03/03/2011 3:07PM

Schramsberg within reach of rare feat heading into Maxxam


Schramsberg will attempt to become the second horse in Sam Houston Race Park history to complete a sweep of the track’s two richest races for older horses when he runs Saturday night in the $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup Handicap.

He is the 121-pound highweight in the 1 1/8-mile race that drew shippers from Fair Grounds, Oaklawn, and Sunland Park. The 11-horse field also includes Black Hills, the New Mexico-based horse who was eighth last out in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park, as well as multiple stakes winners Red Lead, Stachys, and Z Humor.

Schramsberg won the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Cup Turf at Sam Houston in his most recent start Jan. 29. If he were to win the Maxxam, he would share a bit of history with Scott’s Scoundrel, who won the Connally in 1997 then took the Maxxam in 1998. Schramsberg will be moving back to dirt, and while he has had his greatest success on turf, he is a winner on dirt, taking an optional claimer last July at Prairie Meadows.

“I’m very interested to see what he’ll do on dirt,” said Chris Landeros, who rode Schramsberg for the first time in the Connally. “He gave me such a huge run on the grass in the Connally. If it’s anything like that, I think he’ll be tough.”

Landeros, who will be aboard Schramsberg for Bobby Joe Hammer and trainer Chris Hartman, has been on a stakes tear at Sam Houston. Following the Connally, which was his first graded win, Landeros took the $50,000 Jersey Lilly and the $100,000 Jim’s Orbit division of the Texas Stallion Stakes.

“It’s very satisfying to win three stakes in the short meet,” said Landeros, 22.

He hopes to make it one more in the closing-week Maxxam, when he and Schramsberg break from post 3.

“He can rate comfortably,” said Landeros, who could either set the pace with Schramsberg or get a tracking trip behind Join in the Dance, Max Me Out, and possibly Glamour Guy.

Hartman will also send out the Frontier Stables-owned Red Lead, who finished in front of Schramsberg on Jan. 8, when second in the $50,000 Winsham Lad at Sunland. Justin Shepherd is in to ride Red Lead, who in his most recent start was second as the favorite in the $50,000 Curribot, also at Sunland.