Sam Houston Race Park will open its 20th Annual Live Racing Season when it kicks off its 2013 Thoroughbred Meet on Friday, January 18 with average daily purse amounts in excess of $165,000, the highest in the Park’s 19 year history. A revamped stakes schedule in 2013 will be anchored by the richest Thoroughbred race in Texas and in Sam Houston Race Park history. The all new $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic is set for Saturday, January 26, 2013 and will be carried on HRTV and locally on Fox Sports Southwest. In total, the meet will feature 23 stakes races including four new stakes for Texas-breds paying more than $1.7 million in purses.
The 2013 Thoroughbred stakes schedule will begin with Texas Champions Weekend starting on Friday, January 18 and continuing on Saturday, January 19. 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. The Texas-themed live racing event will include seven high-dollar stakes races; the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes for 4-years-old and up, $50,000 Richard King Stakes, $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes, $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes for fillies and mares, $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes, $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and the $50,000 Groovy Stakes for 3-year-olds.
In addition to Texas Champions Weekend, the 2013 Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule also includes: January 26: $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, $200,000 Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup, $75,000 Champions Energy Services Stakes, $50,000 Allen’s Landing Stakes, February 2: $50,000 Bucharest Stakes, February 9: $50,00 Tomball Stakes, February 16: $75,000 Jim’s Orbit Stakes & $75,000 Two Altazano Stakes, February 22: Texas Six Shooter Stakes & Texas Yellow Rose Stakes, February 23: $50,000 Jersey Village Stakes, March 2: $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup, $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes, $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup, and March 16: $50,000 Spring Dodge Stakes.
The 2013 American Quarter Horse Meet will begin on Thursday, March 28th and will once again be highlighted by the Grade 2 $100,000+ Bank of America Challenge Championships and the Grade 2 $100,000+ Sam Houston Futurity. New to the Quarter Horse meet this year will be a Free Concert Series where admission to all post race concerts will be free for all guests arriving before 8pm who purchase $6 live racing admission. The concerts will be $20 for guests arriving after 8pm. The series will begin March 30 featuring Blue October followed by the Old 97’s on April 7, Reckless Kelly on April 27, Roger Creager on May 3 and Kevin Fowler on May 11.
The 2013 live racing season will also feature a variety of special events and promotional days including:
- 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.
- Sunday Brunch Special featuring $2 Mimosas & Bloody Marys and a $19.95 special brunch buffet in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant every Sunday. (First post 1:00 p.m.)
- Monday Live Racing featuring FREE Admission. (First post 1:00 p.m.)
- Houston Ladies Classic featuring the richest thoroughbred race day in Texas benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure, hat contest, drink specials and more (January 26).
- Food Trucks Night featuring a variety of Houston’s best food trucks on the trackside apron (February 2).
- Dollar Day at The Park featuring $1 admission, live racing programs, hot dogs, ice cream, soda and draft beer. Free Petting Zoo. (February 16 & April 20)
- Wiener Dog Races highlighting the fastest Wiener dogs in Houston (February 9)
- Ladies Night where ladies get in free and enjoy $2.00 wine specials (February 23)
- Camel & Ostrich Races featuring the wildest entertainment of the meet (March 9)
- Kentucky Derby Day highlighting simulcast action direct from Churchill Downs, mint julep specials, hat contest and more! (May 4)
- Mother’s Day Brunch Special featuring live racing and a $40 premier buffet in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant (May 12)
- Preakness Stakes highlighting simulcast action direct from Pimlico (May 18)
Post times for live Thoroughbred racing have been adjusted in 2013 and will be Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (6 p.m.), Sunday (1 p.m.) and Monday (1 p.m.). There will be no live racing on Super Bowl Sunday (February 3). Post times for Live American Quarter Horse racing 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 the Preakness Stakes. For the full calendar of Sam Houston Race Park’s 2013 live race dates, visit www.shrp.com.