Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Announces Purse Increase

Sam Houston Race Park is raising overnight purses for the second time at its current meet. Beginning Mar. 17, all main track overnight purses will be increased by $6,000 and turf purses will be boosted by $1,000. The Texas track, which also announced a purse increase Feb. 17, has produced a 40% increase in handle during the first five weeks of the season and set a $5.3-million handle record on its Houston Racing Festival card Jan. 31. Sam Houston has also added Mar. 31 to its racing calendar Mar. 31....

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Sam Houston Raises Purses

Sam Houston Race Park announced Sunday that it will raise its overnight purses for the remainder of the 2021 Thoroughbred meet. The increases will go into effect starting Wednesday, Feb. 17 and will continue through closing day, Apr. 3. All main track purses will be increased by $7,000, while turf purses will see a $2,000 bump. The track cited strong handle figures, which are up 40% year over year including a record-setting handle of $5.3 million on the Houston Racing Festival card Jan. 31, as the reason for the changes....

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Record Handle at Sam Houston During Houston Racing Festival

Sam Houston Race Park set a record for handle during its 10-race Houston Racing Festival card Sunday, Jan. 31. Besides the $300,000 GIII Houston Ladies Classic S. and $200,000 GIII John B. Connally Turf Cup S., the fixture also featured the $200,000 Texas Turf Mil S., $100,000 Pulse Power Turf Sprint S., the $75,000 Stonerside Sprint S. and the $75,000 Jersey Lilly Turf S. A record total of $5.3 million was wagered at the Houston-area track. "We are thrilled with the success of this year's Houston Racing Festival and setting...

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C.J. McMahon Alleged to Have Fired Shots into Vehicle at Red Light

Jockey Charles Jantzen (C.J.) McMahon allegedly fired a gun into a stopped vehicle at a red light in his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, and then sped off Dec. 27, which led to his arrest on attempted murder charges in that city after a Jan. 2 traffic stop. These new details of the case were confirmed Tuesday afternoon by Wayne Griffin, a spokesperson for the Lafayette Police Department. McMahon posted an $80,000 bond Sunday that freed him from incarceration on charges that also included illegal use of a dangerous weapon and...

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Sam Houston Expands 2021 Live Meet

Beginning Friday, Jan. 8, Sam Houston Race Park will offer an expanded live racing season with additional stakes added to its 2021 meet. The 46-day meet will offer $2.4 million in purses, up from $1.8 million in 2020. The highlight of the meet, the Houston Racing Festival, will take place Sunday, Jan. 31, and will feature the GIII Houston Ladies Classic and the GIII John B. Connally Turf, as well as four other black-type races. The 2021 season will also feature 14 Texas-bred stakes. In addition, the purses for all...

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Texas '21 Thoroughbred Dates Set, Minus Retama

With Retama Park opting to race only Quarter Horses in 2021, Sam Houston Race Park (46 dates) and Lone Star Park (42 dates) will make up the bulk of the Thoroughbred schedule in Texas next year. The Texas Racing Commission (TRC) approved the changes and granted the requested slate of race dates at its Sept. 29 meeting. Retama had switched its schedule to exclusively Quarter Horses this season, swapping out Thoroughbred dates to other tracks in deference to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will continue that format into 2021. Sam Houston's...

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Chapa, Back from a 5-year Buzzer Suspension, Rides in Colorado

Roman Chapa, the jockey who has been suspended three times since the 1990s for possessing illicit shocking objects that can frighten a horse into running faster, rode his first race back on Monday since completing a five-year suspension and paying a $100,000 fine after getting caught with an electrical "buzzer" at Sam Houston Race Park in 2015. Chapa finished fourth on 27-1 Uzi (Overanalyze) in the $20,000 Inaugural S. on the June 8 opening-day card at Arapahoe Park in Colorado. In February, Chapa got his riding license reinstated by the...

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Sam Houston Cancels Remainder of Meet

Sam Houston Race Park was forced to cancel its stakes-laden Texas Champions Day card after the second race Saturday night when a transformer blew, and will not hold its final four days of racing, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Its 2020 Quarter Horse meet set to start Apr. 10 has also been cancelled. "We share in the disappointment this creates throughout the Texas racing industry and for our valued customers and employees," said Sam Houston Vice President and General Manager Dwight Berube. "Sam Houston Race Park looks forward to a time...

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Mr Money Bags Named Texas Horse of the Year

Roy Cobb's homebred Mr Money Bags (Silver City) will be crowned as the 2019 Texas Horse of the Year at the Texas Thoroughbred Association's annual meeting and awards banquet Mar. 21 at Sam Houston Race Park. The night will also celebrate divisional Texas-bred champions with awards based on points earned in stakes performances during the year. Mr Money Bags had six wins from nine starts and earnings of $328,470 as a 3-year-old in 2019. The gelding was undefeated in his home state, winning a division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr....

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Sam Houston Meet Ushers in New Era for Texas Racing

The past several years have been tough ones for the Texas racing industry, but when Sam Houston Race Park opens its 2020 meet Friday, it will mark a turning of the page for racing in the state. With the Texas government funneling $25 million into racing this year, Sam Houston's purses will more than double and management expects a healthy bump in average field size. "We're incredibly excited and optimistic about this meet," said SHRP's vice president and general manager Dwight Berube. "We're the first batter up among the Texas...

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