07/13/2005 12:00AM

Sam Houston track report


Fast Talkin Val became the Texas representative for the Grade 1, $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship for Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos on Nov. 5 after he won the Grade 1, $107,190 MBNA Texas Challenge Championship last Saturday night at Sam Houston.

Fast Talkin Val ($6.60) covered 440 yards in 21.53 seconds. Gilbert Ortiz rode the horse for trainer Heath Taylor, who ranks second in the nation in wins among Quarter Horse trainers in 2005. Taylor said Fast Talkin Val could start at Los Alamitos before the MBNA America.

"I think to win a Grade 1 there it's imperative to have an out on their track," he said. "We might start him in the Go Man Go or the Los Al Classic."

The Texas Challenge was one of seven stakes totaling more than $650,000 at Sam Houston on Saturday. The richest was the $355,849 Texas Quarter Horse Association Sale Futurity, a restricted Grade 1 won by Silver Gol ($9.80).

The purse for the Sale Futurity was its highest ever, with a record 385 yearlings passing through the TQHA's sale last year. This year, 355 yearlings have been catalogued to the TQHA sale set for July 29-30 at Sam Houston.

Handle on the rich 10-race card last Saturday was a meet-high $737,174.

* Trainer Toby Keeton, 41, registered his 1,000th career Quarter Horse win in the second race last Sunday.