Sam Houston Race Park begins its 27-day season tonight, and Saturday
the track will present its Texas Champions program. The seven stakes
worth $400,000 have attracted some state champions, running reminders of
just how good racehorses from Texas can be.
But, more than anything, the stakes convincingly demonstrate the efficacy of high purses in attracting quality horses.
richest race Saturday in Houston will be the $100,000 Star of Texas
Stakes, which matches Texas' champion older male, Quiet Again, and the
champion older female, Taptam. Texas' horse of the year for 2010, Taptam
earned $262,942 while winning two stakes, the Pippin at Oaklawn Park
and the Wigwam at Hoosier Downs. She also finished second behind the
great Zenyatta in Oaklawn's Apple Blossom Handicap.
didn't win in Texas last year. The Texas horse of the year, didn't even
race in Texaslast year. And Quiet Again raced only once in the state,
finishing third in the Carter McGregor Stakes at Lone Star; he made his
other nine starts of 2010 in New Mexico while earning $163,200.