From Press Release:
HOUSTON, TX – Sam Houston Race Park will kick off its 2022 live racing season on Thursday, January 6 with an expanded 50-day Thoroughbred meet.
The 2022 Thoroughbred Stakes schedule will offer $2,275,000 in purses. Its Houston Racing Festival is set for Sunday, January 30 headlined by the Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and the John B. Connally Turf (G3). Inaugurated in 2013, the Houston Ladies Classic was formed to serve as the marquee racing event for Sam Houston’s Thoroughbred meet. Now in its tenth running, the mile and one-sixteenth Houston Ladies Classic continues to produce exceptional champions that make an impact on the national radar throughout the year. St. George Stable’s Letruska continues to deny her rivals in graded stakes competition across the United States. Following her commanding victory in the Houston Ladies Classic, the 5-year-old mare by Super Saver has won five stakes, including four Grade 1 titles. She currently ranks second in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, a weekly salute to the ten leading Thoroughbreds in North America and will compete next in the Grade 1, Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar.
The purse for the Houston Ladies Classic has been raised from $300,000 to $400,000 for the coming year and officials are hopeful that the North American Graded Stakes committee will boost its status from the Grade 3 level when announcement is made later this year.
The Houston Racing Festival also includes the Grade 3, $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup, the $100,000 Pulse Power Turf Sprint, the $75,000 Jersey Lilly Turf Stakes and $75,000 Stonerside Sprint. The$200,000 Texas Turf Mile for three-year-olds has attracted full field for the last two years and has been renamed as the Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile.
Bork was a respected racing executive who joined Sam Houston Race Park as senior vice president and general manager in 1995 and was promoted to president in 2002. He passed away peacefully at his home in Houston on June 11, 2021 at the age of 83.
Dwight Berube, who worked for Bork throughout his Sam Houston Race Park tenure, is now the racetrack’s vice president and general manager.
“Bob Bork set a tremendous foundation for the growth of Sam Houston Race Park when he was hired in 1995,” said Berube. “Throughout his 12-year tenure, he was admired by horsemen, horseplayers and employees and initiated many programs that have been emulated by racetracks across the country. We look forward to honoring him on the premier day of our upcoming racing season.”
Opportunities for Texas-breds will be plentiful in the upcoming meet with 14 Texas-bred stakes. All seven stakes races on Texas Champions Day will run with purses of $100,000.
Frank Hopf, who was recently promoted to Sam Houston Race Park’s Assistant General Manager, is eager for racing to return in January.
“Over the past three years, we have received tremendous support from all of the stakeholders in Texas and the horseplayers have responded to the improved racing product,” said Hopf. “The goal is to build on the positives from 2021 and continue to enhance Texas racing.’
Additionally, Hopf also announced that both the Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and the John B. Connally Turf (G3) will run Lasix-free in 2022.
2022 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule
Thursday, January 20, 2022 – Texas Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes Series
$75,000 My Dandy – 3yo – 5 ½ Furlongs
$75,000 Darby’s Daughter – 3yo F – 5 ½ Furlongs
Sunday, January 30, 2022 – Houston Racing Festival – Over $1,000,000 in Purses
$400,000 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)
$200,000 Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile- 3YO -1 Mile (T)
$100,000 Pulse Power Turf Sprint – 4&up – 5 Furlongs (T)
$75,000 Jersey Lilly Turf – 4&up F&M – 1 1/16 Mile (T)
$75,000 Stonerside Sprint – 4&up – 6 Furlongs
Saturday, February 19, 2022 – Texas Preview Day for Texas-breds
$75,000 Jim’s Orbit – 3yo – 6 Furlongs
$75,000 Two Altazano – 3yo F – 6 Furlongs
$75,000 H-Town – 4 YO & 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)
Saturday, February 26, 2022 – Texas Arabian Night
$30,000-added Texas Six Shooter (G3) – 4 &5 yo – 7 Furlongs
$30,000-added Yellow Rose (G3) – 4 &5 yo F&M – 7 Furlongs
Saturday, March 19, 2022 – Darley Night
$30,000 Darley Distaff – 4 yo & up F&M – 7 Furlongs
$30,000 Darley Sprint – 4 yo & up – 7 Furlongs
Saturday, March 26, 2022 – Texas Champions Day for Texas-breds
$100,000 Bara Lass Stakes – 3yo F – 6 Furlongs
$100,000 Groovy Stakes – 3yo – 6 furlongs
$100,000 San Jacinto – 4&up F&M – 1 1/16 Mile (T)
$100,000 Spirit of Texas – 4&up – 6 Furlongs
$100,000 Yellow Rose Stakes – 4&up F&M – 6 furlongs
$100,000 Star of Texas – 4&up -1 Mile
James Leatherman will serve as racing secretary for the Thoroughbred live racing season and the 25-day Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meet which will run from Friday, April 22 through Saturday, June 18.Stall applications for the upcoming Thoroughbred season are due by Wednesday, November 3. The Sam Houston Race Park barn area will open on Friday, December 3 with training hours set to commence on Monday, December 6. The first condition book is available on equibase.com and further information about the season can be accessed at shrp.com.
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston. The Park offers a variety of attractions including a Suite Level featuring luxurious suites overlooking the racetrack and accommodating groups from 20 to 300 people, 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.