Belmont Stakes & Bag of Donuts
June 8, 2024
Mar 27, 2023

On Texas Champions Day at Sam Houston Race Park, Imaluckycharm proved again that she's the champ of her family.

Article By: Hal Lundgren

On Texas Champions Day at Sam Houston Race Park, Imaluckycharm proved again that she's the champ of her family.

Bret Calhoun-trained runners won three of Saturday's seven, $100,000 features.

And Florida import Too Much Action stuck by the rail and somehow slipped by favored Algebra and Mr. Money Bags in the day's biggest upset.

"It was quite a finish," said Matt Hebert, who has conditioned Too Much Action since he arrived from Gulfstream Park.

Algebra and venerable Mr. Money Bags, a 7-year-old, each secured slight leads in the final yards. Then Too Much Action dug in and inched in front to win the Spirit of Texas by what appeared to be inches.

He had won a February start at SHRP, but Saturday's crowd was apparently not impressed. He prevailed at 6-1 odds as Algebra held second and Mr. Money Bags wound up third.  Mr. Money Bags was racing for the first time in 11 months.

Calhoun's Gold Pilot won the Star of Texas. His Santa Fe Gold scored in the Texas Thoroughbred Association Oaks. Both owned by Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch, those two runners have won eight times in 12 SHRP starts.

Calhoun-trained Release McCraken prevailed in the Texas Thoroughbred Association Derby. The 3-year-old won his first Texas start after racing successfully in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Indiana.

Before Imaluckycharm won her second straight over half-sister No Mas Tequila in the San Jacinto, trainer Karen Jacks sensed the pace scenario.

"This was Imaluckycharm's longest race (1 1/8 miles), and we didn't know if that was too long for her," Jacks said.

"No Mas Tequila is bred for longer distances. We didn't know if she could catch up with Imaluckycharm."

On Saturday, she could not.

Jacks will take both ladies to Lone Star Park to take on more stakes competition.

There, 2-year-old Texas Star, another Jacks' trainee, will race for the first time.

In Saturday's other $100,000 features, Mindy Willis-trained Sunlit Song recorded an easy win in the Richard King Turf, and Karl Broberg-trained Ima Discreet Lady prevailed in the Yellow Rose.

Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez rode three of the seven winners.