TEE BRITT POSTS TOP QUALIFYING TIME IN TRIALS FOR THE $207,950 RETAMA PARK DERBY
Trainer Alonso Neri Saddles the Winner of Two of the Three Trials
HOUSTON, TX -Sam Houston Race Park hosted three 400-yard trials on a soggy Thursday night for the $207,950 Retama Park Derby. The 20-day Retama Park Quarter Horse meet is currently underway at Sam Houston Race Park while the Selma, Texas racetrack makes repairs due to structural damages caused by sub-freezing temperatures in February.
Tee Britt owned by Ground Shakers Race Team LLP set the fastest time in the third and final trial, surging to the wire in :19.959 seconds (a 105 speed index) under rider Claudio Aguilar. Former jockey Cody McDaniel trains the son of Tee Cos out of the Jess Special mare Special Britt. This was his first start since running ninth in the $317,000 Evangeline Downs Futurity last December.
“He cast himself in the stall after his trial for the Evangeline Downs final,” said McDaniel. “A MRI showed he had a pulled muscle, so we just turned him out and were looking for a race to begin his 3-year-old season. After he worked (on June 25), I called co-owner Shane Winfrey and said that the horse was more than ready to go. Shane paid him late ($7,000) for this and I can’t tell you how much it means to have an owner trust me the way Shane does!”
McDaniel could not contain her excitement about running Tee Britt in the final.
“This horse has overcome so many obstacles,” she added. “He doesn’t know how fast he is, but I knew he could break twenty seconds!”
One Slick Delight, owned and trained by Alonso Neri, won the first trial in front running fashion, a neck ahead of a fast-closing Jess on the Run. Bred in Oklahoma by George Mitchell, the daughter of One Famous Eagle out of the Volcom mare Volcoms Delight crossed the wire in :20.149 seconds, under current leading rider Victor Urieta, Jr., earning a 101 speed index. This was the fifth career start, and second lifetime victory for the bay filly, who made her last start on November 8 at Lone Star Park in trials for the Texas Classic Futurity. Sent off at odds of 14-1, One Slick Delight paid $31.40 for the win.
Neri and Urieta won the second trial with AP A Special Takeoff for owners Red Sea Racing Stables LLC. The gelding by Favorite Cartel made his Texas debut after 11 starts at Los Alamitos in California. Breaking from the rail, he surged quickly to the lead, prevailing in 20.190 seconds.
Click HERE to view the 10 fastest qualifiers who will meet on Saturday, July 31 to compete for their share of the $207,950 purse.
Trials for the $435,910 TQHA Sale Futurity Set for Friday, July 9
Friday night’s card will feature nine trials for the $435,910 TQHA Sale Futurity. Each will be contested at 350 yards with the top ten accredited Texas-bred qualifiers returning on Saturday, July 31.
Notables include De Laurentis, the winner of the $103,598 John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge (G3) on June 10. Bred by Bobby D. Cox, the undefeated juvenile is owned by Reynolds Munoz and Heavy Hitters Racing Stables. Trainer Juan Diaz, Jr. will give a leg up to regular rider Victor Urieta, Jr. in the eighth race. Hock It Too You, runner-up in the $732,010 Sam Houston Futurity, returns in race ten, for the same connections. The Kiss My Hocks gelding has run first or second in his four efforts, already earning $284,362.
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston. The Park 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