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Sam Houston Announces 10% Purse Increase For Remainder Of 2023 Quarter Horse Live Racing Season
Sam Houston Race Park's purse boost goes into effect on Thursday, May 18.

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Sam Houston Announces 10% Purse Increase For Remainder Of 2023 Quarter Horse Live Racing Season

HOUSTON, TX–MAY 16, 2023–Sam Houston Race Park is pleased to announce that a purse increase of 10% will go into effect with the Thursday, May 18 race card. The boost will cover each of the overnight races for the 2023 Quarter Horse meet which concludes on Saturday, June 17.

The 2023 Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse live racing season began on April 21 with maiden claiming purses ranging from $7,500 - $10,000; 3 year-old maiden at $17,500 and allowance purses between $18,500 - $21,500. Entries have been strong throughout the meet with average field size of 8.58 horses per race.

Michael Acton joined Sam Houston Race Park as racing secretary on February 3, 2023 and will also oversee the racing meets at the Penn Entertainment owned racetracks Retama Park and Zia Park.

"We are pleased to offer this increase as a way of thanking our loyal horsemen for their support," said Acton. "With live Quarter racing currently in Louisiana and Oklahoma, trainers have options where they choose to run; we appreciate their loyalty to Texas racing."

Two Graded Stakes Set for Friday, May 19 at Sam Houston Race Park

Live racing continues Thursday, May 18 through Saturday, May 20. Friday’s card will feature two excellent features, the $209,200 Sam Houston Derby (G3) and $50,000-added Sam Houston Classic (G2).

Trials were run for the Sam Houston Derby on April 29 with Jess Good Wine setting the fastest 350-yard time of the evening of :17:323 seconds, aided by a 12 mph tail wind. Owned by Guns Up Racing, the Oklahoma-bred son of Jess Good Reason Sa out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Mr Perrys Wine, has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite and will break from post eight under rider Bryan Candanosa.

Delight Interest will break from post seven for owners Triple Five with Juan Pulido in the saddle. The son of Separate Interest, also trained by Diaz, has won his last three races, setting the fourth fastest qualifying time. Here is a link to the ten fastest qualifiers for the Sam Houston Derby, which will run as the tenth race on the card with an approximate post time of 10:18 pm (Central).

A field of eight will compete in the Sam Houston Classic at the distance of 440 yards. Carlos Ponce’s Jet Black Grace drew the rail for trainer Juan Diaz, Jr. at odds of 2-1. The son of Jet Black Patriot ran in the 2022 Texas Classic Futurity and followed that with back to back victories. Juan Pulido will pilot the 4-year-old gelding, who has finished in the money in seven of his eight career efforts.

A field of eight will compete in the Sam Houston Classic at the distance of 440 yards. Carlos Ponce’s Jet Black Grace drew the rail for trainer Juan Diaz, Jr. at odds of 2-1. The son of Jet Black Patriot ran in the 2022 Texas Classic Futurity and followed that with back to back victories. Juan Pulido will pilot the 4-year-old gelding, who has finished in the money in seven of his eight career efforts. Two 870-yard Sam Houston stakes winners, Shockinglyfamous, owned by Stone Chase Stables LLC and Kasey Willis and Rockin J Running Horses’ Viva Le Don will shorten up and have the experience to rival their younger competitors.

Willis trains Shockinglyfamous, who has won ten of his 37 races and Tammy Kay Johnson has saddled Viva Le Don 33 times. The 7-year-old son of Rock Solid Jess has earned $500,066 in his exceptional career.

Post time for Friday’s program is 6:15 pm with the Sam Houston Classic running as race nine and the Sam Houston Derby as the 10th race.

Sam Houston Race Park to Simulcast the Preakness Stakes on Saturday

The second leg of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown is the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 20. Sam Houston Race Park will open at 8:00 am on Saturday, May 20. Fans can watch and wager on the entire Preakness card, which begins at 9:30 am as well as Sam Houston’s live Quarter Horse races, with an early first post of 1:00 pm.

The popular Corgi Races will take place in between races; something for everyone on Preakness Day at Sam Houston Race Park! For more information on racing and special events in the 2023 Quarter Horse live racing season, visit
www.shrp.com.

About Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston. Owned by Penn Entertainment Inc., the racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions including a Suite Level featuring luxurious suites overlooking the racetrack, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming live racing, shows, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.