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'Diamond Man' Shines at Sam Houston

Veteran gelding draws off to impressive victory in 550-yard Harris County Stakes.

March 30, 2013

The $20,000 Harris County Stakes attracted a solid field of nine competing at 550 yards on Friday night during the first week of the Sam Houston Race Park meet. The very capable veteran JC My Diamond Man made easy work of his rivals as he powered to the wire in commanding fashion.

The 8-year-old son of Streakin La Jolla has been a wonderful performer for his owner Clem D. Nava III.

“I’d like to give thanks to Brian and my good friend (the late) Benny Pennington,” said Nava. “I know he’s watched from up there. I got real lucky to buy him when he was just three years old. He’s been a great old horse.”

Nava paid just $2,000 for the Texas-bred gelding, who has now earned $176,142 and improved his career record to 17 wins from 48 starts.

Ricardo Aguirre rode JC My Diamond Man for trainer Brian Stroud and covered 550 yards in :27.765, finishing 3 ½ lengths ahead of longshot Bythedawnsearlylight.

“He’s a great horse,” said Aguirre. “All you have to do is let him run his race.”

Stroud had high praise for the versatile runner, who has victories at 440, 550 and 870 yards.

“We’ve been fortunate he’s stayed sound,” said Stroud. “He’s got a big heart, finished strong and tries hard every step of the way.”

JC My Diamond Man ($3.60) was sent off as the heavy favorite. Bythedawnsearlylight, with Luis Vivanco aboard, ran second, and Kite Flyer, winner of the 870 yard Governors' Cup Marathon last May, ran third under Santos Carrizales.

Flirtingwithamiracle Impressive as the Fastest Qualifier in Trials for the Sam Houston Derby (G3)
Seven trials were run on Friday evening for the $35,000-added Sam Houston Derby (G3). The sixth trial produced the fastest time of the evening as Flirtingwithamiracle surged to the wire of his 350-yard trial in :17.739.

The 3-year-old son of Dean Miracle was bred in Texas by Patricia Potts and is owned by Marina Nino. Regular rider Eleazar Rivera Hernandez was aboard as the Juan Carlos Saucedo-trainee returned to the winner’s circle for the second time since breaking his maiden at Retama Park last July. Sent off at odds of 13-1, his supporters were rewarded with a win payout of $28.20.

“He came into this race as sound as he has ever been,” said Saucedo. “It was great to see the way he opened up.”

Trainer Fructusoso Huitron qualified the second-fastest qualifier in the first trial. CC Wants It All, owned by Salvador Olivera, was clocked at :17.805. This was the third win from seven starts. The son of Chief Corona was ridden by Saul Ramirez Jr.

Sam Houston Race Park will host the final of the Sam Houston Derby on Saturday, April 13. To view the ten fastest qualifiers, CLICK HERE.

Plunge The Depths Fastest Qualifier for the Sam Houston Maiden Classic
Plunge The Depths was an impressive winner in the first of seven trials for the $65,000-added Sam Houston Maiden Classic on Thursday’s opening night Quarter Horse card.

Owned by Julia Cesar Ramirez and trained by Willie J. Simien Jr, the 4-year-old son of Wave Carver drew off from his far outside post, covering 350 yards in :17.849. Rider Ricardo Aguirre, who had four wins on the Thursday night card, was aboard the Joe Kirk Fulton-bred Plunge The Depths, drawing off by three lengths.

“I’ve just had him three months, and we put some weight on him and added blinkers,” said Simien of his impressive maiden-breaking score. “He came back good and is fit. He was a little hard to load, so we’ll school him in the gate before the final.”

The 10 fastest qualifiers from the seven trial races will return to Sam Houston Race Park on Friday, April 12, and vie for the winner's portion of a $65,000-est. purse for 3-year-old and up maidens at time of nomination.

Taste Of Corona, under jockey Alfonso Lujan, was the second-fastest qualifier, winning his trial in :17.916. CJS Rocksolid had the third-fastest clocking of the evening, winning the fifth trial in :17.995.

The ten fastest qualifiers will return on April 12 for the final. For a complete list of finalists, times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys to the 2013 Sam Houston Maiden Classic, CLICK HERE.