01/18/2006 12:00AM

Sam Houston track report


Dixie Meister, who ran a strong second to Brass Hat last out in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap, will start as the 118-pound highweight in Saturday night's $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park.

A 1 1/8-mile race, the Maxxam Gold Cup drew a field of 12 when entries were taken Wednesday.

Dixie Meister will spot his rivals between three and eight pounds. In the New Orleans, he rallied for second and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 99. One start before that race, Dixie Meister won the $100,000 Star of Texas for Texas-breds at Sam Houston.

Roman Chapa has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Middleweight is the race's second highweight at 115 pounds. He will be moving back to dirt for the first time since August, a span of five starts. In his most recent race, Middleweight was third in the $75,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs on Dec. 18.

The complete Maxxam field from the rail with riders is Doctor Doctor Mrmd, Filemon Rodriguez; Matched, Glen Murphy; Middleweight, Gerard Melancon; Dusty Spike, Justin Shepherd; Dixie Meister; Lonesome Launch, Carlos Marquez Jr.; Twilight Vision, Ted Gondron; Pass Rush, Robby Albarado; Toratora, Larry Taylor; Sandburr, John Byrne; Seainsky, Quincy Hamilton; and Breakaway, Bobby Walker Jr.

Post time for the Maxxam is 10:20 p.m. Central. The race will be supported by the $40,000 Sam Houston Distaff, which is led by Ballroom Deputy and Culinary.

* Scott Ehlers of Daily Racing Form will join Sam Houston director of publicity Martha Claussen for a free handicapping seminar Saturday. It will begin at 7 p.m. on the club level stage at Sam Houston.

* There will be a silent auction benefiting the Jockey Crisis Fund on Saturday night, and among the items on offer are a date with 19-year-old jockey Justin Shepherd, and a stallion season to leading Texas sire Truluck.