03/04/2012 8:10AM

Sam Houston: Cease affirms fondness for nine furlongs in Maxxam Gold Cup

Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Glen Murphy collects one of his four wins on the card aboard Cease in the $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup.

Cease served notice of his talent last summer at Saratoga, when he won a 1 1/8-mile maiden race by 13 lengths and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park, the horse recorded another memorable win at the 1 1/8-mile distance, this time taking down the first stakes win of his career in the $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup.

The race for older horses was the richest dirt offering at the Sam Houston meet that closes March 12.

Cease ($7.40) stalked the pace from the inside in the Gold Cup, as Coyote Legend took the field through an opening quarter in 24 seconds, a half-mile in 48.60, and six furlongs in 1:13. Cease began his bid on the final turn, moved out in the stretch, then rolled past Coyote Legend in the later stages. He won by 2 3/4 lengths, while covering the distance on a track rated fast in 1:50.52.

“When I showed him some daylight, he was gone,” said Glen Murphy, who rode Cease for trainer Al Stall Jr.

The win was one of four on the night for Murphy, who is the current leading rider at Sam Houston.

Coyote Legend held second, while it was another 1 1/4 lengths back to J J’s Indy, who edged Gleam of Hope in a photo for third.

Cease, who last year ran third in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup and fifth in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, has now won 3 of 9 starts. He picked up $90,000 for his win in the Gold Cup  to push his career earnings to $243,388. Cease, a 5-year-old by War Chant, races for his breeders, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider.

Stall has won the Gold Cup once before, with Middleweight.