01/25/2006 12:00AM

Sam Houston track report


Later this meet, Middleweight could attempt a sweep of Sam Houston Race Park's biggest races for older horses. He won the first half of the equation last Saturday night, with his 1 1/4-length score in the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup on dirt. Middleweight is also a stakes winner on turf, the surface of the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup at 1 1/8 miles on April 8.

"The Connally could be on our radar," said Al Stall Jr., who trains Middleweight for Peter Gaffney and Stewart Madison.

Middleweight, a son of Grand Slam, was moving from turf to dirt for the Maxxam. Last fall, he won the $50,000 Sport City Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Louisiana Downs.

On the Maxxam undercard, Culinary won the $40,000 Sam Houston Distaff, her second stakes win in a little more than a month. She also captured the $75,000 Furl Sail at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs on Dec. 17. In the Distaff, Culinary closed from farther back than usual for a half-length win. Michael Stidham, who trains Culinary, liked her performance.

"We learned she needs to get back, settle, and make her run," he said.

Culinary is scheduled to ship to Oaklawn Park, where she could make her next start in the $50,000 Pippin at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 18.

* Gambling Wolfe moves from stakes company to the allowance ranks on Friday night in the featured ninth race. The one-mile race is for 3-year-olds who have never won two races. In his last start, Gambling Wolfe was third in the $50,000 Groovy at seven furlongs on Nov. 19.