SHRP Reinstates Two Graded Stakes Races for the 2009 Quarter Horse Meet

The Texas Quarter Horse Association (TQHA) has provided additional purse money to Sam Houston Race Park, allowing The Park to re-instate two graded stakes races to the 2009 American Quarter Horse meet, which runs through August 29. The money provided by the TQHA will allow The Park to hold the Governors’ Cup Marathon (G3), an 870-yard race for horses ages three and up, on Friday, August 21; and the Sam Houston Classic (G2), a 440-yard race for horses ages three and up, on Saturday, August 22.

The Park announced the elimination of three stakes races from the summer meet on June 25 in an effort to minimize the purse cut to the overnight races, as well as noting the adverse affects of Hurricane Ike, which forced the cancellation of the 2008/2009 Thoroughbred meet.

“Losing any stakes races is extremely difficult, and losing two graded stakes races was something the TQHA felt was not an option at this time,” said Rob Werstler, executive director of the TQHA. “Achieving graded stakes status is becoming increasingly difficult, so we felt it was imperative to keep races like the Governors’ Cup Marathon and the Sam Houston Classic. These are important races for the owners and breeders in Texas.”

“We are very appreciative of the TQHA providing funds so we can move forward with both of these exciting graded stakes races for our summer meet,” stated Eric Johnston, Vice President of Racing at Sam Houston Race Park. “The TQHA continues to work tirelessly to promote racing and our horsemen so we can keep racing alive and well in Texas.”

The Park will host a special July 4th Celebration beginning Thursday, July 2 with Dollar Day at The Park, the 15th Anniversary of Vans Warped Tour along with live racing events and Guys Night Out on Friday, July 2, and live racing along with one of the biggest fireworks events in Houston on Saturday, July 4.

The Park will host live racing events every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in July. The 2009 Quarter Horse meet will run through Saturday, August 29. For more information and a complete stakes schedule, visit

The Texas Quarter Horse Association began in 1978 and is the largest American Quarter Horse affiliate. It is located in Austin, Texas and has a full-time staff of eight that run two divisions: racing and halter & performance. Current membership is over 2,500 horse enthusiasts.

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