Challenge


Challenge Trials Dominate Opening-Night Program at Sam Houston Race Park
Lefty is one of 29 three-year-olds entered in the $40,000 added Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge trials on April 19 at Sam Houston Race Park

Coady Photography
Challenge Trials Dominate Opening-Night Program at Sam Houston Race Park

BY MICHAEL CUSORTELLI
HOUSTON, TX—APRIL 16, 2024—Sam Houston Race Park will open its 2024 American Quarter Horse meet with a 10-race program dominated by Bank of America Racing Challenge trials. Post time for the first race, a 300-yard first-level allowance dash for sophomore fillies, is set for 6:30 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, April 19.

Twenty-nine 3-year-olds are entered in three 400-yard Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge trials. The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the May 10, $40,000-added final.

Lefty, a graded stakes placed son of This Is An Eagle trained by Martin Rodriguez for owner Francisco Guadalupe Guerrero, drew post 8 and will be ridden by Francisco Giles in the first heat. A $6,000 purchase at the 2022 TQHA Yearling Sale in San Antonio, Lefty is coming off of a 2-year-old campaign during which he earned $50,225 from eight races and placed third in the 350-yard, $196,000 TQHA Sires' Cup Futurity (RG2) at Retama Park.

Also on Friday, 47 2-year-olds are entered in five John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge (G3) trials.

Guerras Racing Stables' DNA, a son of Freighttrain B and a $31,000 buy at last year's TQHA Yearling Sale, is coming off of a three-quarter length victory in a 300-yard, $8,500 maiden-special-weight dash on a sloppy and sealed track at Louisiana Downs on March 22. Gilberto Gonzalez trains the sorrel colt.

DNA drew post 2 and will be ridden by Arturo Alvarez in the third trial.

Pirata Jess, a $160,000 purchase by owner Tabasco Racing at last year's Heritage Place Yearling Sale, will make his career debut in the first heat. A bay son of world champion Apollitical Jess, the colt is out of Sweet 16, a winning and stakes placed daughter of PYC Paint Your Wagon and a half sister to Grade 1 winner Fovee.

Pirata Jess drew post 2 and will be ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo for trainer Raul Galvan.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the $40,000-added John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge final on May 10.

All Sam Houston Race Park races can be seen at Q-Racing Video.com.