THE $435,910 TQHA SALE FUTURITY (RG2) AND $207,950 RETAMA PARK DERBY HIGHLIGHT SATURDAY’S CARD AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Post Time Moved Up to 6:25 pm (Central) for the 11-Race Card
HOUSTON, TX -Nine trials for the ftook place at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, July 9. Each of the entrants had passed through the 2020 TQHA Yearling Sale with the promise of a lucrative payday if they were to win this futurity one year later.
The trials showcased many exceptional performances, but none greater than Hock It To You, who set the fastest time in the final trial of the night. Purchased for $35,000 by Reynold Munoz and Heavy Hitters Racing Stables, Hock It To You has been dominant since breaking his maiden at Remington Park in trials for the $477,000 Oklahoma Futurity. He ran second in that final before heading to Sam Houston Race Park and winning his trial for the $732,000 Sam Houston Futurity and finishing second in the May 21 final.
With Victor Urieta, Jr. aboard, the son of Kiss My Hocks out of the One Famous Eagle mare Lil Famous Dash, took command from the minute the gates opened and powered to the wire of his 350 yard trial in :17.441 seconds, equaling a 105 speed index.
Bred by Tyler Graham and Conda Maze, the talented gelding is trained by Juan Diaz, Jr. and has already earned $293,362 in five starts. Diaz also qualified Ivory Royale, a son of Ivory James who set the tenth-fastest qualifying time of :17.924 seconds for owner Oscar Rios, Jr.
“Hock It To You is an excellent all around racehorse,” said Diaz. “The exciting part about him is that he runs better in each race! We were a little nervous about the rail draw with all the rain in Houston over the last few days, but he handled it with no issues.”
Hock It To You has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite, but with Urieta opting to ride second-fastest qualifier Cali Chrome, Diaz was able to secure the riding services of AQHA Champion jockey Ricky Ramirez. While he has ridden notable All American Futurity and Texas Futurity Champions, Ramirez won the 2008 and 2015 editions of the race for trainer Trey Wood.
Diaz will also saddle Ivory Royale, a gelding by Ivory James who set the tenth-fastest qualifying time. Owned by Oscar Rios, Jr, the $12,000 TQHA Yearling Sale graduate has won two of his three starts. Jockey Manuel Gutierrez has the call.
“He is a much smaller horse, but has come a long way,” added Diaz. “We look forward to running him in the final as well.”
Almada Racing’s Cali Chrome, whose winning time of :17.662 seconds held from the third trial until Hock It To You took control in the final trial, will return to the final with the second fastest clocking.
The gelded son of Moonin the Eagle out of the Walk Thru Fire mare The California Girl won his trial for the Sam Houston Futurity on May 8, qualifying for the $73,000 Sam Houston Juvenile, finishing second. Breaking from the rail in his trial this evening under his regular pilot Victor Urieta, Jr., he took the lead and drew off by a margin of one length over Hockabilly.
Bred in Texas by Omar Paredes, Cali Chrome is trained by Alonso Neri, who will give a leg up to Victor Urieta, Jr., who has ridden the sorrel gelding to victories in two of his three starts.
“He knows the horse well,” said Neri. “I left the decision to him as he also qualified Hock It To You. My owners and I are very excited about the final. I have never had a problem with Cali Chrome; he handled the muddy track in his trial so well. He’s very smart and is an awesome runner.”
Here is the field, in post-position order, including jockey assignments and odds:
The winner will receive a check in the amount of $193,979 and join an exceptional group of past TQHA Sale Futurity champions including Oak Tree Special, Azoom, Snowy Alibi, Triple Vodka and Cartels Pop.
Fastest Qualifier Tee Britt Draws Post Position Three for the $207,950 Retama Park Derby
Sam Houston Race Park hosted three 400-yard trials on July 8 for the $207,950 Retama Park Derby and it was Tee Britt owned by Ground Shakers Race Team LLP who 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. He was making his first start since running ninth in the $317,000 Evangeline Downs Futurity last December.
McDaniel turned the bay gelding out to heal a pulled muscle but got a surprise when he began working for his 3-year-old campaign.
“After he worked (on June 25), I called co-owner Shane Winfrey and said that the horse was more than ready to go,” said McDaniel. Shane paid him late ($7,000) he blew them away in his trial win! The first call I got after he crossed the wire was Shane telling me that I made a great decision.”
She reports that he has been doing very well since that night and is fine with breaking from the three hole.
“He loves competition,” she added. “When he sees a fast horse next to him, he just takes off.”
Da Devil Made Medoit has won two of his three starts this year for owner Geri J Partnership. Trained by Lewis “Tooter” Jordan, the gelding by Fdd Dynasty ran second to Tee Britt in trials and will break from post nine under jockey Jerry Lee Yoakum.
“He’s matured as a 3-year-old and is a good closer,” said Jordan. “I really hope we will win it, but I’ll be very proud of Cody if Tee Britt gets the job done. I’ve known her for a long time and am happy to see how well she is doing.”
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, setting the fourth-fastest qualifying time. Manuel Gutierrez has the mount in the final and drew the far outside post.
Neri and Victor Urieta, Jr. 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.
“They both came out of their trials well and haven’t skipped a beat in their training,” said Neri, who was the leading trainer for the 2020 Retama Park meet, winning 39 races.
The Retama Park Derby will run as the eighth race on the card with an approximate post time of 9:41 pm.
Sam Houston Race Park to Support PDJF’s National Disability Independence Day
The Jockeys' Guild, Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) and National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), in conjunction with racetracks across the United States, announced that riders competing on Saturday, July 31 (or another mutually agreed upon date that week at racetracks not racing that day) will wear PDJF arm bands to pay tribute to National Disability Independence Day and to raise awareness and funds for the PDJF.
Jockeys at more than 20 racetracks will participate in various activities to support the PDJF while also saluting National Disability Independence Day, which marks the 31st anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed by Congress in 1990 and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, the ADA banned discrimination based on disability in all parts of public life while improving the quality of life immeasurably for millions of people with disabilities.
“The PDJF welcomes teaming up with the Jockeys' Guild and NTRA to honor the passage of this very important piece of legislation that has changed the lives for all Americans living with a disability,” said Nancy LaSala, Board President of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. “The lives of PDJF recipients are improved as a result and for this we are very grateful.”
Sam Houston Race Park joins Arizona Downs; Arlington Park; Canterbury Park, Colonial Downs Racetrack; Delaware Park; Del Mar Thoroughbred Club; Emerald Downs; Fan Duel Sports Book and Horse Racing (formerly Fairmount Park); Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack; Golden Gate Fields; Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino; Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races; Indiana Grand Racing and Casino; Los Alamitos Race Course; Monmouth Park; Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort; Pimlico Race Course; Ruidoso Downs; and Saratoga Race Course in this national promotion. Donations can be made to the PDJF at PDJF.org. The PDJF is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial assistance to approximately 60 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.
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 theJockey Club. For more information on upcoming live racing, shows, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.
Photos: Coady Photography