ZAIRE IMPRESSIVE IN THE $95,800 SAM HOUSTON MAIDEN CLASSIC AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Marfilous Wins the $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes
Two stakes were contested on Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park and a pair of talented fillies showed their speed and determination winning the $95.800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic and the $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes.
Zaire Remains Undefeated With a Victory in the $95,800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic
Eleven trials were contested on Friday, March 30 to determine the ten fastest qualifiers for the $95,800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic.
Luis A. DeLaCerda’s homebred Zaire broke her maiden in trials, setting the fifth-fastest time. Tonight, the 3-year-old daughter of Apollitcal Jess returned in fine form, winning in gate-to-wire fashion under jockey Eddie Sanchez. She crossed the wire of the 350-yard feature in :17.393 over a fast main track, a nose ahead of Mi Amor Secreto.
“I’m lucky to ride good horses for great owners,” said the 19-year-old Sanchez, who has ridden nine winners this meet.
Saul Ramirez, Jr., who was one of the leading jockeys in Texas, Louisiana and California, has been training for two years now and conditions the bay filly.
“The owners did not rush her,” said Ramirez. “She is a very nice filly and we are pleased that she has now won two races.”
Mi Amor Secreto, owned by Kelly Perez, lost the head bob, but also earned a 102 speed index for her effort. She was ridden by Santos Carrizales and earned $15,329 for her runner-up finish. Fastest qualifier, Packin Steel ran third under Rodrigo Vallejo, followed by Tinys Desi, ridden by Jessie Levario. Sixy Cartel, Dashn Regard, Pycs Crock Of Cash, Leathalize, Alinas War Princess and One Rare Louissiana completed the order of finish.
Zaire rewarded her backers with a win payout of $11.80. She earned $38,320 for the victory. Ramirez has several options in mind for her next start.
Marfilous Wins by a Nose in the $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes
A quality field of accredited Texas-bred fillies and mares ran in the 330-yard Miss Houston Stakes with Marfilous holding off a gritty challenge from Zenergetic.
AQHA champion breeder Bobby Cox bred the 4-year-old daughter of Ivory James, who is owned by Ruben Garcia Montemayor. She had a solid 2-year-old campaign, qualifying for both the Harrah’s Entertainment Futurity at Louisiana Downs and the Firecracker Futurity at Delta Downs.
Tonight with Jorge Linares in the irons, Marfilous broke alertly and surged to the wire of the 330-yard stakes in :16.604 seconds, earning a 103 speed index.
“She was really fast as a 2-year-old,” said trainer Abelardo Flores, Jr. “Earlier this year at Louisiana Downs, she was running well and showed us she was ready.”
Selma Stakes winner Zenergetic finished second by a neck under Luis Vivanco. The 5-year-old daughter of Dominyun has won four of her 21 career starts for the Zenergetic Group and trainer Trey Ellis. Graded stakes-placed mare One Sweet Picky rallied from the far outside post to finish third and John Deere Juvenile Challenge champion Carris Cartel completed the superfecta.
This was the sixth win from 13 starts for Marfilous, who was sent off as the fourth betting choice, and paid $14.80 for the win. She earned $12,000 for her first stakes victory, and increased her lifetime earnings to $53,869.
Washta Magnolia Top Qualifier in Trials for the $191,900 Sam Houston Derby (G3)
The Friday evening card at Sam Houston Race Park featured eight trials for the $191,900 Sam Houston Derby (G3).
The seventh trial produced the fastest clocking of the night when Washta Magnolia blazed to the wire of the 350-yard dash in :17.660 seconds. Owned by Jorge Aguilera, the Oklahoma-bred son of Cartel Success not only set the fastest time, he broke his maiden in his sixth career effort. Jorge Lopez trains the bay gelding, who began his career at Remington Park last March in Oklahoma Futurity trials.
Trainer Saul Ramirez, Jr. continues to have a solid meet and qualified two finalists: Schutts and Kas Tempting. Both were ridden by Eddie Sanchez with Schutts making his first start for owner Luis Alberto Villarreal and winning his trial in :17.665. Kas Tempting, a son of Tempting Dash owned by Garza Laurel Partnership, LLC, is no stranger to success at Sam Houston Race Park, having set the fastest qualifying time in the 2017 Sam Houston Futurity, running fifth in the final to This Is An Eagle. The two will meet again in two weeks, as This Is An Eagle, the Texas-bred son of One Famous Eagle, owned by Mary Lynne Thompson recorded the ninth-fastest clocking with regular pilot Francisco Calderon aboard.
Click HERE for a complete list of the ten fastest qualifiers. They will return for the final on Saturday, April 28; the same night as the running of the $440,600 Sam Houston Futurity (G2).
Sam Houston Race Park, Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, is located just 15 miles from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including 16 luxury suites overlooking the race track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming concerts, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.
Photo: Coady Photography