Solid Handle Numbers Recorded in the 2022 Thoroughbred Live Racing Season
(FROM SHRP RELEASE)
(Houston, TX) –Sam Houston Race Park closed the curtain on its 50-day Thoroughbred live racing season on Saturday, April 9.
The northwest Houston racetrack will usher in its 2022 Quarter Horse meet with a respected industry veteran as the new Director of Racing. Bart Lang has accepted the position and will oversee the racing operations for Sam Houston Race Park, Retama Park in Selma, Texas and Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico. Each of the three racetracks are owned by Penn National Gaming. Inc.
Born in Timonium, Maryland, Maryland, Lang’s first job was working for Bonita Farm, grooming, hot walking and learning the essentials of horse care and training from the highly respected Boniface family. He had tenures in the racing offices of Oaklawn Park, Arlington Park and Hawthorne early in his career prior to becoming the first racing secretary at Lone Star Park. He was on board in the Fall of 1996 throughout the completion of the Grand Prairie racetrack’s inaugural season in 1997. Lang directed all racing operations at Lone Star Park for both the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred meets, through May, 2020. Most recently, he has served as the stakes coordinator at Oaklawn Park.
Lang, 53, will be based at Sam Houston Race Park, beginning May 16.
“I’m excited about joining the team,” said Lang. “I have over 20 years in the Texas racing industry and know these horsemen and women very well. My tenure at Oaklawn Park has been very rewarding and it has been a pleasure working with many of the most prominent connections in the country.”
He will succeed James C. Leatherman who has accepted a position as a Texas state steward.
Having a racing director to oversee each of the three Penn Gaming tracks has been a goal for the organization and Dwight Berube, Sam Houston Race Park’s Manager, looks forward to Lang joining the company.
“Bart is a respected racing director with a solid history in Texas racing,” said Berube. “He will also play a key role in attracting top connections to our 2023 Houston Racing Festival.”
Several Handle Records Set in Sam Houston Race Park’s 2022 Thoroughbred Meet
Officials at Sam Houston Race Park were pleased with handle numbers throughout the 2022 Thoroughbred racing season. The meet began on Thursday, January 6with a record-setting handle of $3,127,238 all source handle, which was the highest opening night as well as Thursday figure in track history.
The Houston Racing Festival on Sunday, January 30broke last year’s handle record, with fans in Houston and across the country wagering $5,977,317 on the marquee day of the Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred season. That surpassed the previous record of $5,342,599 for the 2021 event. Over $103 million wagered during the 50- day meet, making it the second straight year average daily handle topped over $2 million a day.
The victory by Pauline’s Pearl gave Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen a record third win in the Grade 3, $400,0000 Houston Ladies Classic. As previously announced, Stewart Elliott defended his leading jockey title, dueling to the final day with Ry Eikleberry. Steve Asmussen picked up his 14th Sam Houston Race Park training title and End Zone Athletics, Inc. topped all owners and was honored for the third time.
“The 2022 Thoroughbred season was successful on many levels,” said Frank Hopf, Sam Houston’s Assistant General Manager. “We thank each of our owners, trainers, horseplayers, partners and team members for their continued support of Sam Houston Race Park.”
Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse Meet Begins on Friday, April 22
Sam Houston Race Park will kick off its 2022 Quarter Horse racing season on Friday, April 22. The 25-day meet continues through Saturday, June 18. Racing will take place Thursday at 4:00pm, Friday and Saturday at 6:45 pm (Central) with special post times of 10:30 am for Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 7; and 1:00 pm for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 21 and the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11.
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 theJockey Club. For more information on upcoming live racing, shows, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.