FAMOUS CHIEF SURGES TO VICTORY IN THE $110,000 SAM HOUSTON CLASSIC (G2) AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Top Ranked AQHA Jockey Bryan Candanosa Won the Grade 2 Stakes for the Second Year in a Row
HOUSTON, TX – Quarter Horse racing fans enjoyed a memorable night of Quarter Horse racing on Saturday, June 4 at Sam Houston Race Park. In addition to the victory by Bye Corona Bye in the $649,710 Sam Houston Futurity (G2, the $110,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2) and $55,000 Texas Twister also produced exciting finishes.
Famous Chief Rallies to Take the $110,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2)
A field of ten went to the gate in the second graded stakes on the Sam Houston Race Park card, the $110,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2). The victory in the 440 feature went to Famous Chief who closed gamely under jockey Bryan Candanosa.
The 4-year-old son of One Famous Eagle crossed the wire in :21.799 seconds, earning a 101 speed index, just a neck ahead of Jrs Shiney Tee.
This was the second graded stakes win for Famous Chief, who captured the 2021 Dash for Cash Derby (G2) at Lone Star for owner Debbie Grimes. Trained by Charles Duke Shults, Famous Chief was bred in Texas by Clarence Scharbauer III out of the multiple stakes placed Thoroughbred mare Rockin Regent, by Gold Regent
“We are just tickled!” said Grimes of the Classic win. “I have to thank our trainer Duke, our vets and of course, Bryan. He is such a good, young rider and we are pleased he is riding for us."
Jockey Bryan Candanosa was all smiles in the winner’s circle. The 21-year-old rising star won the 2021 Sam Houston Classic with Stone Cold Leader and his career has taken off this year. With two Futurity wins at Remington Park aboard Tres Crystals, Candanosa is the current #1 ranked Quarter Horse jockey in the county.
"After the Dash for Cash Derby, he had backed off a little,” said Candanosa. “We worked with him and he's been coming along. I told Duke that I was confident that he would throw a big race in his next out."
Second place finisher Jrs Shiney Tee was ridden by Ricardo Hernandez for trainer Ray Bustamante and owner Kathy Goodale.
Jrs Shiney Tee finished second in his most recent start, the Open Me a Corona (RG2) at Delta, and is four for 16 lifetime with $134,173 earned. As a 2-year-old, he qualified to the LQHBA Sale Futurity (RG1) and the LQHBA Louisiana Million Futurity (RG1).
His Time to Deal completed the trifecta at 16-1 despite being a graded stakes winner with $121,749 in earnings. Among his five wins and 14 career starts are victories in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge (G3) at Ruidoso and TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby; he also competed in the TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity (RG3).
Francisco Calderon had the riding call for trainer John Stinebaugh. The 4-year-old Dealagame gelding is owned and bred in Texas by Pete Scarmardo, out of Lady Lilia, by First Down Dash.
Completing the field were Diane to Be a Hero, Da Devil Made Medoit, Aggressive Driver, The Grand Legend, Black Cazador, Gael Force and Hh Gailforce.
Famous Chief ($9.60) picked up a check for $66,000 in Saturday night’s win and has now earned $206,629 in 16 starts with six wins.
The Sam Houston Classic had its first running in 1994. Famous Chief joins a stellar list of champions, who have achieved success on the racetrack and broodmares and stallions. Past winners include Kool Kue Baby, AQHA world champions Tailor Fit and Jessies First Down, Streakin Sin Tacha andThe Louisiana Cartel.
El Tartanero Jess Powered to Victory in the $55,000 Texas Twister Stakes
The always popular Texas Twister Stakes attracted a field of ten runners “super sprinting” at the distance of 110 yards. The exciting race almost always produces a blanket finish as the field surges to the wire in seven seconds or less.
The winner, El Tartanero Jess had never run at the 110-yard distance, but found it very much to his liking! Owned and bred in Texas by Eleazar Martinez, Sr., the son of Apollitical Jess out of the Corona Cartel mare Darling Corona, crossed the wire in :6.932 second and earned a 103 speed index. It was the 4-year-old colt’s first stake win and was his fourth consecutive victory.
Ali Rivera was in the saddle for trainer Raul Galvan.
"He had a wonderful break; stood well and just took off,” said Rivera. “I've won a couple of 110-yard races, but this one was very special."
Martinez was thrilled with the victory, his third in the history of the Texas Twister. He owned The Hot List who set the track record of :6736 seconds on April 20, 2012.
"This is the third time that I have won this stake,” said Martinez. “The Hot List holds the track record and as an owner, winning a stakes race is very special."
El Tartanero Jess ($10.40) is five for 10 lifetime with $87,468 earned including $33,000 from Saturday night’s stake.
Jess a Dashin Angela closed from the far outside and won the photo for second place in her first try in a 110-yard dash.
The 4-year-old filly has one stakes win, last year’s TQHA 250 Stakes, also at Sam Houston, and she finished second in the Sam Houston Derby (G3). She has three wins and six seconds in 15 starts with earnings of $172,015. Sheza Freighttrain T finished third as the post-time favorite; the Freighttrain B filly is a multiple stakes winner and had already won once at the distance to boot.
Bryan Candanosa had the riding call for trainer Charles Shults and owner Patrick Richardson. She was bred in Louisiana by Rusty Trahan, out of the Carters Cartel mare Cloning Around.
Sheza Freighttrain T is 11 for 19 lifetime with $480,655 earned. The 4-year-old recently won the Mothers’ Day Stakes at Delta and was second in the Bob Moore Memorial Stakes (G2) at Remington in April. She was the 2020 winner of the Lassie Futurity (G2) and was second in the LQHBA Sale Futurity (RG1) before winning four stakes during her 3-year-old campaign.
Completing the field were Perry Mouse Tale, Jeg Apolitical Seis, Mighty Pocket Rocket, Johnny de Capo, Railroad Jimmy, Top Notch and Lucky Dice.
Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse Racing Post Times
Racing takes place Thursday at 4:00 pm, Friday and Saturday at 6:50 pm (Central) with a special post of 1:00 pm for the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11. The 2022 Quarter Horse meet continues through June 18.
About Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston. Owned by Penn National Gaming. Inc., the racetrack, which opened in 1994, 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 www.shrp.com.
Photos: Coady Photography