EC Cartel Returns in Sam Houston Distance Challenge

The stakes-winning 8-year-old gelding draws post 2.

Alejandra Carrion's EC Cartel is one of six distance specialists entered in Saturday's Sam Houston Distance Challenge. PHOTO: Dustin Orona Photography

Alejandra Carrion’s EC Cartel, a homebred son of Tinys First Corona, will make his 8-year-old season debut in Saturday’s 870-yard, $18,900 AQHA Sam Houston Distance Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park.

EC Cartel will be making his first start since November 23, when the gelding ran third, 2 3/4 lengths behind winner Executive Trust, in the 870-yard King Rick Rack Stakes at Zia Park in New Mexico. EC Cartel earned $29,516 from five outs last year, and his resume included a 1 1/2-length victory in the October 1, $20,000 AQHA Lone Star Distance Challenge at Lone Star Park.

EC Cartel drew post 2 and will be ridden by Donell Blake for trainer Judd Kearl. The gelding’s five opponents include Stolis Pro, a stakes-winning homebred 6-year-old son of champion Stoli campaigned by Jerry Windham of College Station, Texas. Stolis Pro ended his 5-year-old season with two open-condition 870-yard allowance wins at Lone Star Park.

Stolis Pro is trained by Leon Bard. The gelding drew post 6 and will be ridden by Francisco Calderon.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments:
Bet I Make U Famous (Alfonso Lujan)
EC Cartel (Donell Blake)
Brookstone Dash (Damian Martinez)
Jess Twice (Julio A. Rodriguez)
The Field Cricket (Jerry Yoakum)
Stolis Pro (Francisco Calderon)

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