Challenge


Frankie Jr Takes Home The Trophy In $69,938 Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge
Frankie Jr, ridden by Victor Urieta Jr, wins the $69,938 Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday.

Coady Photography
Frankie Jr Takes Home The Trophy In $69,938 Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge

HOUSTON, TX–MAY 10, 2024–Second fastest qualifier from the trials, Frankie Jr, returns to Sam Houston Race Park Friday night for his first stakes victory in the $69,938 Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge.

Jockey Victor Urieta Jr, rode the three-year-old son of second-year-sire Kas Tempting to a length victory in :20.001 seconds. Frankie Jr had a slow start from the gates in seventh but clocked a 98 speed index with his strong finish across the wire. The 400-yard win paid $7.40 on 5/2 odds.

Frankie Jr hadn't won a race since his second start in the Old South Futurity trials; he returned for second place in the finals. He now has two career wins from eight starts, and the Adequan Derby's $32,871 winnings increased his earnings to $68,744.

Owner Jimme Rodriguez said, "He's had six months since he last ran and we knew he was going to do so much better. We were really excited about this one and knew he would come through."

The winning connections of Frankie Jr accept the $69,938 Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge trophy at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday. © Coady Photography

Juan Diaz, Jr. trains Frankie Jr for Rodriguez, who said, "He's a great trainer. We put a lot of trust in him."

Frankie Jr was bred in Texas by the partnership of Angel, Laurel and Garza out of the Stoli mare Fear This Stoli.

Runner-up Native Country Chick, ridden by Jose Herbert, was a major longshot, and the effort for second paid $19.20 to place on 29/1 odds. Conditioned by Ricardo Vallejo, the daughter of stakes sire Mister Fulton has yet to break her maiden with $21,950 in earnings from seven starts.

Scarlett Hill Farm, Inc. bred Native Country Chick in Texas out of Special Menace Miss by Executive Menace. Current owner Maria Teresa Ugarte bought her for $10500 in the 2022 TQHA Yearling Sale.

Fastest qualifier from the trials Ensignia placed third under the guidance of jockey Oliver Martinez. The Gilberto Gonzalez trained gelding has three career wins with $31,260 in the bank.

The son of Duponte was sold to Guerras Racing Stables for $29,000 in the TQHA Yearling Sale by breeder Bobby D. Cox. Ensignia is out of Celtic Emblem by Apollitical Jess.

B Cn You, Kas Tuff Lbh, This Is An Aguila, Vodka From Texas, Power Intriguing, and Flying First round out the order of finish. Lefty, who ran in the Leon Bard Memorial earlier in the evening, was scratched.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

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About Sam Houston Race Park
Operated by Penn Entertainment Inc., Sam Houston Race Park is Houston's premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. The racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions for businesses, group outings and families during racing and the off-season. The track is best known for its award-winning dining and features multiple areas for fans looking for casual to upscale dining options including its Winner's Circle Restaurant, Jockey Club, Luxury Suites and Pavilion Centre. For more information or tickets to upcoming live racing, shows and events, please visit www.shrp.com or follow on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tick Tok or YouTube.