Just Call Me Carter Wins $540,000 Sam Houston Futurity
Tlc Dale Captures the $191,000 Sam Houston Derby (G3)
JUST CALL ME CARTER IMPRESSIVE WINNER OF THE
$540,000 SAM HOUSTON FUTURITY (G2)
AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Tlc Dale Captures the $191,000 Sam Houston Derby (G3)
The finals of the richest race of the 2016 Quarter Horse Meeting, the $540,000 Sam Houston Futurity (G2) took place tonight at Sam Houston Race Park, and the honors went to the fifth-fastest qualifier, Just Call Me Carter.
The son of Carters Cartel out of the Strawfly Special mare Justiflied was bred in Oklahoma by Delfino Lozano IV. Purchased privately by Joel Tipton of Biloxi, Mississippi, Just Call Me Carter is trained by Angel Sanchez, who won the stakes last year with Ivan James.
Breaking from the far outside post position under rider Francisco Calderon, the bay gelding closed powerfully, drawing off to a neck victory. He covered 330 yards in :16.786, earning a 96 speed index. It was the biggest win of Calderon’s career, who is having a very successful 2016 season at Sam Houston.
“I am thankful to Angel for letting me ride this horse and to Luis Vivanco who qualified him,” said Calderon. “In his trial, he kind of slipped a little, but I thought if he broke well, he had a shot.”
Tipton is a relative newcomer to racing. Her won the Retama Park Derby last year with BP Wagon Train, but the $216,000 first-place check was his biggest to date.
“I am stunned,” he admitted.
Sanchez was humbled by his second Sam Houston Futurity score.
“This is a very good horse,” said Sanchez. “We believed in him, but it would not be possible without Mr. Tipton and my crew, who work very hard.”
El Carretonero G 3, owned by Gregario Garcia Garza ran second with Esgar Ramirez aboard.
“He slipped on his back end a little bit and just got outrun,” said trainer Rolando Almanza. “He will run in trials for the Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park.”
Trainer Brian Stroud saddled third-placed Desdemona Rambler. The Tempting Dash colt, owned by Dan Grube, was ridden by Claudio Ponce Aguilar. Shakemwhileyoucan, a Red Oak special filly conditioned by leading Sam Houston trainer Judd Kearl, completed the superfecta.
Just Call Me Carter was sent off at odds of 6-1 and paid $15.20 for the win. He joined a noted list of Sam Houston Futurity champions. Past winners include 2014 AQHA Champion 2-year-old Kiss My Hocks; Especially Tres, who ran fourth the 2013 All American Futurity and Azoom, winner of 11 races in 2004.
TLC Dale Triumphs in the $191,000 Sam Houston Derby (G3)
TLC Dale, a son of leading second crop sire, The Louisiana Cartel, was much the best in the $191,000 Sam Houston Derby (G3).
Owned by Rogelio Garza Guarjardo, the bay colt was making his sixth lifetime start this evening. He won his trial on April 1, recording the third-fastest time, but ran his career-best effort in the final, covering 350-yards in :17.405. Manuel Gutierrez was the winning pilot.
“He showed he was a runner last year at Lone Star in the Dash for Cash Futurity, said trainer Adrian Huitron. “We shipped him to Evangeline and he didn’t do well there, so we brought him here to Sam Houston. This was a great win and hopefully he can build on this momentum.”
Huitron added that TLC Dale would make his next start at Delta Downs in trials for the Firecracker Derby.
The winner paid $8.20 and earned $76,400 for the victory. Real Solid Oak was second by a neck, followed by Gyr Jammer and My Moment of Fame.
2015 Sam Houston Futurity winner and Sam Houston Race Park Horse of the Meet, Ivan James, was the fastest qualifier, but finished a disappointing fifth.
“The #9 false broke and Ivan just didn’t get out well,” said trainer Angel Sanchez.
Tac My Time Lights Up the Toteboard in the $50,000 Sam Houston Juvenile
The $50,000 Sam Houston Juvenile Stakes kicked off the stakes action on Saturday evening. The stakes featured American Quarter Horses that competed in trials for the Sam Houston Futurity on April 2, but missed the cut-off time of :16.836 seconds.
Tac My Tim broke well and drew clear under Nestor Duran, powering to the wire in :16.772. Trained by Leon Bard for owners Marco Ramirez and Gary Hartstack, the brown gelding was purchased for just $6,000 at the TQHA Sale Futurity. Sent off at 12-1 he rewarded his supporters with a win payout of $26.20.
Bard won this race last year with Empty Arms, but it was the first stakes race for both co-owned Ramirez and jockey Duran.
“We’re really pleased with him and I want to say hi to my partner, Gary Hartstack,” said Ramirez. “His daughter is getting married, so he couldn’t be here. This horse was pretty excitable in the trials; he false broke, but came running at the end. We thought he was sitting on a big race, so this is super exciting!”
Sochi Special, also trained by Bard, ran second under Francisco Calderon followed by Jess A Tr and Ivory Wish.
Teardrops at the Bar Sets Fastest Qualifying Time in John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge Trials
Six trials were contested on Friday, April 22 for the John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge (G3).
For the second year in a row, trainer Brian Stroud saddled the fastest qualifier as Teardrops At The Bar under jockey Luis Vivanco won his 350-yard trial in :17.793. Bred and owned by James Hrabovsky and Leann Nalls, the son of Separatist is now two-for-two in his young career.
"He's still a little green," said Stroud. "He hasn't put it all together, but he ran a great race. It's encouraging to know he has won twice and I think he's even better than what he has shown."
Stroud who won the $107,730 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship (G2) last weekend with 2014 AQHA world champion JRC Callas First, qualified the top two for the John Deere Juvenile Challenge. Michael Amburn's homebred Jayronimo was clocked in :17.929 seconds with Vivanco in the irons.
For the complete list of John Deere Texas Juvenile qualifiers, times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys CLICK HERE. The ten finalists will return to action here on Saturday, May 14. The winner will advance to the $175,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G3) at Los Alamitos on October 29.
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including our Suite Level presented by Draft Kings, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming group events, racing events, shows and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.