The Houston Racing Festival with Two Graded Stakes, is Set for Saturday, January 27

HOUSTON, TX – Sam Houston Race Park will kick off its 30th live racing season on Friday, January 5, 2024.  A total of 22 stakes with purses totaling $2.5 million will be run throughout the 43-day Thoroughbred meet, which continues through through Sunday, April 7.

Supporting Texas-bred racing continues to be an important priority for the northwest Houston racetrack. Two stakes, the $75,000 Darby’s Daughter for 3-year-old fillies and the $75,000 My Dandy Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings will be contested on opening night. These stakes kick off the Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. Texas  Stallion Stakes Series for 3-year-olds.

The annual Houston Racing Festival is set for Saturday, January 27 with a 1:00 pm first post. The 2024 edition will offer five stakes races, anchored by the $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf (G3).  The $100,000 Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile, $75,000 Bara Lass and $75,000 Gexa Groovy Stakes will be included on the undercard.

Texas Preview Day comes next with five stakes for Texas-breds on Saturday, February 17. The event serves as important preparation for Texas Champions Day, with seven stakes races on Saturday, March 23.

Bryan Pettigrew, Sam Houston Race Park’s Vice President and General Managerlooks forward to a season filled with quality racing and an enhanced promotions and event schedule. Live racing will take place Fridays at 6:30 pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm (Central).  Holiday Monday racing, also at 1:00 pm, will take place on Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day. Sam Houston Race Park will also host live racing and festivities, beginning at 1:00 pm on each of the Triple Crown dates: Kentucky Derby on May 4, Preakness on May 18 and Belmont Stakes on June 8.

“We are committed to presenting an exciting racing season and engaging horseplayers, no matter their level of experience,” said Pettigrew. “Our goal in hosting live racing and promotions on weekend afternoons is to create a festive atmosphere for both racing enthusiasts and casual fans.”

2024 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule

Friday, January 5                            

$75,000 Darby’s Daughter                             3yo F- 5.5 Furlongs

$75,000 My Dandy Stakes                             3yo C&G- 5.5 Furlongs

Saturday, January 27                                   Houston Racing Festival

$300,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3)          4&up F&M- 1 1/16 Mile

$200,000 John B. Connally Turf (G3)            4&up- 1 1/2 Mile (T)

$100,000 Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile              3yo- 1 Mile (T)

$75,000 Bara Lass Stakes                               3yo Texas-bred Fillies- 6 Furlongs

$75,000 Gexa Groovy Stakes                         3yo Texas-bred- 6 furlongs

Friday, February 16

$35,000 Darley Sprint Arabian Stakes(G2)    7 Furlongs 4& up Arabians

Saturday, February 17                                 Texas Preview Day for Texas-breds

$75,000 Jim’s Orbit                                        3yo C&G- 6 Furlongs

$75,000 Two Altazano                                   3yo F- 6 Furlongs

$75,000 H-Town                                             4yo & up- 7 Furlongs

$75,000 Miss Bluebonnet Turf                       4&up F&M- 1 Mile (T)

$75,000 Houston Turf                                    4&up- 1 1/16 Miles (T)

Friday, March 9

$60,000 Texas-Six Shooter Arabian Stakes   4& up Arabians -1 1/16 Miles (T)

Saturday, March 23                                      Texas Champions Day for Texas-breds

$100,000 TTA Derby                                     3yo C&G- 1 Mile and 70 yards

$100,000 TTA Oaks                                       3yo F- 1 Mile and 70 yards

$75,000 Richard King                                    4&up- 1 1/8 Mile (T)

$75,000 San Jacinto                                        4&up F&M- 1 1/16 Mile (T)

$75,000 Spirit of Texas                                  4&up- 6 Furlongs

$75,000 Yellow Rose Stakes                          4&up F&M- 6 furlongs

$75,000 Star of Texas                                     4&up- 1 Mile

Saturday, March 30

$60,000 Yellow Rose Arabian Stakes            4& up Arabians -1 Mile (T)

Michael Acton returns as Racing Secretary for the 2024 live racing season including the 25-day Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meet which will run from FridayApril 19 through Saturday, June 15. Post time for the Quarter Horse season will be 6:30 pm.  The Sam Houston Race Park Horsemen’s link has updated resources including the first condition book, stakes nominations, information on Texas Racing Commission licensing  and stall application information for the 2024 live racing season. 

About Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. Owned by Penn Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ – PENN), the racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions for businesses, group outings and families during racing and the off-season. The track is best known for its award-winning dining and features multiple areas for fans looking for casual to upscale dining options including its Winner’s Circle Restaurant, Jockey Club, Luxury Suites and Pavilion Centre. For more information or tickets to upcoming live racing, shows and events, please visit or follow on: FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTok or YouTube.