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March 25, 2012
The first stakes of the 2012 American Quarter Horse meet at Sam Houston Race Park featured a well-matched group of 10 accredited Texas-bred 3-year-old fillies on Saturday night. Hot Tickin captured the first stakes of her career, drawing off in the $15,000 Silestone Stakes.
Bred by Roger Knight Jr., the daughter of Hotdoggin is owned by Felipe Barron of Houston and trained by Jeff Acuna. Claimed last year for $5,000, the bay filly then won an allowance race at Evangeline Downs and finished the year with a fourh-place finish in the $161,950 Evangeline Downs Futurity. Jockey David Alvarez picked up the mount in the Silestone, breaking from post position four and covering 330 yards in :16.583, a head in front of Pink Cartel.
Acuna has always been impressed with the diminutive filly, who earned a 104 speed index in her first stakes win.
“We’re real happy,” said Acuna. “Not a bad claim. We liked her breeding, and although she’s small, only 14 hands, she’s got a big heart. It’s nice to come home to Houston and see such a nice crowd.”
Pink Cartel, who won the $46,000 Dash for Cash Juvenile Invitational (R) last October at Lone Star Park, was second under Alfonso Lujan. She was making her second start of 2012 after competing in trials for the Oklahoma Derby on March 4 at Remington Park. B Z Amazing Grace ran third, followed by Massima, I B Zooming, BS Let Freedom Ring, Special Awards, Eyesa Royality and School Girl Fantasy.
Hot Tickin was sent off as the third choice in the wagering and returned $9.60 for the win.
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