HIS TIME TO DEAL CAPTURED THE $108,000 WILLIE HICKMAN MEMORIAL TO CLOSE OUT THE 2022 SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK QUARTER HORSE SEASON
Shockinglyfamous Dominated in the $53,250 Jesse Yoakum 870 Memorial
HOUSTON, TX – Sam Houston Race Park saluted Texas-bred Quarter Horses and two horsemen who are deeply missed in the racing community. Both Willie Hickman, who had many roles in the Sam Houston racing office and trainer Jesse Yoakum were remembered in named stakes on the closing night of the meet.
Shockinglyfamous Was a Commanding Winner in the $53,250 Jesse Yoakum 870 Stakes
Distance specialists were featured in the third race on the final card of the 2022 Quarter Horse meet, the $50,000 Jesse Yoakum 870 Stakes. The race was named in honor of the late Quarter Horse trainer Jesse Yoakum, who passed away on October 3, 2019, at the age of 69.
Making the most of his Sam Houston debut, Shockinglyfamous ran a flawless race under rider Benito Baca, breaking well and drawing off to win by a margin of 5-1/4 lengths while completing the 870 yards in :45.592 seconds, into an 8 mph headwind. It was the eighth career win for the son of leading sire One Famous Eagle and the $31,950 winners' purse boosted his bankroll to $252,940.
"When I got the call from trainer Kasey Willis to ride this horse, I said absolutely; tell me the date and the place and I'll be there," said Baca. "When he broke as well as he did, I just wanted to get to the lead and let him run his race. He's a complete class act; very professional. It worked out just the way we hoped for."
The 6-year-old horse is co-owned by Willis and Stone Chase Stables, LLC. Clarence Scharbauer III bred Shockinglyfamous from the thoroughbred mare Shocktime by Langfuhr.
He exited two stakes at Remington Park, facing to last year's AQHA Racing Champion Distance Horse Wascallywittlewabbit, Shockinglyfamous has won or placed in all five of his 2022 starts. Two years ago he won the SLM Big Daddy Stakes(G3) at Remington Park and was also a finalist in the Rainbow QH Derby(G1) and Texas Classic Futurity(G1).
Post time favorite The Kings Horse finished eight lengths in front of the field to earn $10,650 for second. Starting off back-to-back Sam Houston wins including the Governor's Cup Marathon Stakes in his last start, The Kings Horse races for owner-breeder Bullard Farms and is trained by Lewis R. "Tooter" Jordan. Claudio Aguilar had the return call aboard the Class King 6-year-old out of Fleta Dif (TB) by Hadif (TB). He has won five times and earned $125,146.
Flyin Charlie ran third for breeder, owner and trainer John Boegner with Donell Blake aboard the Flyin Color 6-year-old from the Bokanaai mare Bokaroni. The Texas-bred gelding has earned $63,67. Slp Mighty High, Im Jess Dashing and One Mighty Eagle completed the field. Easter Fools was scratched.
Yoakum was a strong supporter of Texas racing and had tremendous success at Sam Houston Race Park. He was a jockey prior to beginning a training career that spanned 30 years and saddled 418 Quarter Horse winners with earnings in excess of $3.2 million. He trained Sam Houston Futurity (G1) winner Beduinos Rusty, Sam Houston Classic (G2) winner A Glint Of Gold, 870-yard specialist, The Field Cricket, Governor's Cup Marathon (G3) winner Doctor Streakin, and Barnmaster Sprint Stakes (RG3) champion Turfinator.
Yoakum’s son Jerry Lee along with his wife, Rosslyn and their daughter Jaycee, made the trophy presentation.
His Time to Deal Impressive in the $108,000 Willie Hickman Memorial
Pete Scarmardo's homebred His Time To Deal jumped out to a quick lead then held off post-time favorite Famous Chief to win the Inaugural running of the $108,000 Willie Hickman Memorial Stakes on the Sam Houston Race Park closing Quarter Horse meet card Saturday night,
Leading rider Ali Rivera had the call aboard the 4-year-old son of multiple stakes sire Dealagme. The 4-year-old gelding completed the 400 yards in :19.980 seconds, equaling a 102 speed index.
"This is my first riding title and I thank the owner for giving me the opportunity to ride this pretty amazing horse," Rivera said following the victory.
"He left good and had his mind on it, " said owner Scarmardo. "He gave us what he had and it was enough tonight. John said he didn't have him quite ready for his last race and changed a couple of things. You could see the results."
Trained by John Stinebaugh, the Texas-bred, out of Lady Lila by First Down Dash, won his sixth career win in 15 starts. Sent off as the third choice in the wagering, His Time to Deal returned $10.40 for the win. He earned $64,800 this evening, boosting his career earnings to $180,549.
Debbie Grimes’ Famous Chief returned to action following his victory here on June 4 in the $110,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2) and finished second under rider Bryan Candanosa for trainer Charles Duke Shults. Bred by Clarence Scharbauer III, from the Gold Regent thoroughbred mare Rockin Regent, Famous Chief has compiled a (17) 6-2-2 record and earned $228,227. He won the Dash For Cash Derby (G2) at Lone Star Park last year.
Watch Him B Famous, also a One Famous Eagle gelding from the Stinebaugh barn for owner-breeder Scarmardo, finished 1-1/2 lengths back to earn $11,880 for third. Won Famous Dash, Blazin The Moon, Gianniy, Rock Solid Stones and Eye Will Decide completed the field.
Sam Houston Race Park renamed the $100,000 Sam Houston Texas Bred Championship to honor Willie Hickman, a longstanding member of the racing office. The native of Red Rock, Texas passed away in Houston on March 15, 2022. He had been hospitalized with pneumonia and died at the age of 64. Hickman was involved in many roles in the racing community, from training racehorses to serving in a variety of duties in the Sam Houston Race Park racing office for over 20 years. As stall superintendent, jockey room coordinator and most recently, stakes coordinator, Hickman had lasting relationships with horsemen in both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. He also did an excellent job as jockey agent to rider Alfonso Lujan, who won over 2,100 races prior to his retirement in 2018.
"Willie was a really great guy; always pleasant and would do anything for you,” added Scarmardo. “I am very glad I could win this race to honor someone who has done so much for our industry."
Family members including Shyrl O’Banan Hopkins and Hanna O’Banan and a number of horsemen and racing office employees were in the winner’s circle for the trophy presentation for the Willie Hickman Memorial.
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