Sam Houston Race Park

Asmussen, Elliott and L and G Racing Take 2024 Sam Houston Titles

Sam Houston Race Park concluded its 43-day Thoroughbred live racing season Sunday, Apr. 7. Heading the training ranks this season, Steve Asmussen notched his 16th title after receiving the honor in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005; 2014 -2024. Asmussen started 249 runners, finishing with a record of 48 wins, 36 seconds, 31 thirds and earnings of $1,260,342. R. Caldwell was second in the standings with 28 victories. Trainer Ronnie Cravens won 22 races and Sarah Davidson rounded out the top four conditioners with 19 winners. Jockey Stewart Elliott held off...

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History Astride As Pegasus Card Promises Once Again To Slay Graded Weekend

Named for the owner, an immigrant from Scotland who realized a Carnegie-kind of American Dream, it began as a 12-furlong turf race. Five years later in 1964 it was cut back to nine and moved to the dirt. The roll call of Donn H. winners through 2016 at Gulfstream Park reflects a roster of unique equine and human personalities, which is peppered with some magnificent performances that shouldn't be forgotten. Hall of Fame jockey Braulio Baeza won his first of three victories in 1969 aboard Funny Fellow and took home...

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Sam Houston To Honor Executive David Hooper With Race

One of the five Texas Preview Stakes on Saturday, Feb. 17 has been renamed to honor executive David E. Hooper, who passed away May 29 following a battle with cancer, Sam Houston Race Park said in a release Wednesday. The 88-year-old had an extensive career in the horse racing industry, which included serving as executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association from 1997-2012. Hooper held several regulatory positions, including executive secretary of the Illinois Racing Board and he was a steward in eight states. In 2018, he was the recipient...

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Sam Houston Announces 2024 Race Dates

The Texas Racing Commission has approved the dates for the 2024 racing season at Sam Houston Race Park. The 43-day Thoroughbred meeting will open Saturday, Jan. 5, 2024, with a first post of 6:30 p.m. CT on Fridays and at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Houston Racing Festival is set for Saturday, Jan. 27 and features five stakes races, including the two biggest races of the year, the $300,000 GIII Houston Ladies' Classic and the $200,000 GIII John B. Connolly Turf. The program will also feature a trio...

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Increases for Texas-Bred Purses

A new purse structure, approved by the Texas Thoroughbred Association, Texas Horsemen's Partnership, Sam Houston Race Park and Lone Star Park, will increase minimum purses for maiden special weight and allowance races. For 2024, Texas-bred maiden special weight and allowance races will carry a minimum purse of $40,000 at Sam Houston and Lone Star Park. This is being accomplished by reconfiguring the allocation of funds provided by the TTA to the tracks from the Texas Horse Industry Escrow Account (HIEA). The minimum purse of $40,000 for these races is a...

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Legal Expert: If Fifth Circuit Finds HISA Constitutional, Texas “Absolutely” Can Implement Law

Like rival boxers primped and posturing, proponents of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) and the Texas Racing Commission (TXRC) have taken to their respective corners during the unfolding legal fight over the law and have remained un-budged. At stake is the lucrative business of nationally beaming Texas's simulcast wagering signal. The TXRC initially took the stance that it is legally prohibited from permitting Texan tracks to export their signals. Then at the start of February, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the congressionally amended version of HISA...

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Pettigrew Returning to Sam Houston, Retama

Horse racing veteran Bryan Pettigrew will return to Texas and oversee horse racing operations at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and at Retama Park in Selma, PENN Entertainment announced Tuesday. Pettigrew previously was head of marketing at Sam Houston Race Park in the mid-1990s before joining the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and later the Breeders' Cup in Lexington, where he was the Chief Marketing Officer until 2019. "I was excited when I got the call to join the PENN Entertainment team and head up their Texas operations," Pettigrew...

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Sam Houston Handle Down 92%, Texas Industry At Crossroads

If proponents of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) get their wish, July 1 will be a day of cautious celebration-the law's first official birthday, and a time when its drug control program would also be more than a month old, barring any further last-minute legal interventions. In that event, most of the country will be operating under a federal racetrack safety and medication control framework for the first time in the sport's history. Texas almost certainly will not be in on the party. When HISA's racetrack safety program...

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No Mas Tequila Named Texas 2022 Horse of the Year

James Sills's No Mas Tequila (Northern Afleet) was named the Texas Thoroughbred Association's 2022 Horse of the Year. The now 6-year-old mare, who amassed four wins on the grass last year, all in Texas-bred stakes races at Lone Star Park and Sam Houston Race Park, was also named the state's champion older filly or mare. No Mas Tequila's dam, Foxy Boss (Street Boss), was named the 2022 Texas Broodmare of the Year and her breeders, Ronald and Margaret Ellerbee, were named the Texas Thoroughbred Association's 2022 Breeder of the Year....

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Acton Appointed Sam Houston Racing Secretary

Veteran racing official Mike Acton has been hired as Sam Houston Race Park's track's Racing Secretary. He assumed the role on Feb. 3 and will serve in the same capacity at Retama Park and Zia Park during their respective meets this year. "Mike is an experienced racing professional who has deep connections in our region that will serve the industry well," Sam Houston Vice President and General Manager Dwight Berube said. Acton most recently served as the Racing Secretary at both Remington Park and Lone Star Park. "I am going...

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Texas Once Again Allows Simulcasting Signal Exports

On the back of Tuesday's decision in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denying a motion by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority for that court to vacate its recent opinion that the law is unconstitutional, the Texas Racing Commission (TXRC) has reopened the door for Texas tracks to beam their signals out-of-state, with Sam Houston set to begin this Friday. Last year, the TXRC argued that it was statutorily barred from joining HISA, and because the enabling federal legislation gave the HISA Authority regulatory jurisdiction over the...

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The Week in Review: Baffert Bigger, Stronger Than Ever

Bob Baffert has certainly taken his lumps ever since it was discovered that Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for a banned substance in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. He was hit with a 90-day suspension from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the New York Racing Association banned him for a year and Churchill Downs banned him for two years. Though Baffert is still fighting the Churchill ban, in all likelihood, he will not be allowed to start a horse in this year's Derby, which would be the second straight year...

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