The $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup Headlines Four Stakes Saturday
While the biggest race tracks feature many of the biggest horse races and events, including those on the Triple Crown and Kentucky Derby trail, it’s events like Sam Houston’s Maxxam Racing Festival that keeps racing of interest at many of the smaller race tracks in America.
On Saturday night, Feb. 24 the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup will run as the eighth race of the card with an interesting mix of seasoned veterans as well as several horses rising the ranks to test their skills at 9 furlongs (1 1/8 miles). The field of six is for 4-year-olds and up and Blueridge Traveler is expected ‘To Honor and Serve’ his sire with a victory as the 6-5 favorite. Blueridge Traveler showed considerable promise as a 3-year-old when finishing 2nd in the $500,000 Spiral Stakes (G3) last March at Turfway Park. Trainer Kenny McPeek noted that Blueridge Traveler “had a physical issue last Spring and we had to lay off, but he’s coming back strong.” His 2nd win in nine career starts came just two weeks ago in a first-level allowance condition race at 1 1/16 miles, as Blueridge Traveler closed from seventh at the three-quarter pole to rally late and chase down the leader over a sloppy Oaklawn track. McPeek must like his condition and training to return quickly, and further improvement gets him to the winners circle again with Net Gain (5-2), Social Misfit (9-2) and Hyper Drive (5-1) not offering much as wagering contenders with Social Misfit the high-earner in the field with 15 wins in 59 career races to his credit.
Meanwhile in race 6, the $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup drew nine sprinters going 6 furlongs. A handful of win contenders make up the field with Steve Asmussen-trained Counterforce (3-1) leading the win contenders from the rail with Schivarelli (7-2), Super Mason (4-1) and Sea Vow (9-2) on the outside looking to sprint to the finish and cash in.
Race 7 is the $50,000 Jersey Lilly Turf with nine older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles. Proud Reunion (2-1) leads the betting interests with contenders Witt’s Town (9-2) next door on the rail and Stormquility (7-2) returning as the defending champ of the Jersey Lilly Turf.
Race 9 is the $50,000 Houston Turf for older horses and 10 older state-breds will conclude the big day of racing at Sam Houston Race Park. Mav Master (5-2), Moojab Jr (9-2) and the outside horse Can’t Be Wrong (7-2) will take the most wagering action.
TwinSpires.com customers get their Win bets back all evening during Saturday’s Sam Houston Racing Festival. Players that opt in and wager at least $50 on the card can get their Win bets back up to $10 per race if their selections finish second or third. Full terms and conditions can be found here.