Q-Racing Blog: Sam Houston Hotspot

Keep an eye on the races at Sam Houston.

Keep an eye on the races at Sam Houston.

Be sure you’re paying attention to Sam Houston Race Park, especially on April 28.

That’s when the track runs the $440,600 Sam Houston Futurity (G2) and the $191,900 Sam Houston Derby (G3).

The futurity can produce horses that can fare well when the summer futurities come around. In the past five years, the futurity winners have been Especially Tres, Kiss My Hocks, Ivan James, Just Call Me Carter and This is An Eagle. The One Famous Eagle-sired This Is An Eagle is back for this year’s Sam Houston Derby.

This year’s 330-yard Sam Houston Futurity is led by the top-three qualifiers – Slyng Schott, Moment Of Fury and Dominyun Tee Off – with the top-two qualifiers finishing a neck apart in the eighth of 13 trials. Each of the three top qualifiers made their career debuts in the trials.

Alfredo Garza’s Slyng Schott, a colt by Ivory James, got off to a good start in the middle of the track and had the lead by the midway point. Rogelio Marquez Jr.’s Moment Of Fury stayed in contention while racing along the rail. Slyng Schott was clocked in :16.914 while Moment Of Fury, a gelding by Fury Of The Wind, was timed in :16.938.

Francisco Javier Garza’s homebred Dominyun Tee Off, a colt by Dominyun, could be dangerous in the futurity. The colt won his trial by one-half length while going off at 2.20-1 odds in his first start. He was timed in :17.067.

The Sam Houston Futurity could come down to which horse makes the most improvement between their first and second starts.

In the Sam Houston Derby at 350 yards, Mary G. Thompson’s This Is An Eagle tries for the futurity-derby double. A year ago, he won the Sam Houston Futurity by one-half length. It was his second win of a four-race winning streak that started his career. He went to Ruidoso Downs and won his trials to the Rainbow Futurity (G1) and the All American Futurity (G1), however his time was not fast enough to reach the finals.

This Is An Eagle then was third in the Texas Classic Futurity (G1) at Lone Star Park.

The Leon Bard-trained This Is An Eagle came off a four-month layoff to finish a close second in his Sam Houston Derby trial and figures to improve off the trial race. His time of :17.870 was good for the ninth-fastest qualifying mark.

Washta Magnolia and Schutts are trying to build their resumes in the Sam Houston Derby.

Jorge Aguilera’s fastest qualifier, Washta Magnolia, looks to take a big step forward after a winless 2-year-old campaign. He started five times as a juvenile, once in a maiden race and four times in futurity trials. His best result was a second in his trial to the Gillespie County Fair Futurity trial.

It’s been a vast improvement for Washta Magnolia since returning from a nearly five-month break for the Sam Houston Derby trials. The gelding by Cartel Success won his trial by 1 length and his time of :17.660 was the top mark from eight trials.

Luis Villarreal’s Schutts, a son of Captain Courage, made his first official start in the Sam Houston Derby trials and sped to an easy 1 ¼-length victory. The horse’s time of :17.665 was the second-fastest mark.

Follow these races. They may be the launching pad for some memorable 2018 campaigns.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.