texas Twister
The $15,000 Texas Twister, at 110 yards, returned for its tenth renewal at Sam Houston Race Park. A field of ten went to the gate and a very sharp effort from Three Bar Cartel snared the victory.
Three Bar Cartel broke from the rail with jockey Jesse Lee Levario riding for owner Ruben Garcia Montemayor, who also owns Eye N Capo. The 3-year-old, also sired by Capo de Capi, was undefeated last year, highlighting his campaign with a victory in the 2017 Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park. Trainer Abelardo Flores, Jr. was pleased with the effort from his speedy gelding.
“He ran very well,” said Flores. “We did not want to run our two horses against each other and this horse always breaks so well, we figured this would not take too much out of him.”
Jesse Lee Levario was the winning pilot, completing 110-yards in a swift :6.957 seconds, earning a speed index of 98.
“In a 100 yard race, you can’t really do much except hold on until you cross the wire,” said Levario. “He always breaks in front and is a really nice horse.”
Running a half a length behind the winner was Whos Tempting Who, at 27-1 with Victor Urieta aboard. Shake Em Rocks was third and Jazzin Corona, completed the superfecta.
This was the fourth win from five starts for Three Bar Cartel ($3.80), who did not disappoint as the heavy favorite. He earned $9,000 this evening, increasing his career bankroll to $156,565. Flores said that his stakes winner will head to Retama Park next.
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.