March 31-April 2 Stakes Recap

A recap of non-graded stakes.

Q-Racing Journal

Almada Racing's Alluring Lil Menace scored her first stakes victory in Friday's Miss Sam Houston Stakes for Texas-bred fillies and mares. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Following is a recap of all official American Quarter Horse stakes for the week of March 31-April 2. For recaps of graded stakes, Bank of America Racing Challenge events, and stakes with purses of $100,000 or more, see the individual recap stories in the Racing News section. This page will be updated throughout the week.

Sam Houston Race Park
This track opened its spring American Quarter Horse meet with a stakes doubleheader on Friday. Making her first start in four months, Almada Racing's Alluring Lil Menace earned her first-ever stakes win in the 330-yard, $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes (R) for Texas-bred distaffers.

Alluring Lil Menace defeated 13-10 favorite Barefoot Beach by a head in 16.653 and posted a 99 speed index while competing against a reported 12-mph head wind. Luciano Duenez rode the 4-year-old gray daughter of the First Down Dash stallion Specially Alluring for trainer Josue Ponce.

Duenez, 21, was earning his first-ever stakes victory as a rider.

"She stood good in the gates and was really coming at the end," Duenez said.

Alluring Lil Menace was bred by Gus Barakis' Scarlett Hill Farm at Weatherford, Texas. Raced in Texas and Louisiana, the mare has won five of 10 outs, and the $12,000 winner's share of the purse bumped her bankroll to $28,315.

Honey Ryder B, Political Dynasty, Sr Esmeralda, Dm Maryanna, Shakem Valentine, Josefina Cruzin, and Kool Deal completed the order of finish.

Also on Friday, Heza Bell Perry scored his first-ever victory at the distance when the 6-year-old Heza Fast Dash gelding won the 550-yard, $20,000 Harris County Stakes.

Heza Bell Perry sprinted to a three-
quarter length win in Friday's 550-yard
Harris County Stakes. PHOTO: Coady

Under jockey Alfonso Lujan, who rode Heza Bell Perry for owner and trainer Javier Noel Contreras, the gelding defeated Corona La Jolla by three-quarters of a length in :27.212. Heza Bell Perry recorded a 107 speed index while racing against a 12-mph head wind.

“He left good and really accelerated,” said Lujan. “He got a little tired at the end, but he ran an honest race. Javier had him ready, and he ran an outstanding race."

Heza Bell Perry was bred in Louisiana by Mars Racing. The gelding was stretching out in distance off of his wire-to-wire, one-length victory in a 440-yard, $14,000 open-condition allowance dash for state-breds at Louisiana Downs on February 6, a race contested on a muddy and sealed track.

“We decided today was the day to try 550 yards,” said Contreras. “He beat some very good horses.”

Heza Bell Perry has won 10 of 26 starts and has earned $147,106. The gelding was claimed by Contreras for $5,000 at Louisiana Downs on February 23, 2016, and he has since won five of 10 races.

Super Sonic Patriot finished third and was followed by Stolis Pro, Daring And Dashing, Jrc Callas First, The Field Cricket, If I Were Famous, Brookstone Dash and Corona Continental.

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