12/17/2010 5:28PM

Taptam likely to face boys at Sam Houston

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Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Taptam is being pointed to a start against males in the Star of Texas at Sam Houston.

Taptam, a multiple stakes winner who was second to Zenyatta in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom last April at Oaklawn, is being pointed to the Texas Champions Day card at Sam Houston on Jan. 22, trainer Bret Calhoun said.

“We’re probably going to run her against the boys in the Star of Texas,” Calhoun said of the $100,000 race restricted to 4-year-olds and up bred in Texas.

The 1 1/16-mile stakes is the lone dirt route on Texas Champions Day.

Taptam was offered at auction at Fasig-Tipton in November but did not sell. The high bid was $225,000. The mare, who is 5, will campaign next year at Oaklawn, Calhoun said.

Gulchrunssweet retired at 10

Gulchrunssweet, a 10-year-old who has been a part of the New Mexico racing scene since he made his career debut in 2002 at Sunland, has been retired, trainer Bart Hone said. Gulchrunssweet was a multiple stakes winner who overall won 21 of 72 starts and $842,658.

“The horse tries every time,” Hone said. “He battles and he digs in, and he’s just been a great old horse.”

Hone said Gulchrunssweet is headed to the Equine Encore Foundation, a retirement facility in Tuscon, Ariz.

“They have horses that have made quite a bit of money,” he said.

Hone said Gulchrunssweet, who won his second New Mexico Cup Sprint in November 2009, seems to have lost a step, so the decision was made to retire him. He made his final start Tuesday and finished fifth of 11 in a $5,000 claiming sprint at Sunland. “He is still good and healthy, and we just thought it was time,” Hone said.

Black Hills returns Sunday

Hone has divisions at Sunland and Turf Paradise. Black Hills is one of the top horses in his New Mexico stable, and the multiple stakes winner will be making his first start since January in Sunday’s ninth race at Sunland.

The $40,000 optional claimer at a mile could produce starters for the $100,000 Albert Dominguez on Jan. 2. Hone said Black Hills is a candidate for the handicap series this meet at Sunland.

◗ Stephanie Young, a former jockey who rode at Fair Grounds and was later paralyzed in a 1989 riding accident at Birmingham Race Course, died Wednesday after a battle with cervical cancer, according to a Fair Grounds news release. Burial is Monday at Lake Lawn Cemetery in New Orleans, following a viewing that runs from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

◗ Sunland will have a special racing schedule in the coming week due to the Christmas holiday. The track will have live cards Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 22-23, but will not race on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 24-25.

◗ Saratoga Yankee, who was third in the $150,000 Zia Derby, is being considered for the $60,000 Woodchopper at Fair Grounds, trainer Donnie Von Hemel said. The one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds is Dec. 31.

◗ R.D. Logan, the longtime executive director of the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association, has retired. The organization has not yet named his replacement.