04/07/2011 4:05PM

Sam Houston: Futurity, derby head rich card for Quarter Horses


The richest night of Sam Houston’s meet for Quarter Horses will be held on Saturday, with Special Royal Corona leading the Grade 2, $600,000 Sam Houston Futurity and Texas Icon the probable favorite for the Grade 2, $152,800 Sam Houston Derby.

Special Royal Corona, a son of Corona Cartel who was a $50,000 purchase in 2010 at Heritage Place, set the fastest qualifying time for the futurity. He covered 330 yards in 16.89 seconds, while winning by 1 1/4 lengths under regular rider Cipriano Vidana.

“The way the horse is bred, we knew he was going to be good,” said trainer Felipe Garza. “He showed his talent within the first 90 days we had him in training.”

The chief threat could be Rc Straight Runaway, who has won both of his starts, including his Sam Houston trial by three lengths March 25.
◗ Sam Houston will increase overnight purses by a $1,000 a race through the end of the Quarter Horse meet May 15.