May 22, 2024


The Final of the Richest Race of the Meet Will be Run on Saturday, June 15

HOUSTON, TX –Sam Houston Race Park will conduct  a total of 14 trials for the $621,810 Sam Houston Futurity (G2) on  Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 Five qualifiers from each night will return for the final on Saturday, June 15, and each of the connections are hopeful that their juvenile will capture the richest race of the meet.


Several Texas horsemen have won the prestigious championship for 2-year-olds and have entrants in this weekend’s 330-yard trials.


Juan Diaz, Jr. has trained the past three winners of the Sam Houston Futurity: BH Inxs   in 2021; Bye Corona Bye :in 2022 and a victory in last year’s final with Jess Flying Cowgirl. The 35-year-old resident of Floresville, Texas has 20 juveniles entered this weekend.


Toby Keeton won the 2014 Sam Houston Futurity with Kiss My Hocks, who set a new 330-yard SHRP track record of :16.433 seconds as the fastest qualifier. That time still stands!


Angel Sanchez won back-to back editions of the race in 2015 with Ivan James and with Just Call Me Carter the following year.


These men and their owners have experienced the thrill of capturing the marquee championship of the annual Quarter Horse season, but what does qualifying for the Sam Houston Futurity mean to a trainer who hopes to capture their first major futurity win?


Zackary Stinebaugh is a 25-year-old son of veteran horseman John Stinebaugh. He has gone out on his own as a trainer and has six entered in trials; three on Friday and another three on Saturday evening.


“It’s a huge deal, for sure,” said Stinebaugh. “When you are starting off, it’s tough to get a really good horse. You have to step up and win a futurity or derby to reward your owners. When you do that, you are able to attract new owners, which is so important!”


Zack and his twin brother Wyatt received their B.A. from Texas A&M University last year. Zack had the racing bug and after assisting his dad with horses running in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico, decided to pursue his career as a trainer. Wyatt is also horse savvy but took another route. He just completed the first year of his MBA at Texas A&M. Both brothers were at Sam Houston Race Park on May 10; Zach saddled  Ladys Gotta Jet, the winner of the John Buchanan Memorial for his father. The young conditioner looks for good trips for his six Sam Houston Futurity trial entrants.


“Both Some Ones Diva and Enshilada worked bullets and are training well,” he added. “(Jockey) Oscar Andrade, Jr. is a fantastic rider; we are ready for the trials!”


Trainer Arnold Lewis is having a very successful season in Houston, with six wins already. He will saddle seven 2-year-olds paid into the rich Sam Houston Futurity. 


“We’ve had more success with our distance horses, but this year, my dad began working with a new owner, Sunset Well Services,” said assistant trainer, Brooks Lewis. “We just got Takilla On the Hocks,and he looks pretty good. It’s exciting for our family to think about qualifying a horse for the Sam Houston Futurity!”


Post time for both nights is 6:30 pm, with the Sam Houston Futurity trials carded as races 4-10.


Sam Houston Derby Trials Set for Thursday, May 23

Live racing resumes on Thursday at 6:30 pm with 350-yard trials, beginning in race five for the $280,450 Sam Houston Derby.


Juan M. Lozano, Jr’s Jess Flying Cowgirl, winner of the 2023 Sam Houston Futurity, runs as the 2-1 morning line favorite in race five. The daughter of Flying Cowboy 123 is trained by Juan Diaz, Jr. with Victor Urieta, Jr. in the saddle.


The ten fastest qualifiers from the 350-yard trials will return on Saturday, June 15,


There will also be three trials (at 300 yards) for the $40,000-added Colors of Houston Futurity contested on Thursday evening with the finalists advancing to the final on Saturday, June 8. 


Wine Tasting at the Track on Saturday, May 25

Sam Houston Race Park is pleased to host a special event, Wine Tasting At The Track!

Join us for an evening of refined indulgence as we embark on a journey through the world of fine wines and delectable charcuterie at the Center Club Level from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

About Sam Houston Race Park

Operated by Penn Entertainment Inc., Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. 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 or follow on: FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTok or YouTube.




Photo: Coady Photography