Sam Houston Race Park Announces Post Time Changes for the 2006 American Quarter Horse Meeting

Live American Quarter Horse racing returns to Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, June 23. The 38-day meeting will feature live racing every Friday and Saturday with a new post time of 6:00 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Opening night will be highlighted by running of the $10,000-added Stephen F. Austin Stakes for accredited Texas-breds and the first Bud Light Texas Music Explosion concert with Jack Ingram following live racing.

“We have received comments and suggestions from our fans for a number of years urging us to consider an earlier post time,” said Robert L. Bork, Sam Houston Race Park’s president and general manager. “The change to hosting our first race at 6:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday should be popular with our fans and also give the horsemen an opportunity to run earlier and get some well-deserved rest.”

The barn area at Sam Houston Race Park will open on Saturday, June 10 with horses to begin training on Thursday, June 15. The Sam Houston Race Park racing office has processed stall applications from Janet Van Bebber, Kenneth Roberts, Heath Taylor, Judd Kearl, Dave Correll, Duane Hartsell, John Buchanan, Toby Keeton and many other accomplished trainers. Buchanan was pleased to hear of the change in post times for the 2006 American Quarter Horse Meeting.

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all,” said Buchanan, who was shipping horses from Remington Park to other destinations. “The Sunday afternoon racing was fine last year; it gives our help an extra night off. The concerts at Sam Houston have been good for getting people out to the track to see some racing.”

DM Shicago Pointed Toward the MBNA America Texas Challenge on July 8

DM Shicago, 2005 AQHA World Champion, will make his next start at Sam Houston Race Park in the MBNA America Texas Challenge on Saturday, July 8. The 4-year-old gelding is trained by Heath Taylor for James and Marilyn Helzer. He won the 2004 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and returned to the racetrack in 2005, winning five of his seven starts, including the All American Derby on September 4.

He has made just two starts this year, running third in the MNBA America Oklahoma Challenge Championship on May 14 and seventh in the Remington Park Invitational Championship on June 4. Rider Juan Vazquez has ridden the Oklahoma-bred, who has earned $1.8 million in purses, in each of his 14 career starts.

“Juan said that he warmed up super, but got rank in the gates,” said Tracy Taylor from the Taylor’s farm in Ledbetter, Texas. “We shipped him back to the farm and are pointing him to the MBNA Challenge at Sam Houston in July. Our goal is to get him qualified for the Champion of Champions and we think he will like the Sam Houston track surface.”

The $600,000 Champion of Champions is one of American Quarter Horse racing’s most prestigious events and will take place at Los Alamitos on Saturday, December 9.

Taylor has requested 28 stalls for the upcoming Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meeting. He conditions Fast Talkin Val, winner of the 2005 MBNA Texas Challenge, who is another possible starter for the Grade 1 stakes on July 8.

Sunday was the final night of the 2006 Remington Park Quarter Horse meeting and despite the loss of DM Shicago in the $150,000 Remington Park Invitational Championship, Taylor saddled First Carolina, the winner of the $677,365 Heritage Place Futurity (G1). The 2-year-old daughter of Mr Jess Perry is owned by Weetona Stanley and W.E. Smith and defeated fastest qualifier, Ivory James by a head. Ivory James is trained by John Buchanan for owners Sylvia Shaw Pittman and Bobby Cox.

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