Sam Houston Derby

Sam Houston Derby

Fastest qualifier Special Apollitical gets his first stakes win.

Special Apollitical. PHOTO: Coady Photography

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Adam B. Smith's Special Apollitical, a homebred son of world champion Apollitical Jess and the fastest qualifier, sprinted to a half-length victory in Friday's $255,400 Sam Houston Derby (G3) at Sam Houston Race Park.

Ridden by Luis Vivanco and racing against a reported 20-mph head wind, Special Apollitical covered 350 yards in :18.303. Toby Keeton prepped the bay gelding, who banked $102,160 from his first lifetime stakes win.

Special Apollitical was bred in Oklahoma, and he made his 3-year-old season debut with a 1 1/4-length victory in the fifth of seven Sam Houston Derby trials on April 30. A native of Ardmore, Oklahoma, who now lives in Dallas, Smith was in the winner's circle after the gelding's win.

"I can't describe the feeling," said Smith, referring to his first stakes victory as an owner. "My grandfather, dad and brother all owned Quarter Horses. I said I'd never do it, but here I am.

"We raised this baby's mama (the PYC Paint Your Wagon mare Scouts Special Wagon) in my backyard," he added. "We took a shot and bred her to Apollitical Jess. We've worked with his attitude a little bit, and he's been much better. We have high hopes for him this year."

Special Apollitical has won four of seven starts and has earned $161,471, of which $111,160 has been banked from two races this year. The gelding was a finalist in last year's Grade 1, 400-yard Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park.

San Lorenzeaux, the odds-on favorite, finished second and was followed officially by Lucky Dice, Gulf Coast Flyer, BP Fling In A Wagon, Dealarunner, Mr de Capi, Just Perfect Grace, Running A Big Wave and Jess Delight.

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