SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK TO RUN SEVEN TRIALS FOR THE SAM HOUSTON DERBY (G3) ON SATURDAY, APRIL 30
Ten Top Qualifiers Will Advance to the May 20 Final
The first trial will run as the second race on the card with De Laurentis, returning to Sam Houston Race Park following his victory in last year’s $103,598 John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge (G3). Bred by Bobby D. Cox, the undefeated juvenile is owned by Reynolds Munoz and Heavy Hitters Racing Stables. The son of American Runaway was a $30,000 TQHA Yearling Sale purchase by owners Reynold Munoz and Heavy Hitters Racing Stables. He will break from post position seven under AQHA Champion jockey Ricky Ramirez.
The fifth race is one of the more competitive trials with San Lorenzeaux and Doc McCrocklin. Installed as the 4-5 morning-line favorite, San Lorenzeaux races for Rogelio Marquez Jr., who lives in Rosenberg, Texas. Purchased for $29,000 at the 2020 LQHBA Yearling Sale, the son of Carters Cartel has banked $551,813 from seven outs, and his four wins include a 1 1/2-length victory in last year's 350-yard, $382,000 LQHBA Sale Futurity (RG1) at Evangeline Downs. Veteran pilot Raul Ramirez, Jr. has the call. Crown Horse Racing LLC’s Doc McCrocklin ended his 2-year-old season with a four-race win streak that included a neck victory in the July 31, $436,000 TQHA Sale Futurity (RG1) at Sam Houston. The gelding will break from post three with Ali Rivera in the saddle.
Other notable Derby trial entrants include J & J Stone Company Inc’s Lucky Dice, who ran third in the 2021 Sam Houston Futurity (G2). The colt by One Sweet Jess has earned $225,122 in 12 starts and will break from the rail in the sixth race under the 16-year-old David Alvarez, Jr. Running a Big Wave returns to Sam Houston Race Park for breeder and owner Francisco Javier Garza. The gelding by Big Daddy Cartel won his trial for the 2021 Sam Houston Futurity, but did not qualify for the final. However, he did run in both the final of the Harrah’s Futurity at Louisiana Downs before finishing his 2-year-old campaign in the Texas
Classic Juvenile at Lone Star Park last November. Quid Pro Quo has already competed in a final this year, running fifth in the $106,964 Mardi Gras Derby at Louisiana Downs on March 27. He will make his first start in Houston for owner Jeronimo Silva. Hes No Ilusion, bred by Jerry Windham, runs in the fourth trial and will be ridden by Claudio Aguilar, who topped all riders last weekend with five wins.
The first running of the Sam Houston Derby took place in 1994 with Develop a Planwinning for the late Steve VanBebber and jockey Alvin “Bubba” Brossette. The noted list of past champions includes Tailor Fit, Streakin Sin Tacha,Diamond Tres Seis andMoonin the Eagle. The 2019 Sam Houston Derby champion was the petite, but powerful filly Eysa Jess Jumpn. Bred in Louisiana, Eysa Jess Jumpn was a $11,500 purchase at the 2016 LQHBA Yearling Sale for Jose Estrada Quarter Horses. Trained by Josue Huitron, the daughter of Heza Fast Dash out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Jumpn went on to win 15 of her 21 career starts, banking $932,387.
Festivities Set for the 148th Kentucky Derby Simulcast at Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park invites Houstonians to celebrate the heritage, fashion and excitement of racing’s most prestigious day with the 148th Running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7. The day-long sporting and social event will include live Quarter Horse racing, simulcast of the entire race card from Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby Hat Contest, traditional Mint Juleps, and Derby merchandise!
Live Quarter Horse racing begins at a special early post time of 10:30 am. Fans of all ages are encouraged to wear their favorite Kentucky Derby hat and register for the Kentucky Derby Hat contest beginning at 2:00 pm. The panel of celebrity judges will award prizes to the top three patrons with a $500 first prize to the winner!
For those unable to be a part of the festivities on Saturday, Sam Houston Race Park will offer advance wagering on Friday, May 6 from starting at 7:30 a.m. Fans can also take advantage of "Kentucky Derby Early Bird Wagering" where they can place a bet by driving to the valet parking circle from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7. For more information, visit www.shrp.com
Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse Racing Post Times
Racing will take place Thursday at 4:00 pm (beginning May 5), Friday and Saturday at 6:45 pm (Central) with special post times of 10:30 am for Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 7; 1:00 pm for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 21 and the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11. The 2022 Quarter Horse meet continues through June 18.
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