Q-Racing Blog: Sam Houston Prospects

Maybe you ought to take a closer look at what Sam Houston is offering.

Quarter Racing Journal

Maybe you ought to take a closer look at what Sam Houston is offering.

Horses coming out of the Sam Houston Futurity and Sam Houston Derby deserve more respect than many people give them. While some handicappers may shun them, I give them an extra look.

This also applies to young horses who may have won a maiden race at the Houston track or showed promise in a non-qualifying trial effort.

The $483,600 Sam Houston Futurity (G2) at 330 yards and the $197,700 Sam Houston Derby (G3) at 350 yards will be contested on April 29 and are class races. Winners in the past four years include Kiss My Hocks, Especially Tres and Mister Big. Racehorses all.

Owned by Roberto J. Laurel and breeder Francisco Javier Garza, Kas Tempting set the fastest time of :16.773 on the first night of nine trials while Mary G. Lynne Thompson’s This Is An Eagle led the qualifiers on the second night of nine trials with a :16.757 mark. With a total of 18 trials, there has to be depth in the competition and horses to watch.

Kas Tempting was most impressive in the eighth trial, especially considering it was his career debut. The Tempting Dash son from the Jose Sanchez barn broke like a pro and then went on to win by an expanding 2 1/2 lengths. He was looking for more distance with each stride and was only tapped a few times to keep his young mind on business.

This Is An Eagle was also impressive while racing to the quickest mark on the second night of trials with a three-length romp from the inside post position. The One Famous Eagle son broke well while making his first start, was encouraged a few times with the right hand and showed a long stride crossing the finish line.

Leon Bard trains This Is An Eagle and he also sent out Pete Scarmardo’s This Is A Deal Too to race to the second-fastest time of :16.740 on the first night of trials. The Dealagame-sired gelding won by 1 1/2 lengths.

Scarmardo and Bard also combined to post the top time to the Sam Houston Derby with the Scarmardo-bred Dash Quick Perry. The Down N Dash-sired gelding quickly took the lead with a wide path and went on to dominate the sixth of eight trials by two lengths. He was timed in :17.356 with minimal urging.

Bard also saddled sixth-fastest qualifier Sochi Special, a Pamela Stone-owned homebred. The Ivory James-sired filly was second in her trial to Maxx and was a close second in last year’s Sam Houston Juvenile.

Irma Vargas’ Maxx won his trial in the second-fastest time of :17.421 for trainer Rolando Almanza. He won the trial by one length. A year ago, the PYC Paint Your Wagon-sired gelding won the John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge and qualified for the Texas Classic Futurity (G1).

Each of these finals have purses among the top-four largest purses in each race’s history. Kudos to the horsemen who support these races and look at horses coming from Sam Houston Race Park this summer.

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