Sam Houston

Racing Exec Robert Bork Passes Away

Racing executive and former Sam Houston President Robert Bork passed away peacefully at his home in Houston June 11 at the age of 83. "I lost count very early in my career about how many times I was asked if I was Bob Bork's son," said Dan Bork, who serves as assistant racing secretary/stakes coordinator at Churchill Downs and racing secretary at Ellis Park. "My dad was known as an industry leader and greatly admired by so many accomplished horsemen and racing executives. It was way more than a job...

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Positive Tests, Trainers Barred at Sam Houston

The Texas Racing Commission (TxRC) will conduct Friday's GII Sam Houston Futurity, a Quarter Horse event held at Sam Houston Race Park, as a non-wagering event after a number of the qualifiers tested positive for Clenbuterol and/or Albuterol in advance of the race. Participants will compete for purse money only and future entries from those trainers whose horses tested positive will not be accepted. Both Clenbuterol and Albuterol are prohibited in Texas. Two separate testing methods were conducted with post-race blood and urine samples drawn May 7 and 8, the...

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Sam Houston Makes Good on Payout Mistake

After an investigation by Sam Houston Race Park and the Texas Racing Commission into a mandatory "Pick 5" payout after race 10 on Apr. 3, it was determined that only tickets holding five out of five of the winners were paid and no consolation payout was given to those holding tickets with four out of five winners. Management at Sam Houston has identified the wagering locations of the consolation tickets and notified them to make immediate payment to those ticket holders who should have qualified for consolation payouts. With several...

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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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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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Horsemen Optimistic That Racing Will Resume Soon in Texas, Maybe Even With Fans

With Lone Star Park announcing that it will open its stable area May 4 and with Texas Governor Greg Abbott going ahead with aggressive plans to re-open the state's businesses, Texas horsemen have said they are confident that racing will resume shortly at Lone Star Park. And there may even be fans in the stands to greet racing's return. There has been no racing in Texas since Mar. 28, when Sam Houston ended its meet ahead of schedule. The Lone Star meet was set to begin Apr. 16, but 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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Serengeti Empress Looks for 2020 Liftoff in Houston

Last January, following a promising sophomore season that fell short of a divisional title, Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) made her 4-year-old debut with a win in the GIII Houston Ladies Classic S., using it as a springboard to a championship campaign. Sunday at Sam Houston, Joel Politi's Eclipse finalist Serengeti Empress (Alternation) will attempt to replicate her predecessor's feat against five rivals as she opens her auspicious 4-year-old account. Catching the racing world's attention with back-to-back stakes wins by a combined 33 lengths in the summer of 2018, the $70,000...

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TTA Introduces New Incentives for Buyers and Sellers

The Texas Thoroughbred Association has announced two new incentive programs for buyers and sellers at its auctions. At the TTA's Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale, a portion of funds derived from the passage of H.B. 2463 will be used to provide rebates of up to half of the $500 consignment fee for all horses entered in the sale who pass through the ring (not just Texas-breds). Additionally, all sales graduates will be eligible for purse bonuses paid to owners of horses finishing in the top...

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