More than 8,461 people turned out for the race card featuring the second running of the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic last Saturday, won by Rose to Gold. SHRP donated $1 for each paid admission to the event beneficiary, the Houston chapter of the Susan G. Komen® Foundation.

For the second year in a row, a new track record of 0:56:21 was set in the $75,000 Champion Energy Services Stakes. Trainer Tom Amoss and jockey Rosie Napravnik teamed with Sum Of The Parts, who prevailed in the always exciting turf sprint.

Saturday’s feature at Sam Houston Race Park is the $50,000 Tomball Stakes, for accredited Texas-bred fillies and mares at a mile and one-sixteenth over the Connally Turf Course. The field of eight includes six turf specialists that competed in the $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes on opening night.

Smiles Golden Song, owned by Sylvia Baird, won the San Jacinto Stakes as well as the Fiesta Mile on the Retama Park turf course. Trainer Larry Stroope saddled the five-year-old daughter of My Golden Song, who has now won six of her 10 turf career races.

Other contenders include San Jacinto Stakes runner-up Vilao, Green Briar Kitty, who ran third in the San Jacinto, Shezararebird, who was runner-up to Smiles Golden Song in the Fiesta Mile, as well as Mescaleress, Ataka’s Special, Wampas Kitty and Royal Cha Cha.

Racing fans on Friday evening will enjoy the Chinese New Year Celebration featuring a Dragon Dance and Asian inspired food selections as well as the weekly 50 Cent Beer Fridays featuring 50 Cent Draft Beer and $1.50 Wine Specials every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday evening marks the return of the Food Trucks Festival, featuring a variety of Houston’s best food trucks outside of the Paddock. Vendors will include Good Dog, Kurbside Eatz, Happy Endings, Koagie Hots, Golden Grill, Bernie’s Burger Bus, Porch Swing Desserts, Phamily Bites and Third Coast.

Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie announced the track’s 2014 Spring Thoroughbred Season stakes schedule featuring 11 stakes, including two graded stakes, with purses totaling $1 million.

The two premiere events on the stakes calendar are the Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile for 3-year-olds and up to be run Saturday, April 26, and the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles to be run Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day).

New this year will be the $50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial Stakes to be run on Saturday, April 12. The race was formerly run as the JEH Stallion Station Stakes and is named after the longtime Grand Prairie Sports Facilities and Development Corporation member. Hanks passed away in October of 2012.

Texas-breds and Texas Sale Graduates will be showcased in four stakes races Saturday, July 12 in the 14th annual Stars of Texas Day. The program will be highlighted by two divisions of the $100,000 estimated TTA Sales Futurity (2-year-old fillies and colts and geldings going 5 furlongs), the $50,000 Assault Stakes (Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up at one mile) and the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes (Texas-bred fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up at 6-furlongs).

The return of the Global Gaming Triple, a three-race series linking the Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile, Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, and the $175,000 Governor’s Cup for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles at Remington Park in August, seeks to provide horsemen additional incentive to compete in all three stakes.

Global Gaming Solutions, owner of both Lone Star Park and Remington Park, will offer a bonus to be split equally among owner and trainer of the horse that accumulates the most points in the three stakes. A horse must compete in all three designated races to be eligible for bonus money, and points will be awarded to the first through third place finishers on a 5-3-1 basis.

Lone Star Park’s 50-day 2014 Spring Thoroughbred Season opens Thursday, April 10 and concludes Saturday, July 12. Live racing will be held four days a week with a first-race post-time of 6:35 p.m. for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night programs (except Thursday, May 29 when there will be no live racing), and Sundays with a first-race post-time of 1:35 p.m. (except Sunday, April 13 & 20; June 22 & 29; and July 6.) Live racing will be conducted Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day) with a first-race post-time of 1:35 p.m. A special twilight program will be held on Thursday, July 4 (Lone Stars & Stripes Fireworks Celebration) with a first race post time of 5 p.m.

NOTES: If you’re looking for a Derby horse to cheer for, you might consider Uncle Sigh – he’s named after one of the stars of Duck Dynasty on A&E and his owner, George McEwen’s Wounded Warrior Stables, donates 10% of earnings to veteran-related charities… With focus on safety, presenters at the Jockeys’ Guild assembly outlined the dangers of concussions, explained a new baseline testing initiative, and provided initial results from the U.S. Jockey Injury Database…Acting under a looming deadline, the Illinois legislature reauthorized advance deposit wagering in the state, staving off a draconian cut in 2014 racing dates… This spring, ’50-1′, a movie about Mine That Bird’s improbable victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, will be released in theaters, and as part of the promotional effort, members of the cast and crew of the film will take part in a cross-country bus tour that will retrace the route trainer Chip Woolley took when he hauled Mine That Bird in a trailer from New Mexico to Churchill Downs… Proposed legislation in Pennsylvania would shift $250 million of the annual revenue the racing fund receives from slot machines and redirect it to education… Fasig-Tipton has catalogued 66 supplemental entries to its upcoming Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale, to be held Sunday and Monday, February 9 and 10, in Lexington…The catalog for the 25th Annual Barretts March Sale of Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training is now on-line, available for iPad and will be mailed soon…See for a very interesting article discussing how jockeys are real assets in promoting the sport of racing…The January 28 TRC Rules Committee meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, February 6th…Our sympathies to the family of TTA Director Ed Few, whose sister, Olga Frances Few, passed away this week.