Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 John B Connally Turf Cup comes our way this Saturday, January 26 from Sam Houston Park in Houston, Texas. Horses four years old and upward will be front and center as they go 1 1/8 miles on Sam Houston's turf track for their share of the $200,000 purse.
The John Connally Turf Cup has attracted a field of 10 to go in race 8 on Sam Houston's Saturday card. Post time is 9:15 PM. Here is a look at the past performances of all 10 entries for this Grade 3 race.
King David - Michael maker trained colt won four straight Claiming races in the summer and then erupted to win the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park October 6 three back at the Connally distance. Since that impressive score he has finished second in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes November 17 and fourth last time out in the minor Starter Stakes at Gulfstream December 1.
Willcox Inn - Won the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last October but hasn't been the same since - eighth place finishes in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby and the Grade 1 Arlington Millions along with an Allowance score on July 22. He did finish a good second in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf October 6 but was ninth most recently in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Willcox Inn has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 14 career starts for trainer Michael Stidham but still has to be in the conversation based on his experience against top tier talent.
Seal Cove - has eight career starts with five wins. He has won four of his last six starts including the minor If Winter Comes Stakes last time out and the Gleaming Stakes five back. Sandwiched in there is a pair of sevenths in a couple of graded stakes races - the Grade 3 Saranac in September and the Grade 1 Jamaica handicap at Belmont Park in October.
Lockout - Mark Casse trained colt is coming off a decent third in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs November 17 after two straight wins including the minor Remington Green Stakes in September. He has placed in nine of 10 career starts including three wins, five seconds and a third place finish.
Marinous - French bred gelding makes his North American debut Saturday after 30 starts at home yielded just four wins, seven seconds and six third place finishes.
Capture the Flag - is a veteran of 29 career starts and has three wins, six seconds and three third place finishes over that span - mostly Allowance and minor stakes races. His last win came in October 2011 at the Oklahoma Classics Turf Stakes and has placed in just two of seven since. Capture the Flag is coming off a second in an Allowance at Retama Park but will be in tough this Saturday.
Holiday Promise - has a win, four seconds and a third place finish in 12 career starts. His best career result came in March of 2012 - a surprising second in the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. He is coming off a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Retama Park December 28 after failing to place in the three starts before that.
Swift Warrior - won the minor Win Stakes three back at Saratoga to follow a distant sixth in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Memorial in April. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 3 River City Handicap November 25 at Churchill Downs to follow an ugly eighth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland October 6. His other two results last year were thirds in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes and a Handicap at Tampa Bay in February. Swift Warrior has four wins, two seconds and seven third place finishes in 18 career starts and enters the Connally Turf Cup in less-than-spectacular for.
Red Lead - is graded staked places and a multiple stakes winner who had a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming scores at Remington Park in the fall. Since then Red Lead has raced a couple of minor stakes races finishing second in the Zia Park Distance Championship Handicap December 2 and sixth last time out in the Winsham Lad Handicap at Sunland Park three weeks ago.
Ocean Seven - arrived from Ireland after 22 starts yielded just three wins, three seconds and three third place finishes. Ocean Seven's only North American start resulted in a fourth place finish in a Starter Allowance at Remington Park November 14.
Race 8 on Sam Houston's Saturday card with a Post Time of 9:15 PM.
||J. Terranova, II
||Capture the Flag
||C. McGaughey III
||Ocean Seven (IRE)