Updated on 09/16/2011 8:42AM

Juvenile will take a little extra


Zydeco Affair and Leo's Last Hurrahy will deservedly vie for favoritism in Saturday night's $150,000 Sam Houston Texan Juvenile at Sam Houston Race Park, but if either colt is to win the 1 1/16-mile race, he will have to show an added dimension.

The Juvenile is the richest of nine stakes on Texas Champions Day. It also is the lone open race on the program, with the remaining eight stakes restricted to horses bred in Texas. Purses for the night total $650,000.

Zydeco Affair, a two-time stakes winner on turf, is looking for his first dirt win in the Juvenile, while Leo's Last Hurrahy, whose four victories have come around one turn, is out to show he can get two turns.

"You don't ever know until they do it," said Tony Richey, who trains Zydeco Affair for David Beard.

Richey is hoping to see Zydeco Affair transfer his outstanding turf form - he is 3 for 4 on grass - to the main track. "The only times he ran on dirt, it was early in his career and he ran good, but basically the races were just too short for him," said Richey.

Zydeco Affair's move to turf coincided with his first start around two turns, and he blossomed. "I'm thinking maybe it might have been the route of ground as much as the turf," said Richey.

Zydeco Affair won his maiden at two turns on turf, then returned one race later to win the $100,000 El Joven over Leo's Last Hurrahy. From there, he traveled to Arlington Park where he won the $75,000 Manila. In his most recent start he finished second in the $115,000 Hopemont at Keeneland.

Eddie Martin Jr. has the mount.

Leo's Last Hurrahy, who as a son of Leo Castelli has the pedigree to get the distance, has never finished worse than second in six career starts. In his most recent start, he rallied from well back to win a division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes over six furlongs. Before that race, he experimented with two turns and turf but finished a troubled second in the El Joven at Retama Park.

"He ran an awful good race last time," said Bob Young, who trains Leo's Last Hurrahy for Ken Murphy. "He's getting better with age."

Gerard Melancon will ride.

Others of note in the Juvenile, which drew nine 2-year-old colts and geldings, include the stakes-placed Worker Man, and Gastonia, a more than six-length maiden winner last out at Keeneland.

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