Connally Breeders' Cup Turf at Sam Houston Race Park Receives Grade III from the Graded Stakes Committee

The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) announced that the richest race of the Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting, the $200,000 John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf will receive Grade III status for its 2006 running.

This is the first graded stakes awarded to Sam Houston Race Park which opened in April, 1994 and runs a six-month Thoroughbred meeting each October - April. The stakes schedule for the 2005/2006 Thoroughbred meeting features 27 stakes with purses of $1.6 million. The John B.Connally Breeders' Cup Turf for 3-year-olds and upward at a distance of 1 1/8 miles has always been the premier stakes of the Thoroughbred racing season.

“We are delighted that Sam Houston Race Park will run its first graded stakes in 2006,” commented Robert L. Bork, president and general manager of the northwest Houston racetrack. “Our racing office has worked hard for many years attracting the caliber of horses that merit this recognition. The Grade III Connally Breeders' Cup Turf should be an exceptional race.”

Past champions of the Connally Breeders' Cup Turf include Rapid Proof, Chorwon and Candid Glen, who is the only horse in the 12-year history of the stakes to win a record three times. Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf ran in the 2004 Connally and Hall of Fame conditioners, Bobby Frankel and Bill Mott have shipped horses into Sam Houston Race Park for the John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf.

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