Preview Racing

Sam Houston Classic (G2), Texas Twister and Governorsí Cup Marathon Close Out 2018 Sam Houston Quart
Multiple stakes winner Rc Me Leaving You will head the $50,000 Sam Houston Classic(G2) Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park.

© Dustin Orona Photography
Sam Houston Classic (G2), Texas Twister and Governorsí Cup Marathon Close Out 2018 Sam Houston Quart

HOUSTON, TXóMAY 8, 2018óThe final night of the 2018 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse live racing season is Saturday, May 12.

The ten-race card will feature three stakes: the $50,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2); the $25,000 Governorsí Cup Marathon and the $15,0000 Texas Twister. The meetís leading owner, jockey and trainer will also be honored in between races on Saturday evening.

Contention Runs Deep in the $50,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2)

A full field of ten will compete in Saturdayís $50,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2). Current Sam Houston Race Park leading trainer Jimmy Padgett will send out three talented entrants with RC Me Leaving You installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite.

The 6-year-old by Coronas Leaving You is owned by Bennie and Terri Jeter and returns following his runner-up finish in the $67,680 Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship (G2) here on April 21.

TLC Dale, a son of 2011 Sam Houston Classic champion, The Louisiana Cartel, returns for another shot at the 440-yard stakes. Owned by Rogelio Garza Guajardo, and previously conditioned by Eusevio Huitron, the 5-year-old won the 2016 Sam Houston Derby (G3) and was fourth in last yearís Sam Houston Classic.

"RC Me Leaving You is a big, powerful horse and his biggest problem is that the ground just breaks from under him," said Padgett. "Hoping that wonít happen Saturday. Iíve only had TLC Dale since December, but he is a very good horse and will be tough."

Rodrigo Vallejo, who has been dividing his time between Sam Houston and Remington Park is named on RC Me Leaving You. He suffered an injury last weekend, which Padgett termed a pulled shoulder muscle, and is expected to ride.

Padgettís third runner is Flyingforunclesam, owned and bred by Kirk Goodfellow. He ran third in the Bank of America Texas Challenge and will break from the rail under rider Jose Martinez.

"Heís getting better all the time; just a super, sound horse," said Padgett.

Trainer Abelardo Flores, Jr. has won four stakes this season and has a strong contender in Eye N Capo. The 4-year-old gelding is a multiple-stakes winner for owner Ruben Garcia Montemayor and will make his first start at 440-yards with Jesse Lee Levario in the irons.

"Heís been running well," stated Flores. "He won his allowance prep for this (here on April 16) so easily, we believe he can get the extra distance."

Pete A. Scarmardoís homebred Dash Quick Perry will break from the far outside post under jockey Francisco Calderon. The 4-year-old son of Down N Dash also competed in the Bank of America Texas Challenge, was forwardly placed, but finished fifth. He has won eight career races, including last yearís Retama Park Derby.

The Sam Houston Classic will be run as the ninth race on the card. The winner will join an accomplished group of past champions since its first running in 1994. Past winners include Kool Kue Baby, AQHA world champions Tailor Fit and Jessies First Down, Streakin Sin Tacha and The Louisiana Cartel.

Distance Veterans Vie in the $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon

The $25,000 Governors' Cup Marathon at 870 yards, will be the first stakes run on the Saturday racing program.

There will be a notable cheering squad for Love Ta Zoom and trainer Kie Mushinski. The popular Texas horseman underwent a complicated surgery on March 27 to remove a tumor from his spinal cord.

Jockey Jerry Lee Yoakum has the call on multiple stakes winner Fire On The Fly, who is a perfect three-for-three at Sam Houston. © Coady Photography
Thankfully, his recovery is going well, aided by the support of his lovely wife, Donna, and Kie was on hand last weekend to see his horses run. Sired by Azoom, Love Ta Zoom, owned by Sue Fikes, will make his 15th start with rider Juan Garcia, Jr. in the saddle.

Fire On The Fly, an 8-year-old son of Jet Cartel bred, owned and trained by Tommy Bullard, is the high earner in the field with $216,728 banked in 37 starts. Jockey Jerry Lee Yoakum has the call on the multiple stakes winner, who is a perfect three-for-three at Sam Houston.

Tars Tarkus exits an allowance win on April 27 for owners Jonathan Brandy and Rick Cline. The Arkansas-bred son of Tac It Like a Man is trained by Jimmy Padgett and will break from post two with Francisco Calderon aboard.

"We gave him his first start around the hook last October (at Lone Star)," said Padgett. "He ran a good second here last month and Iím happy with the (inside) post."

He will also saddle Crown Racingís Corona La Jolla, a 9-year-old Texas-bred, who ran second in the Harris County Stakes here on March 31. Noe Villatoro has the mount.

Streakin Tenaya steps up to stakes company after two 870-yard wins this meet for owner/trainer Payton Young. The 6-year-old son of Desirio will break from post position five under Alejandro Zuniga.

The field, from the rail with jockeys: Jack Ketel, Eleazer Vera; Tars Taukus, Francisco Calderon; Love Ta Zoom, Juan Francisco Garcia, Jr.; Fire On The Fly, Jerry Lee Yoakum, Streakin Tenaya, Alejandro Zuniga; Jess Killistos, Victor Miranda and Shake Rattle N Soar, Claudio Aguilar.

Ten Super Sprinters Entered in the $15,000 Texas Twister

The $15,000 Texas Twister, at 110 yards, returns for its tenth renewal at Sam Houston Race Park. The winner of last yearís exciting "super sprint" was Red Corona Warrior, who surged to the wire in :6.786 seconds.

Grade 2 winner Three Bar Cartel will break from the rail with jockey Jesse Lee Levario. © Dustin Orona Photography
Three Bar Cartel will break from the rail with jockey Jesse Lee Levario riding for owner Ruben Garcia Montemayor, who also owns Eye N Capo. The 3-year-old has won three of his four career efforts, including the 2017 Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park. Trainer Abelardo Flores, Jr., who has won four stakes this meet, explained why the son of Capo de Capi is being pointed to the Texas Twister

"He leaves the gate faster than Eye N Capo," said Flores. "We hate to run our horses in the same stakes, so thatís why he will run in this sprint and not in the Classic."

Jazzin Corona is only one horse in the field who has run at the distance and the 7-year-old son of Coronas Leaving You is a perfect two-for two at 110-yards. The Texas-bred is owned by Marcelo Sergio Guerrero and prepped for the Texas Twister with a win two weeks ago. Rodrigo Vallejo will ride for trainer Roberto Madrigal, breaking from post position eight.

Morning-line favoritism goes to DM La Jolla, who captured the $20,000 Delta Dash at 250 yards on April 20. The 4-year-old sired by Hiclass La Jolla will be making his sixth start at Sam Houston Race Park for owner Horses of Fire, Inc.

The Texas Twister is set for the tenth and final race of the 2018 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meet.

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Sam Houston Race Park, Houstonís premier racing and entertainment facility, is located just 15 miles from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including 16 luxury suites overlooking the race track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winnerís Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming group events, racing events, shows and tickets, please visit