Si Puede and Janet Van Bebber Reign Supreme in the 2005 Quarter Horse Meeting at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park concluded its 2005 Quarter Horse meeting on Sunday, September 11. The final weekend was highlighted by accomplishments by Si Puede, who locked up Horse of the Meeting honors and trainer Janet Van Bebber, who wrapped up her fifth leading trainer title at the northwest Houston racetrack.

Si Puede has lived up to her name throughout the 2005 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse Meeting and capped her stellar season with a victory in the $111,400 Sam Houston Derby (G2) on Saturday, September 10. Bred and owned by Lukin Gilliland of San Antonio, the daughter of Holland Ease won her fifth consecutive race of the season as she captured the Grade 2 stakes. Trained by Dave Correll, Si Puede had won three stakes earlier this meet, the $44,750 TQHA Classic Stakes, the $14,750 Gulf Coast Stakes and the $15,500 Miss Houston Stakes under regular rider, Jose Vega.

Leading Trainer honors went to Janet Van Bebber for the fifth year in a row. She and her late husband, Steve have won the leading Quarter Horse training title each year since Sam Houston Race Park opened in 1994. Last year she made history on October 22, 2004 when Sold Out Show, owned by Betty Jane Burlin, won the 59th race of the meeting, which surpassed the previous record for wins in a single meeting. Fittingly, Sold Out Show returned today and won the first race of the card for Van Bebber racing. She has won a total of 37 races this meeting, including stakes wins with Streakin Sin Tacha; Silent Overdrive, who defended his title in the Grade 2 Sam Houston Classic; and Amaze Me Now, who broke his maiden in the $36,555 Colors of Houston Futurity.

James Brooks proved that leading rider titles are worth waiting for. The 54-year-old jockey won his only previous title in 1973 at Les Bois Downs. This summer at Sam Houston Race Park, he dominated the entire jockey colony winning 51 races, which was 25 more than his closest rival, Mark Page. He and trainer Judd Kearl have formed a solid partnership this summer. Brooks had multiple wins aboard Jw Silver and Shays Front Runner. He also piloted longshot Thanks for the Ride to victory in the $13,500 Harrisburg Stakes on August 19. In addition to his fine performance for Kearl, Brooks rode winners for Duane Hartsell, Toby Keeton and Monty Brooks.

Leading owner of the meet is A. D. Maddox of Houston, Texas. This was the first title for Maddox, who won nine races this meet. James Gerhards trains the majority of Maddox’s horse including Spectacular Dreamer, Bottoms Up Streak and distance specialist, Seek N Destroy, winner of two races this meet.

Live Thoroughbred racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, October 28, 2005. The northwest Houston racetrack looks forward to a strong opening weekend with the return of live racing and simulcast of the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships from Belmont Park. Texas Champions Day, one of the premier days of racing featuring seven stakes races, will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2005.

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