NEWS AND NOTES FOR FEBRUARY 7, 2014
$50,000 BUCHAREST STAKES SET FOR SATURDAY NIGHT AT SHRP
Saturday’s feature at Sam Houston Race Park is the $50,000 Bucharest Stakes for accredited Texas-breds at five-furlongs over the Connally Turf Course. Triumph and Song, a game winner of the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The 5-year-old was claimed by trainer Karl Broberg for $40,000 at Churchill Downs. He has won his last two races for new owners H & H Ranch and will go for his third straight win this Saturday under jockey Junior Chacaltana. He will run as an entry with Wahine Bling, who will be ridden by Gerardo Mora.
Two runners from the barn of Brent Davidson will run as a coupled entry in the Bucharest Stakes. Ishararuler, a 5-year-old gelded son of Ish Ar, ran third in this stakes in 2013, and fifth two weeks ago to track record-setter Sum of the Parts in the $75,000 Champion Energy Services Stakes.
Davidson will give a leg up to Glen Murphy on Ishararuler and will also saddle his half-brother, Rule Breaker, who will be ridden by Justin Shepherd. Both sprinters are bred and owned by P and D Racing Stables.
Multiple stakes winner Solar Charge, who ran second to Triumph and Song, is the highest earner in the Bucharest Stakes with 14 wins and career earnings of $371,609. The 7-year-old son of Authenticate is trained by Ellen Williams and will be ridden by Lindey Wade. The field also includes Wagson, who ran third in the Spirit of Texas. Trainer Allen Milligan has given the mount to Deshawn Parker, the Sam Houston Race Park leading rider.
Lynn and Sonny Ellen’s 4-year-old homebred Mula Run, along with Gerald and Brody Veal’s 4-year-old homebred Seeking Payday round out the field of 8.
Carded as race 8, the Bucharest Stakes is named for the late Thoroughbred sprinter Bucharest, owned by Israel Flores and trained by Amos Laborde, who set three track records at Sam Houston Race Park, including the lightening-fast six furlong time of 1:08.88 on May 11, 1994, which remains the current track record.
This weekend also marks the 7th annual return of the always-popular wiener dog races. The Dachshunds will compete on the main track at a distance of approximately 20 yards in between live Thoroughbred races. The winners of each qualifying round meet in the final with past champions Vito and Ricky Bobby both entered in this year’s event.
FIRST-TIMERS AT HOUSTON HAVING SUCCESSFUL MEET
One notable new addition to the Sam Houston Race Park trainer roster is Kentucky horseman, Eric Reed. The second-generation conditioner has trained since 1983 and has gotten off to a solid start in his first season at Sam Houston Race Park.
With 8 wins from 23 starters, Reed is second in the standings to Steve Asmussen, who has won the Sam Houston training title five times. Reed’s first-call rider Deshawn Parker leads the rider standings with 15 wins to Gerardo Mora, last year’s champion, who has ridden 12 winners in the first three weeks of the meet.
DUCK DYNASTY CAST MEMBER NEW THOROUGHBRED OWNER
Si Robertson, a cast member of the popular A&E program Duck Dynasty, has entered into a racing partnership with established owner and TTA member Wesley Melcher. The pair, along with Ashley Howard Nelson, sister of Duck Dynasty cast member Korie Robertson, now own a 2-year-old filly bred in Louisiana, which is home base for Duck Dynasty.
The filly, who is to be named Sithechristmas Elf in honor of Si Roberston, is currently in training at Melcher’s Double Infinity Ranch in Sulphur Springs, Texas. Melcher has been in racing three years, and owns Louies Flower, who will be going for his fourth straight win when he starts in the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on Feb. 17.
Duck Dynasty is the most watched program on cable television. The reality show follows the lives of the West Monroe, La., family who founded a successful business named Duck Commander.
NEW RACING APP
The Jockey Club and Equibase Company have issued a press release announcing the release of the America’s Best Racing (ABR) app for iPhone and Android. The free app includes video replays provided by Roberts Communications plus full charts and pari-mutuel payoffs of all graded stakes races (including the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup) for the current year as they occur, as well as every graded stakes race run since 2010.
The 2014 America’s Best Racing app can be downloaded at itunes.com and play.google.com. A web version of ABR is available at americasbestracing.net and equibase.com.
“This app is the perfect tool to follow graded stakes races from your mobile device as they happen throughout the year and watch the best of racing from the past several years,” said Jason Wilson, vice president, business development, The Jockey Club. “We are happy to partner with Equibase to bring this app to a new audience of fans as part of America’s Best Racing’s fan initiatives.”
The America’s Best Racing app was developed by The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc.
NOTES: Fasig-Tipton Texas is still accepting entries for the 2-Year-Old Sale and you may contact Tim Boyce at 972.262.0000 for information…The next meeting of the Texas Racing Commission is scheduled for 10:30 on Tuesday, February 11th in Austin… Congrats to Valor Farm’s Fiftyshadesofgold being weighted at 115 and Thegirlinthatsong being weighted at 104 on the Experimental Free Handicap, which is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s 2-year-olds based on a theoretical race at a distance of 1 1/16 miles…At the January 29 TTA Board meeting, Phil Leckinger was elected to the Executive Committee, replacing Gearald Farris whose term ended in December…Join us on Feb. 15th at TTA Night at the Races, featuring the Texas Stallion Stakes and you may sign up for prize drawings to win tickets to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and a Toro Ultra Electric Blower Vac; make your reservations with Mark Smith at 281-807-8710.