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May 5, 2012
In addition to the simulcast of the 138th Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs this Saturday, Sam Houston Race Park presented 10 American Quarter Horse races with a card highlighted by the $50,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2) at the “classic” distance of 440 yards.
Leading Sam Houston trainer Judd Kearl saddled three horses in the Sam Houston Classic, and it was the Mexican invader Nowurtalkin who shined brightest of all.
Nowurtalkin, a 4-year-old Texas-bred son of Heza Fast Dash, is owned by Jose Luis Salazar of Laredo, Texas. He had made nine starts in the Hipodromo de las Americas Mexico City with seven wins and two second-place efforts. His most recent victory was a stakes win, capturing a division of the 350-yard Clasico Inaugural on January 21, and the bay runner earned four other stakes wins in Mexico.
Salazar shipped the horse to Kearl, who has dominated the trainer standings at Sam Houston and will win his fifth title when the meet concludes on May 19.
Under rider Rodrigo Vallejo, Nowurtalkin broke fourth but quickly got in stride, drawing off to a half-length win over Charal Kid. His final time over a fast track was :21.771 for a speed index of 97. This was the third win at the distance for the talented horse bred by Jack W. Evans. Nowurtalkin is one of two Quarter Horse starters out of the Boone’s Mill (TB) mare Illusive Star (TB), who is also the dam of six-time winner Call Me Cash Man, by Feature Mr Jess.
“He ran big,” said Kearl. “His form said he could race, but we didn’t know how it would translate to American soil. After he got out of quarantine, we breezed him three weeks ago. He worked good and looked like he wanted to go the distance.”
Malinche Cattle Co.’s Charal Kid, under Jorge Linares, ran second, and Jorge Haddad’s homebred Giorgino, who was a game runner-up in the $100,620 Bank of America Sam Houston Championship Challenge (G1) on April 14, was third with Santos Carrizales in the irons.
“We just got beat by a better horse,” said Carrizales.
This was the second Sam Houston Classic title for Kearl, who won the 2010 edition with Comin Thru. Nowurtalkin left the gates at odds of 6-1 and paid $14.20 for the win. He earned $30,000 for his first graded stakes victory.
“He will stay in the United States,” said Salazar. “I want him to stand stud here. The next race will be up to Judd.”
First Klas Fred completed the superfecta, followed by Shineys Magic T, Executive Prince, JA Jess Perfect, Sophisticated Snow and Winner’s Ignition.
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