Sam Houston Race Park Presents Challenge Doubleheader

Saturday's 10-race program features the Adequan Texas Derby Challenge and John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge.

Q-Racing Journal

Fastest qualifier Gustafame is the morning-line choice for Saturday's Adequan Texas Derby Challenge. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Two Bank of America Challenge Championship berths will be on the line when Sam Houston Race Park presents a 10-race card on Saturday.

Trainer Brian Stroud will send out three of the 10 finalists in the 350-yard, $70,020 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge, topped by Michael S. Amburn's Jess Tee. A homebred son of champion Mr Jess Perry and the second-fastest qualifier, Jess Tee broke his maiden with a one-length victory in his trial on April 28.

"His first out was very disapppointing, but he looked really good in his trial," Stroud said of Jess Tee. "We hope both he and (Alan and Sharon Colley's) Ivory N Ashes run that kind of race on Saturday."

Stroud will also be represented by Ivory Noche, the 5-2 morning-line favorite. The third-fastest qualifier, Ivory Noche is a homebred Ivory James gelding campaigned by K & W Land and Cattle Co. 

"I liked him from day one," said Stroud. "He is sound and a very honest runner. He’s always shown promise and we like his chances in the final."

The winner of this race will earn a berth in the October 14, $130,000 John Deere Challenge Championship (G2) at Prairie Meadows. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Glimpse Of Fire (Leonardo C. Ruiz), 5-1
Ivory N Ashes (Luciano Duenez), 12-1
Thebunnygoeson (Jose A. Alvarez), 30-1
Jessanotherbeatin (Noe Villatoro), 10-1
He Win It (Rodrigo Vallejo), 15-1
Jess Tee (Francisco Calderon), 3-1
Louisiana Seis (Cipriano Vidana), 8-1
Ivory Noche (Juan F. Garcia Jr.), 5-2
Carris Cartel (Santos Carrizales), 20-1
Black Onyx (Jose Martinez), 4-1

Adequan Texas Derby Challenge
Jim and Louise Padgett's Gustafame, a homebred son of Freighttrain B conditioned by reigning champion trainer Judd Kearl and the fastest qualifier, is the 2-1 morning-line choice for Saturday's 400-yard, $55,260 Adequan Texas Derby Challenge (G3).

Coming off of a nine-month layoff, Gustafame sprinted to a one-length win in the second of three trials on April 29. The Padgetts son Jimmy is one of Kearl's top assistants.

“His trial win here was very exciting,” said Jim Padgett. "When you raise them, it's special. When he was a yearling, he was a very aggressive little guy with a lot of play in him. When it was time for training, we sent him to Judd, whose success is well-deserved. He's worked very hard for many years."

Gustafame was coming off of a juvenile campaign during which he earned $15,890 from six outs and ran fourth in both the John Deere Ruidoso and Texas Juvenile Challenge Stakes.

The winner of this race earns a berth in the Grade 3, $180,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows on October 14. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Executive Moment (Noe Villatoro), 15-1
Rc The Duke (Nestor Duran), 15-1
Mystic Daddy (Juan F. Garcia Jr.), 8-1
Zoomin Hero (Cipriano Vidana), 20-1
Deala Quick Game (Juan L. Vazquez), 6-1
A Salty Corona (Luciano Duenez), 10-1
Gustafame (Rodrigo Vallejo), 2-1
Tac My Time (Francisco Calderon) 7-2
Trashy Tres (L. Salvador Martinez), 3-1
Hawktomatic (Jose A. Alvarez), 12-1

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