01/31/2013 5:16PM

Sam Houston: Solar Charge gives turf another try in Bucharest


Solar Charge, who has been chasing such talented sprinters as Delaunay and Gold Element in his last couple of starts, will shake those rivals Saturday night when he moves to turf for the $50,000 Bucharest at Sam Houston Race Park. The five-furlong race is for 4-year-olds and up bred in Texas.

Solar Charge was fourth to Delaunay in the $75,000 Thanksgiving Handicap two starts ago at Fair Grounds, and last out hooked one of the top sprinters in Texas in Gold Element, in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas at Sam Houston. Solar Charge was second by a half-length to Gold Element, and for his effort earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 96.

As for the move to turf, Solar Charge is winless in eight starts on the grass but has had some close calls. He has been second in four of those races, and third two other times. One of his runner-up finishes came over the course at Sam Houston. Roman Chapa has the mount on Solar Charge for H & H Ranch and trainer Danny Pish.

Others set to start in the field of eight include the filly Cowgirl N Up, who comes off a front-running win in the $50,000 Yellow Rose at Sam Houston. The six-furlong race was run on the main track, and Cowgirl N Up covered the distance in sharp 1:10.80. Larry Taylor was aboard and again has the mount for owner-trainer Caroline Dodwell.

◗ Sam Houston handled $312,000 on its inaugural Houston Ladies Classic last Saturday,  the track announced. In addition, $358,000 was bet on the Connally Cup on the same card. It was the highest Connally Cup handle since 2006. Attendance ontrack topped 7,800.