Zaire Impressive In The $95,800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic At Sam Houston Race Park
Zaire, under jockey Eddie Sanchez, draws off in the $95,800 Sam Houston Maiden Stakes Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park.

© Coady Photography
Zaire Impressive In The $95,800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic At Sam Houston Race Park

HOUSTON, TXóAPRIL 14, 2018óTwo stakes were contested on Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park and two fillies were outstanding performers in the $95.800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic (not blacy type) and the $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes (see related story).

Eleven trials were contested on Friday, March 30 to determine the ten fastest qualifiers for the $95,800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic. Luis A. DeLaCerdaís homebred Zaire broke her maiden in trials, setting the fifth-fastest time.

Tonight, the 3-year-old daughter of leading sire Apollitcal Jess returned in fine form, winning in gate-to-wire fashion under jockey Eddie Sanchez. She crossed the wire of the 350-yard feature in :17.393 over a fast main track, a nose ahead of Mi Amor Secreto.

Zaire is an Oklahoma-bred from the stakes-placed Pyc Paint Your Wagon mare Classic Wagon. The $38,320 Maiden Classic winners' purse boosted the filly's earning's to just under $40,000. Saul Ramirez, Jr., who was one of the leading jockeys in Texas, Louisiana and California, has been training for two years now and conditions the gray filly.

"The owners did not rush her," said Ramirez. "She is a very nice filly and we are pleased that she has now won two races."

Mi Amor Secreto, owned by Kelly Perez, lost the head bob, but also earned a 102 speed index for her effort. She was ridden by Santos Carrizales and earned $15,329 for her runner-up finish.

A 3-year-old son of champion sire The Louisiana Cartel, Mi Amor Secreto is from the Feature Mr Jess mare Streakin In Secret.

Fastest qualifier Packin Steel, a royally-bred son of leading sire Mr Jess Perry earned $10,538 for third, doubling his earnings total to more than $21,400. Angel Medina saddled the 6-year-old horse out of No Fees by Runaway Winner. AQHA Racing Champion jockey Rodrigo Vallejo had the riding call aboard the Bobby D. Cox Texas-bred runner.

Tinys Desi, Sixy Cartel, Dashn Regard, Pycs Crock Of Cash, Leathalize, Alinas War Princess and One Rare Louissiana completed the field.

Zaire rewarded her backers with a win payout of $11.80. She earned $38,320 for the victory. Ramirez has several options in mind for her next start.

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Sam Houston Race Park is Houstonís premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including our Suite Level presented by Draft Kings, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winnerís Circle Restaurant and the Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming group events, racing events, shows and tickets, please visit