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Las Vegas, NV - Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas will play host to the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup Stakes on Saturday, January 24. Horses four years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $200,000 purse when they go 1 1/8 miles on Sam Houston's turf track.
A field of nine older horses will take to the track in the John B. Connally Turf Cup Stakes - race 7 on Sam Houston's Saturday card. Post time is 8:56 PM. Here is a glance into the credentials of all nine entries for this Grade 3 stakes.
Bim Bam - Ron Moquett trainee has 47 career starts with nine wins, eight seconds and nine third place finishes and was at his best this past summer when he posted three straight wins including two minor stakes - the Edward J. Debartolo Memorial in August and the Independence Day Stakes in July. He has since posted two straight off-the-board finishes - a fifth in an Allowance last time out at Churchill Downs followed an eight in a similar race at Keeneland in October. Deshawn Parker will be tabbed with changing the fortunes of the 3-1 morning line favorite from the outside post Saturday.
Dreams Cut Short - Michael Maker trained gelding has 33 career starts with six wins, six seconds and two third place finishes. He had two wins, a second and a third place finish in 11 starts last year. His graded stakes results haven't been great - a fifth in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes at Arlington in July and a tenth in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West but he did OK in three races at the end of summer - an Allowance score over Lochte October 12 after a second behind Lochte in the minor The Vid Stakes at Gulfstream Park in September and a third in the minor Edward J. Debartolo Memorial also at Gulfstream in August. Dreams Cut Short has failed to place in his last two starts and hopes to get back to his summertime form - with James Graham in the saddle of the 4-1 morning line second choice from post 3.
Coalport - Michael Maker pupil finished second in the 2011 Grade 3 Bourbon stakes - the only time he's placed in seven graded stakes tries. He has looked good lately - consecutive wins in the minor Buck's Boy Handicap last time out and an Allowance in October followed consecutive seconds in minor stakes action - the Unbridled Stakes in September and the West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup in August. Coalport has been trending upward and should be competitive again Saturday as the 5-1 third choice from post 7 with Javier Castellano aboard.
Trace Creek - Kenneth McPeek trainee has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday having placed in his last four starts overall - a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs last time out followed an Allowance score in October, a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in July and another Allowance score in June. He enters in the best form of his career and departs from post 5 at 6-1 on the morning line.
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Daddy's Kid - has 11 career starts for trainer Reid Nagle with four wins, a second and a third place finish. He won three straight races earlier this year before a very good debut in stakes company - a second in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park in October. Last time out was a fifth in the minor Tropical Park Handicap at Gulfstream Park which followed a third in an Allowance. Daddy's Kid has placed in five of his last six starts and is certainly a threat here. Forest Boyce rides the 6-1 shot from post 6.
Benwill - has alternated wins and losses in his last six starts - a win in the minor John Henry Stakes in April was followed by a third in the minor Louisiana Legends Turf Stakes in May, a win in the Red, White and Blue Overnight Stakes in July, a fifth in the Louisiana Cup Turf Classic in August, a win in the minor Unbridled Stakes in September and a fifth last time out in the minor Louisiana Champions Day Turf Stakes in December. If the pattern holds true Benwill is due for a win this week - in his graded stakes debut from gate 8 at 6-1 odds with Lindey Wade in the irons.
Michael's Gabriel - has 25 career starts for trainer James Coats with four wins, four seconds and a third place finish. He finished fifth in this race last year - his only graded stakes start so far and has placed in just five of 14 starts since - an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Louisiana Downs in September and a pair of runner up finishes in similar races to follow that being the best results. Last time out was an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming November 15. Michael's Gabriel looks for his first stakes score and to avenge an ugly effort last time out with David Cabrera in the reins from gate 4 at 10-1.
Fleet Mitchy - JR Caldwell trained gelding has placed in 14 of 19 career starts - six wins, three seconds and five third place finishes. He enters on a nice three race win streak - two Allowances and a Claiming race at Remington Park in October and November. He makes his stakes debut in the best form of his career at 12-1 odds on the morning line with Iram Vargas Diego guiding him.
Devon's Iron Giant - will race in graded stakes company for the first time Saturday for trainer Roger Elliot after 28 career starts yielded four wins, four seconds and four third place finishes. He enters having placed in four of his last five starts however including two wins in his last three - a Starter Handicap last time out and an Allowance Optional Claiming three back - with a seventh sandwiched in there. He takes a huge step up Saturday as the longest shot in the field (15-1) with Isaac Chapa in the irons from the rail.
Race 7 on Sam Houston's Saturday card with a Post Time of 8:56 PM.
|1||Devon's Iron Giant||I. Chapa||R. Eliott|
|2||Fleet Mitchy||I. Diego||J. Caldwell|
|3||Dreams Cut Short||J. Graham||M. Maker|
|4||Michael's Gabriel||D. Cabrera||J. Coats, Jr.|
|5||Trace Creek||C. Landeros||K. McPeek|
|6||Daddy's Kid||F. Boyce||R. Nagle|
|7||Coalport||J. Castellano||M. Maker|
|8||Benwill||L. Wade||S. Tubbs|
|9||Bim Bam||D. Parker||R. Moquett|
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