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The First Class 1 Racetrack in Texas Will Celebrate its 30th Anniversary in the Upcoming Live Racing Season

By Martha Claussen



HOUSTON, TX – The Texas Racing Commission (TXRC) approved the dates for the 2024 live racing season at Sam Houston Race Park in today’s meeting in Austin, Texas.


The   43-day Thoroughbred meet will get underway on Friday, January 5, 2024, with live racing set for Friday at 6:30 pm (Central) and Saturday and Sunday cards beginning at 1:00 pm. Holiday Monday racing, also at 1:00 pm, will take place on Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day. The live Thoroughbred racing season will continue through Sunday, April 7.


The Houston Racing Festival highlights the Thoroughbred stakes schedule and will be contested on Saturday, January 27 with a 1:00 pm first post. Inaugurated in 2013, the marquee racing event will be  anchored by the $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf (G3).  The $100,000 Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile, $100,000 Bara Lass and $100,000 Groovy Stakes will also be contested.  A press release on the entire 2024 stakes schedule will be forthcoming.


Sam Houston Race Park’s Vice President and General Manager Bryan Pettigrew attended today’s Commission meeting and looks forward to a season filled with quality racing and an enhanced promotions and event schedule.


“Our entire team is excited about the 2024 live racing season,” said Pettigrew. “We have tremendous support from the Texas Thoroughbred Association, (TTA), Texas Horsemen’s Partnership (THP) and the Texas Quarter Horse Association (TQHA),” said Pettigrew. 


Sam Houston Race Park opened as the first Class 1 racetrack in Texas on April 24, 1994. Promotions for racing fans and the celebration of racing and breeding in the Lone Star State will be prominent throughout the upcoming meet. Pettigrew served as the marketing director for Sam Houston Race Park in the mid-90’s and has a highly respected background in racing and sports and event management.


“When I was previously at Sam Houston, I was able to grow handle and attendance, while educating businesses and a newer fan base about the fun, excitement, and economic impact of horseracing in Texas,” he added. “To be able to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sam Houston Race Park will be a thrill for the many breeders, owners, trainers and horseplayers who have been loyal supporters of Texas racing.”

Michael Acton returns as Director of Racing for the 2024 live racing season including the 25-day Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meet which will run from FridayApril 19 through Saturday, June 15. Post time for the Quarter Horse season willbe 6:30 pm (Central) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Stall applications for the upcoming Thoroughbred live racing season are due by Wednesday, November 1.  For further information, visit shrp.com.

About Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. Owned by Penn Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ – PENN), the racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions for businesses, group outings and families during racing and the off-season. The track is best known for its award-winning dining and features multiple areas for fans looking for casual to upscale dining options including its Winner’s Circle Restaurant, Jockey Club, Luxury Suites and Pavilion Centre. For more information or tickets to upcoming live racing, shows and events, please visit www.shrp.com or follow on: FacebookInstagramTwitterTick Tok or YouTube.




Photos:  Coady Photography