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Q-Racing JournalApril 24, 2014
The Dean Frey-owned, -bred and -trained Shez Jess Toxic may have found a good spot to return to the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) when she starts in the $29,160 Merial Sam Houston Distaff Challenge on Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park.
Also on the deep program is the $15,000 Texas Twister Stakes for Texas-breds at 110 yards and claimers share the spotlight in the $20,790 Zoetis Sam Houston Starter Allowance Challenge.
The winners of the Merial Sam Houston Distaff Challenge and the Zoetis Sam Houston Starter Allowance earn starting spots for their respective races during the Bank of America Challenge Championships on October 17-18 at Prairie Meadows.
Shez Jess Toxic (Take Off Jess-Dashing Fly Lady by Victory Dash) comes to Sam Houston after an impressive five-start run at Los Alamitos that concluded on January 5. She raced to close second-place finishes in the $27,990 Merial Los Alamitos Distaff Challenge (G3) and the $35,000 Las Damas Handicap (G3) and thirds in the $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap (G2), $100,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) and the $147,750 Mildred Vessels Handicap (G1).
Lighting the board in all 17 career starts, Shez Jess Toxic won last year’s $40,860 Merial Remington Park Distaff Challenge to earn her berth in the Merial Distaff Challenge Championships held at Los Alamitos last fall.
Garlyn Shelton’s Stoli Angel (Stoli-Eyesa Shaker by Eyesa Special) should be in prime form for trainer Russell Harris. She returned from a six-month layoff on March 28 to finish second, beaten by a head, in the $20,000 Silestone Stakes for Texas-bred fillies and mares. The qualifier for the 2012 Ruidoso Futurity (G1) nearly beat champion PJ Chick In Black in their Ruidoso Derby (G1) trial last summer at Ruidoso Downs.
Jack Manning and Tammy Johnson’s Solid Anita Jo (Rock Solid Jess-Arriba Reba by Separatist) makes her first start since finishing second in the $37,000 Merial Lone Star Distaff Challenge back in September. The Johnson-trained mare made a strong bid to get within a head of winner Girlilla at nearly 12-1 odds.
The quickest of the quick come out in the Texas Twister Stakes with Ernesto Saucedo’s The Hot List racing to a win in the 2012 Texas Twister and then finishing a close third in last year’s running.
In the 2012 Texas Twister, the Yasmine Fierro-trained gelding won by the large margin of three quarters of a length over the short 110 yards. A year, ago, the gelding was beaten by just a neck as the even-money choice. He also has a second in the 2012 $20,000 King Wilhelm Handicap and second in the $15,000 Live Oak Handicap last summer at Retama Park. Each of those stakes were at 350 yards.
A race for horses who have raced for a $5,000 claiming tag, the Zoetis Sam Houston Starter Allowance Challenge offers Bob McClure and Kevin Hogan’s Cash N FDD Dynasty (FDD Dynasty-Cash Cartel by Corona Cartel), who fits well against this competition.
Cash N FDD Dynasty has been competing at Remington Park and raced to a second-place finish against $10,000 starter-allowance in his most recent start. The Toby Keeton-trained gelding won a $5,000 starter-allowance race last fall at Will Rogers Downs.
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