Sam Houston Futurity, Derby Headline Rich Night of Racing in Texas

Sam Houston Race Park's Saturday card features three stakes.

Q-Racing Journal

Kas Tempting, pictured here winning his trial on April 7, headlines Saturday's $483,600 Sam Houston Futurity, the meet's richest race. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Kas Tempting, a bay son of champion Tempting Dash and the fastest qualifier, is one of 10 2-year-olds entered back in Saturday's 330-yard, $483,600 Sam Houston Futurity (G2) at Sam Houston Race Park.

Trained by Jose Sanchez for the Garza Laurel Partnership LLC, Kas Tempting made his debut with a convincing 2 1/2-length victory in the eighth of nine Sam Houston Futurity trials on April 7, the first night of trials for the meet's richest race. The colt was a $16,000 purchase at last year's Heritage Place Yearling Sale in Oklahoma City.

“Back in January, we worked this colt in company with Blue Eyed Fance (winner of the $271,463 Mardi Gras Futurity at Louisiana Downs), and she beat him by a nose,” said Sanchez. “He’s a stud colt, and we weren’t sure about gelding him, but he is sound, and with each work, seems to be learning and doing better.”

Kas Tempting drew post 5 and will be ridden by Manuel Gutierrez. Luis Vivanco rode Kas Tempting in the colt's trial, but Vivanco will ride LJ Fastest Time in the final. A son of The Louisiana Cartel, LJ Fastest Time is also trained by Sanchez and is owned by Vivanco's wife, Elizabeth.

Sanchez’s younger brother, Angel, also has two finalists in Saturday night’s feature: Nocturnes and Capital Ice. Nocturnes, an Ivory James colt, is owned by Agustin Hernandez and will be ridden by Raul Ramirez, Jr. from post 9. Angel Sanchez teamed with Ramirez with another Ivory James colt, Ivan James to win the 2015 Sam Houston Futurity.

Jody Garcia’s Capital Ice, also by Ivory James, was one of three horses tied with the fifth-fastest clocking of :16.984 on day one of the trials. The bay gelding won the shake for the final over Krash N Diamonds and Daddys Blushing.   Salvador Martinez will ride Capital Ice from post 10.

In addition to the Vivanco and Sanchez family ties, there is a link shared by two finalists trained by Leon Bard. This Is A Deal Too and This Is An Eagle have the same dam, First Down Dash mare Lady Lilia.

This Is A Deal Too, a homebred Dealagame gelding owned by Pete Scarmardo, set the second-fastest time from the April 7 trial. 

“He’s a big horse with a nice long stride,” said Scarmardo. “We’re hoping for a good finish in this final, but I think his best lick will be 440 yards. His running style should give us a lot of options as the year progresses.”

A three-time leading owner at Sam Houston, Scarmardo is also the breeder of This Is An Eagle, a One Famous Eagle colt owned by Mary G. Lynne Thompson. Thompson purchased This Is An Eagle for $100,000 at last year's TQHA Yearling Sale.

“I knew (he was talented) the first time we worked him,” said Bard of This Is An Eagle. “Mary Lynne is a great owner and stepped up to purchase this horse. Pete raised him, and we think he’s the real deal.”

This Is An Eagle drew post 7 and will be ridden by Francisco Calderon, who won last year’s Sam Houston Futurity with Just Call Me Carter. 

“I told Leon back in December that this was going to be my best horse,” said Calderon. “He is so fast and good in the gates too.”

The winner of the Sam Houston Futurity will earn $193,440. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Hesa Icon (Cipriano Vidana), 15-1
Tempting Goinbye (Damian Martinez), 15-1
Lena Cartel (Rodrigo Vallejo), 10-1
This Is A Deal Too (Salvador Martinez), 12-1
Kas Tempting (Manuel Gutierrez), 2-1
Lj Fastest Time (Luis Vivanco), 8-1
This Is An Eagle (Francisco Calderon), 7-2
Ja Am I Blue (Jesse Levario), 9-2
Nocturnes (Raul Ramirez Jr.), 6-1
Capital Ice (Jose Ivan Martinez), 20-1

Sam Houston Derby
Pete Scarmardo's Dash Quick Perry, the fastest qualifier, drew post 10 for Saturday's 350-yard, $197,700 Sam Houston Derby (G3).

A homebred son of Down N Dash trained by Leon Bard, Dash Quick Perry made his season debut with a two-length win in the sixth of eight trials on April 14. The gelding has won four of eight starts and has earned $35,002, and he was a finalist in last year's 400-yard Evangeline Downs Futurity in Louisiana.

“We hope he runs the same kind of race in the final,” said Scarmardo. “Leon said he pulled up well after the trial. He had a good 2-year-old campaign, but we think he will be even better as a 3-year-old. He’s a full brother to Kid Can Dash, who improved quite a bit in his second year.”

Second-fastest qualifier Maxx, a gelded son of Pyc Paint Your Wagon trained by Rolando Almanza for owner Irma Vargas, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Maxx has won four of seven starts, including last year's 350-yard, $69,000 John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge (G3), and he has banked $80,339. He ended his 2-year-old season with a fifth-plae finish, a neck behind winner High Plains Perry, in the 400-yard, $1-million Texas Classic Futurity (G1) at Lone Star Park.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Thriviing Ivory (Noe Villatoro), 6-1
One Sweet Merlot (Jose Alvarez), 7-2
Dm La Jolla (Luis Vivanco), 15-1
Like A Denali (Luciano Duenez), 15-1
Eagle Cry (Cipriano Vidana), 20-1
So Rapido (Rodrigo Vallejo), 8-1
Maxx (Manuel Gutierrez), 2-1
Sochi Special (Salvador Martinez), 10-1
Master O Distraction (Jesse Levario), 12-1
Dash Quick Perry (Francisco Calderon), 9-2

Sam Houston Juvenile Stakes
A full field of 10 2-year-olds has been entered back in Saturday's 330-yard, $48,360 Sam Houston Juvenile Stakes.

Judd Kearl, the sport's reigning champion trainer, will send out morning-line favorite Krash N Diamonds for ownerr Bryon Gardner. A homebred son of Krash Cartel, the gelding made his debut with a second-place finish as the 2-1 favorite in a Sam Houston Futurity trial on April 7. Krash N Diamonds drew post 10 and will be ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo.

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