Sam Houston Opens with Stakes Doubleheader

Multiple stakes winner Barefoot Beach returns in Miss Sam Houston Stakes.

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Barefoot Beach, pictured here winning last year's Evangeline Downs Dash Stakes, is one of nine Texas-bred fillies and mares entered in Friday's 330-yard, $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Sam Houston Race Park will open its 2017 American Quarter Horse season with a stakes doubleheader on Friday. Post time for the first race is set for 7 p.m. (CDT).

A field of nine Texas-bred distaffers has been entered in Friday’s 330-yard, $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes (R). Reigning AQHA champion trainer Judd Kearl will send out Barefoot Beach, a two-time stakes winner in Louisiana last season, for owner Samuel Martinez.

Barefoot Beach is coming off of a 3-year-old campaign during which she won stakes at Evangeline Downs and Fair Grounds and was a finalist in the 440-yard, $363,000 Texas Classic Derby (G1) at Lone Star Park. The 4-year-old daughter of Ivory James drew post 2 and will be ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo.

The complete lineup for the Miss Sam Houston, in post position order including jockey assignments:
Sr Esmeralda (Francisco Calderon)
Barefoot Beach (Rodrigo Vallejo)
Kool Deal (Claudio P. Aguilar)
Alluring Lil Menace (Manuel Gutierrez)
Honey Ryder B (Noe Villatoro)
Josefina Cruzin (Pedro C. Espinosa)
Political Dynasty (Jose A. Alvarez)
Dm Maryanna (Luis Vivanco)
Shakem Valentine (Everardo Rodriguez)

Harris County Stakes
Jrc Callas First, a 7-year-old Winners Award gelding racing for trainer Brian Stroud and his wife, Dana, will make his season debut in Friday’s 550-yard, $20,000 Harris County Stakes.

The 2014 world champion, Jrc Callas First has won 17 of 31 starts -- including all six of his outs at the 550 distance -- and he has earned $619,117. The gelding ended his 6-year-old season with a sixth-place finish, 1 1/4 lengths behind AJs High, in the 440-yard, $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Jrc Callas First drew post 9 and will be ridden by Juan F. Garcia Jr.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments:
The Field Cricket (Jerry Lee Yoakum)
Heza Bell Perry (Alfonso Lujan)
Corona La Jolla (Rodrigo Vallejo)
Daring And Dashing (Noe Villatoro)
If I Were Famous (Gaspar Garcia)
Brookstone Dash (Damian Martinez)
Corona Continental (Donald Guynes)
Super Sonic Patriot (Mario A. Trujillo)
Jrc Callas First (Juan F. Garcia Jr.)
Stolis Pro (Francisco Calderon)

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.