Jun 11, 2023


By Martha Claussen

HOUSTON, TX –Sam Houston Race Park welcomed fans for live Quarter Horse racing and the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 10. Two stakes for Paints and Appaloosas were contested on the card with Op Lil Becca  scoring her first stakes victory in the $64,480 Colors Of Houston Futurity (G2) and Just Wishn taking the $34,250 Colors Of Texas Paint Maturity (G2)


Op Lil Becca  Scored Her First Stakes Victory in the $64,480 Colors Of Houston Futurity (G2)

Op Lil Becca (APHA) competed gamely in the $64,480 Colors Of Houston Futurity (G2) under jockey Ali Rivera to win the first stakes of her career. The daughter of Lil Kool Wagon surged to the wire of the 300-yard final in  :15.784 seconds for owner Guerras Racing Stables. 


She entered the final as the third fastest qualifier from trials run on May 25, and was sent off at odds of 5-1, adding her second win in  six starts for trainer Gilberto Gonzalez. Op Lil Becca($14.20) broke her maiden here last month after beginning her 2-year-old campaign at Remington Park. The futurity victory makes her second win from six starts in her freshman campaign. After cashing in the $24,502 winner’s check, her lifetime earnings increased to $33,455.


Sw Ares, who initially placed a neck behind Op Lil Becca was disqualified from second to eighth, moving longshot Frenchy (APHA), ridden by Luciano Duenez, into the runner-up position. Trained by Lewis Arnold, the son of CRM Livewire earned  $10,962 check for second place. Wl Trapwire (APHA), who was fastest qualifier, was third following the disqualification. Grippin N Grinnin, Was Pecosa, Fancy A Miracle, Vp Rocket Ryon, Sw Ares, Artesian and Jess So completed the order of finish.


Just Wishn Keeps His Streak Alive in the $34,250 Colors Of Texas Paint Maturity (G2)

The first stakes of the Saturday afternoon card was the $34,250 Colors Of Texas Paint Maturity (G2) with a field of eight competing at 350 yards. 


Just Wishn (APHA) was a convincing winner under rider Raul Ramirez Jr., crossing the wire, over a fast main track in :17.569 seconds, earning a career-high speed index of 103. The victory was his fifth consecutive score The multiple-stakes winning son of Boknaai is trained by Esteban Rubio for owner Sarah Huskey. Sent off as the favorite, Just Wishn ($3.40) boasts lifetime earnings of $129,006. Wl Van Halen (APHA), who just won the Color Of Houston Derby [G2] last month, completed the exacta with Ali Rivera riding the son of MHM Hotwire. 


Capo Turnpike (APHA) was third, followed by A El Regalo, Cowgirl Cartel, Wl You Aint No Cowboy, Vp Country Smoke and Texas Magazeche. The Big Chief was an early scratch.


Live racing continues on Friday, June 16 and the 2023 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meet will wrap up on Saturday, June 17.


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 Entertainment 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