PROMINENT TEXAS HORSEMEN JOHN BUCHANAN AND LEON BARD HONORED IN STAKES FEATURES AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK ON SATURDAY, JUNE 4
HOUSTON, TX – An exceptional night of Quarter Horse racing took place Saturday, June 4 at Sam Houston Race Park with six stakes, highlighted by the $649,710 Sam Houston Futurity (G2). Two features were named in honor of prominent Texas horsemen John Buchanan and Leon Bard.
Onthewingsofaneagle Victorious in the $54,250 John Buchanan Memorial Stakes
In the first undercard stake of the Sam Houston Futurity card on Saturday night,Onthewingsofaneagle swooped home to win the $54,250 John Buchanan Memorial Stakes. The stake was restricted to 3-year-old Texas-bred fillies.
Onthewingsofaneagle ($7.60) and jockey Francisco Calderon led gate to wire and won by almost two lengths. She earned a 94 speed index and covered the 350 yards in :17.717.
Calderon was honored to ride in the stake named for the longtime Texas horseman.
"I was so happy to pick up the mount as John Buchanan gave me so many mounts here in Texas as well as Ratification in the All American Oaks at Ruidoso,” he said. “I had never ridden Onthewingsofaneagle, but I saw her at Remington. She broke well and just flew!"
Patrick Clemons trains the winning filly and has her summer plans in place.
"I had this filly here last year. She won and we sent her to Dr. Tommy Hays for surgery,” he stated. “She ran well at Remington so we brought her back for this stakes. She'll make her next start at Retama Park in the Sires' Cup Derby."
Onthewingsofaneagle earned her first stakes win and second career win in four lifetime starts. She broke her maiden in her debut at Sam Houston last year in her lone 2-year-old start and has never finished worse than third. She added the winner’s share of $32,550 to her career earnings of $53,872.
The filly was bred in Texas by Randy and Sandy Coleman out of Runaway Renata, by . Systymatic edged out Kas Shes Ec in a close photo for second place. Jose Herbert had the call for trainer Juan Diaz, Jr. Completing the field were Amateur Night, post-time favorite Babes Fdd, Easy Nights and Tempted to Celebrate. A Fast Ribbon and Hallmarke were scratched; Jetsie Corona broke through the gate and was a late scratch.
Buchanan’s wife, Iris and daughter Amanda, presented the trophy and were surrounded by friends and horsemen who had longstanding associations with the late horseman.
The Cartels Cadillac Scores First Stakes Win $54,500 Leon Bard Memorial
Bouncing from an off-the-board performance in the Sam Houston Derby trial son April 30th, The Cartels Cadillac cruised to victory in the 1st running of the $54,500 Leon Bard Memorial Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park.
The Cartels Cadillac ($18.80) dueled early under jockey Victory Urieta, Jr. then drove to a half-length win over Hes No Ilusion. The son of champion clocked the 350 yards in :17.825 seconds to equal a 91-speed index into a 6-mph headwind.
Trainer Juan Diaz, Jr. saddled the 3-year-old gelding to his second career win in nine starts got owner Josefina Guzman. The $32,700 winner's purse tonight swells The Cartel Cadillac's earnings total to $65,714.
"It was an honor winning this," said Diaz. "I didn't know Mr. Bard that well, but certainly respected what he did in Texas racing. You could see how personal this was for so many people.”
Jerry D. Chapman bred the bay gelding in Texas from the mare Louisiana Cadillac. This was the first stakes win for The Cartels Cadillac who finished in the Oklahoma Juvenile at Remington Park last season.
"Our owners trust us and the horse broke well and had a good night," Diaz concluded.
Runner-up Hes No Ilusion picked up $10,900 for the effort. "Tooter" Jordan trains the Texas homebred son of for owner-breeder Jerry Windham. Ponce Aguilar had the riding call on the brown gelding out of Jess An Illusion by .
Rock Solid Stones finished a neck back for owner Sarah Huskey. Esteban Rubio conditions the Rock Sold Jess homebred out of Precious Serendipity by Behold A Beduino. Francisco Giles was aboard the $29,852 earner.
Dm Moonpie, Doc McCrocklin, Mo Delirio, Muddy Misfit, Jb Shiner Bok and Mr Tecocompleted the field. Panhandle Dynasty was scratched.
Quarter Horse trainer Leon Bard died on January 5, 2022 in Wheelock, Texas, following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 75 years-old. Respected in the Texas Quarter Horse racing community as a skilled horseman and industry leader, Bard was prominent at Sam Houston from 1994- 2021.
Bard’s daughters Shelly Burnett and Caryl Merchant made the presentation to the winning connections and were very touched that the entire jockey colony remained in the winner’s circle to honor their father.
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