Updated on 09/18/2011 1:39AM

Sandburr wins Texas Champions Day headliner


HOUSTON - Sandburr registered the biggest win of his career on one of the biggest nights of racing at Sam Houston Race Park, driving to a length and a quarter win over Private Fight in the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes.

The mile and a sixteenth race was the richest of eight divisional stakes for Texas-breds on the annual Texas Champions Day program. The purses for the stakes totaled $475,000, making the card the richest of the meet at Sam Houston.

Sandburr, a 7-year-old gelding claimed for $20,000 at Sam Houston in April, picked up his first stakes win in the Star of Texas. He was content to stalk the pace in fourth, as favored Senor Amigo set fractions of 23.20 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.80 for a half-mile. Sandburr, under jockey Cliff Berry, picked up steam on the final turn, and went on to cover the distance over a track rated fast in 1:44.39.

“It kind of went like we were hoping, which would be a lot of pace early then have it set up to where he could put his kick in like he did and it worked out great,” said Michael Stidham, who trains Sandburr for Feel the Thunder Stable.

Sandburr ($9.20) earned $60,000 for the win, which was his 11th from 45 starts. He has career earnings of $215,211. Sandburr is a son of Sandpit and he was bred by Lane M. Hutchins.

Win streaks intact for Wrenice, Mystery Classic

Wrenice and Mystery Classic, who were both riding significant win streaks into their respective divisional stakes, were both dominant winners of their races. Both horses were ridden by Bobby Walker Jr.

Wrenice ($2.80) did not disappoint as the 2-5 favorite in the $50,000 Bara Lass for 2-year-old fillies, picking up her fifth straight win. She set fractions of 22.91 seconds for the opening quarter and 45.69 for the half-mile mark before going on to a 5 3/4-length win over Light Lace.

Wrenice covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.41. She is trained by Randy Mayfield.

Mystery Classic ($2.80) showed outstanding speed when he led throughout in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas to pick up his sixth straight win. Mystery Classic set fractions of 21.99 fand 44.91 before going on to win the six furlong race in 1:09.82. He won by a length and three-quarters over Charming Socialite. Mystery Classic is trained by Bob Schultz.

Big win for Sweet Idea

Sweet Idea improved her record at Sam Houston to 4 for 4 when she powered to a seven-length victory over La Raine of Terror in the $75,000 Martanza, the richest race of the night for fillies and mares. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back in third to I.B.’s Halo.

Sweet Idea ($6) broke on top in the one-mile race, dueled through six furlongs in 1:12.26, then pulled away in the stretch. She covered the distance in 1:37.90.

“They pressed her a little bit, but she was comfortable,” said Berry, who rode the winner for trainer Bret Calhoun.

* Northern Scene ($4.20) was a determined, head winner over Goosey Moose in the $50,000 Richard King at a mile and an eighth on turf. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back in third to Bullet Crane. John Jacinto rode Northern Scene for trainer Morris Nicks.

* Tunnel Time ($8.60) and Wild Encounter ($2.40) dead-heated for the win in the $50,000 San Jacinto, a mile and a sixteenth turf race for fillies and mares. Belen Quinonez rode Tunnel Time for owner-trainer Charlie Hukill, and Roimes Chirinos was aboard favorite Wild Encounter for trainer Michelle Lovell.

* Daddy Warbucks ($6.80) raced closer to the pace than he had been in his last few starts, then drove to a one-length win over Texas Praise in the $50,000 Groovy for 2-year-olds. Roman Chapa rode the winner for trainer Danny Pish.

* Open Meadows ($5.60) drew clear to a one-length win over Grandma W. in the $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs. Justin Shepherd rode the winner for trainer Jack Bruner.

* Handle on the 10-race program from all sources was $2,380,423. The attendance was 6,154.