Preview Racing

Miss Houston, Sam Houston Maiden Classic Head SHRP Saturday Card
Grade 3 winner Carris Cartel will head the $20,000 Miss Houston Stakes on Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park.

© Coady Photography
Miss Houston, Sam Houston Maiden Classic Head SHRP Saturday Card

HOUSTON, TX—APRIL 10, 2018—A busy weekend is shaping up at Sam Houston Race Park with the final of the $95,800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic and the $20,000 Miss Houston Stakes set for Saturday evening.

The Friday evening card features eight trials for the $191,900 Sam Houston Derby (G3) (see related story).

Full Field Set for the $20,000 Miss Houston Stakes

A quality field of accredited Texas-bred fillies and mares will run 350-yard in the second stakes of the Sam Houston Quarter Horse season, the Miss Houston Stakes.

One year ago, the Carrizales family’s homebred Carris Cartel was the upset winner of the $70,020 John Deere Texas Juvenile Challenge (G3).

The victory granted her a berth to the $130,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) last October at Prairie Meadows. She defeated a tough field of 2-year-olds and made just one additional start in 2017.

On Saturday night, she has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite and will break from post two under jockey Santos Carrizales.

The filly by The Louisiana Cartel out of the Strawfly Special mare Shesa Wicked Gypsy was bred in Texas by Santos’ wife, Nancy Carrizales and has made

"She’s a very special filly for our family" said Santos. "We know she runs well in Houston and this stakes was a good fit for the start of her 3-year-old campaign."

Selma Stakes winner Zenergetic drew the rail and will be ridden by Luis Vivanco. The 5-year-old daughter of Dominyun has won four of her 21 career starts for the Zenergetic Group and exits a third-place finish in the 400-yard Streakin La Jolla Stakes at Louisiana Downs.

Other contenders include Sr Esmeralda, bred and owned and bred by Silvia Robles. The Red Storm Cat mare won the 2016 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge here at Sam Houston and will be ridden by current leading rider, Francisco Calderon. Graded stakes-placed mare One Sweet Picky has earned $104,003 in 12 career efforts for owner Ricardo Barrera. She ran third in the 2017 Firecracker Derby at Delta Downs for trainer Rodolfo Sanchez.

The Miss Houston Stakes will run as the seventh race, with an approximate post time of 8:46 pm (CDT).

Packin Steel Leads the Field in the $95,800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic

Eleven trials were contested on Friday, March 30 to determine the ten fastest qualifiers for the $95.800 Sam Houston Maiden Classic.

Last year, AQHA Champion breeder Bobby D. Cox bred the winner, Streamlyner, a son of Brimmerton. The noted Texas breeder and owner, once again, bred Packin Steel, the fastest qualifier to this year’s 350 yard final.

Packin Steel, under jockey Rodrigo Vallejo, setting the fastest time from 11 trials contested on March 30 for the
Sam Houston Maiden Classic. © Coady Photography
Packin Steel, a 6-year-old son of Mr Jess Perry out of the Runaway Winner mare No Fees, is one of more unusual finalists for the Maiden Classic.

Owned by Ruben Garcia Montemayor, he returned off a three-year layoff to win in :17.720 seconds. Rodrigo Vallejo, who was honored as 2017 AQHA Champion Jockey, rode for trainer Miguel Angel Medina and has the call Saturday night. He drew post position three as the 2-1 betting favorite.

Pycs Crock Of Cash broke his maiden, winning the third trial in :17.747 seconds which was the second-fastest time of the evening. Esteban Herrera bred and owns the 3-year-old son of Pyc Kant Catch Me. The colt is trained by Rodolfo Sanchez and will reunite with Noe Villatoro, breaking from the eight post at odds of 7-2.

The final will be run as the eighth race of the Saturday, April 14th card. CLICK HERE for a list of the ten qualifiers.

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Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s 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 Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming group events, racing events, shows and tickets, please visit