Trainer Steve Asmussen Notches Two Stakes Wins on the Houston Racing Festival Card
FROM SHRP PRESS RELEASE
(Houston, TX) –One of the four Houston Racing Festival undercard stakes featured a very competitive field and a new name in honor of Robert L. Bork, former Sam Houston Race Park president. The $200,000 Texas Turf Mile for 3 year-olds has been renamed the Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile. Bork, who made a tremendous impact on the racing industry, nationally and in Houston, passed away peacefully on June 11, 2021 at the age of 83.
Red Run defeated a field of 10 in the $200,000 Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile as Joel Rosario guided the 3-year-old Gun Runner colt to victory for trainer Steve Asmussen.
“He is Gun Runner’s first winner; nice colt, beautiful action,” said Asmussen. “Joel’s ridden him a few times; we feel he has a good future.”
Rosario, riding at Sam Houston for the first time, agreed with Asmussen’s assessment of the talented young colt.
“Very nice horse,” said Rosario. “He is moving forward and handled this turf well,” said Rosario.
The Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred colt broke his maiden in his debut at Churchill Downs last year and competed in the Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill and the Saratoga Special (G2) at Saratoga. He is out of the Tapit mare Red House.
Asmussen has won 13 leading trainer titles at Sam Houston Race Park, He and Rosario successfully teamed to capture the Grade 3, $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic with Pauline’s Pearl.
The Hall of Fame conditioner spoke of his admiration for Bork’s leadership in the post-race interview.
“Mr. Bork was so instrumental here when Sam Houston opened as the first pari-mutuel racetrack in Texas,” stated Asmussen. “It was special to win this race.”
Red Run ($12.80) closed from eighth to first with a final time of 1:37.75 for one mile on the firm Connally Turf Course. Amussen and Rosario successfully teamed to capture the Grade 3, $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic with Pauline’s Pearl.
Brad Cox’ Bloodline finished second with jockey Marcelino Pedroza, Jr. in the irons. Post-time favorite Stolen Base, ridden by Geovanni Franco and trained by Mike Maker, finished third, followed by Dowagiac Chief, Chanceux, Kaely’s Brother, Pure Panic, Down Cold, Malibu Thunder and Screwball. Grantham was an early scratch.
Members of the Bork family presented the trophy following the running of the Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile. Bork’s wife, Judith, daughter Dina and sons Dan and Michael Bork were in the winner’s circle following the race.
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 the Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming live racing, shows, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.