Sam Houston Race Park will open its 20th Annual Live Racing Season when it kicks off its 2014 Thoroughbred Meet on Friday, January 17 and will again average daily purse amounts in excess of $165,000. The richest stakes program in Texas will once again be anchored by the richest Thoroughbred race in Texas, the second annual $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic set for Saturday, January 25, 2014. In total, the meet will feature 24 stakes races.
“We are looking forward to another great racing season,” says Sam Houston Race Park President Andrea Young. “We intend to build upon last year’s success of the inaugural Houston Ladies Classic and make this a premier event in Houston for all racing and sports fans.”
The 2014 live racing season will also feature a variety of special events and promotional days including:
- Opening Night/Texas Champions Weekend Kick Off with 50 Cent Draft Beer, $1.50 Wine Specials, and Free Admission for Military in uniform. (January 17)
- 50 Cent Beer Fridays with ESPN’s Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman featuring 50 Cent Draft Beer and $1.50 Wine Specials every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Houston Ladies Classic featuring the richest thoroughbred race day in Texas benefiting Susan G. Komen, hat contest, drink specials and more! (January 25)
- Chinese New Year Celebration featuring a Dragon Dance and Asian inspired food selections. (January 31)
- Food Trucks Day featuring a variety of Houston’s best food trucks outside of the Paddock. Last year’s event included local favorites such as Bernie’s Burger Bus, Kurbside Eatz, Good Dog Hot Dogs, Happy Endings, and Porch Swing Desserts. (February 2)
- Wiener Dog Races highlighting the fastest Wiener dogs in Houston and $1 hot dogs. (February 8)
- Dollar Day at The Park featuring $1 admission, live racing programs, hot dogs, soda and draft beer. Free Petting Zoo. (February 15 & April 19)
- Ladies Night where ladies get in free and enjoy $2.00 wine specials (February 22)
- Camel & Ostrich Races has been expanded to two nights in 2014 after a sell out in 2013. This year’s event will star reigning Camel Racing Champion Chita Johnson from Houston’s KHOU Channel 11. (March 7 & 8)
- Kentucky Derby Day highlighting simulcast action direct from Churchill Downs, mint julep specials, hat contest and more! (May 3)
- Mother’s Day Brunch Special featuring live racing, $50 premier buffet in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and a special xx post time. (May 11)
“After a very successful 2013 Camel and Ostrich event, we are listening to our fans and expanding this promotion to two nights,” said Young. “We are always striving to give our fans great racing and fun, unique promotions to bring them out to the park.”
The 2014 Thoroughbred schedule will kick off with Texas Champions Weekend starting on Friday, January 17 and continuing on Saturday, January 18. Texas Champions Weekend will feature over $400,000 in total purses beginning Friday, a day highlighted for fillies and mares, and carrying over to Saturday, a day that will feature open races for Texas-breds.
In addition to Texas Champions Weekend, the 2014 Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule also includes: January 25: $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, $200,000 Grade III John B. Connally Turf Cup, $75,000 Champions Energy Services Stakes, $50,000 Allen’s Landing Stakes; February 1: $50,000 Tomball Stakes; February 8: $50,000 Bucharest Stakes; February 15: $75,000 Jim’s Orbit Stakes & $75,000 Two Altazano Stakes, $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes; February 22: $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup, Texas Six Shooter Stakes & Texas Yellow Rose Stakes; March 1: $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup, $50,000 Jersey Village Stakes, $50,000 Texas Heritage Stakes; March 8: Sheikha Mubarak Ladies Stakes & HH Sheikh Zayed Cup.
Post times for live Thoroughbred racing have been adjusted in 2014 and will be Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (7 p.m.), Monday (1 p.m.) and Tuesday (1 p.m.). Post times for Live American Quarter Horse racing which begins on March 21st will be every Thursday (7 p.m.), Friday (7 p.m.), and Saturday (6 p.m.). A special 1 p.m. post time is set for Kentucky Derby Day and Mother’s Day.