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Houston ladies classic 2016 at sam houston race park

ef="/racetracks/HOU/sam_houston.html" title="Sam Houston Race Park">Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas will play host to the Grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic Stakes on Saturday, January 30. Fillies and mares four years old and upward will be featured when they take to Sam Houston's main track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's share of the $400,000 purse.

Seven older females will line up in the Houston Ladies Classic - race 9 - the main event on Sam Houston's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 9:05 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all seven combatants for this lucrative Grade 3 stakes.

2016 Houston Ladies Classic Race Preview

Forever Unbridled 3-1 - Dallas Stewart trained filly has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in eight career starts . She enters off one of those wins - in the Grade 3 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct November 28. Before that was a fifth in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes in October, an ugly eleventh in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 1 and consecutive third place finishes - the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks March 28 and the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes in February. She also had a second place finish in the minor Silverbulletday Stakes last January. Unbridled Forever looked great last time out after two sub-par outings and is expected to challenge Saturday. Joel Rosario picks up the mount on the tepid morning line favorite from the rail Saturday hoping for Forever Unbridled's second straight graded stakes score.

Cassatt 4-1 - Larry Jones trained filly had a nice three race win streak at this time last year- all gate-to-wire wins including the 2015 Houston Ladies Classic, as favorite January 24, the Tiffany Lass Stakes December 21 and the Zia Park Oaks in November, 2014. She also won the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks in August of that year. Cassatt enters off yet another win - the minor She's All In Handicap at Remington Park December 13 which followed two unflattering results - a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Keeneland in October and a last of six in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita in March. Cassatt now has seven wins and a second place finish in 12 career starts although she's placed in just one of four graded stakes tries. She hopes to repeat in this race and off a win looks to be in decent position to do so. Florent Geroux has been tabbed to ride the second betting choice from post 3.

Theogony 9-2 - Mark Casse trained mare has four wins and three runner-up finishes in 14 career starts. She enters off consecutive second place finishes - the minor Pippin Stakes at Oaklawn Park January 17 and in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs November 26. Before that was a sixth in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine October 31, a good win in the minor Belle Mahone Stakes also at Woodbine in August and an Allowance Optional Claiming score on that track. Theogony has two wins and two seconds in her last five starts overall and arrives in good form. Joe Bravo has been tabbed with getting her a first graded stakes score - from post 5.

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Cali Star 5-1 - Martin Wolfson trained filly made her graded stakes debut last time out and promptly won the Grade 3 Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream Park December 12. She had three wins, five seconds and three third place finishes in 17 previous starts. Before her nice win last time out was an impressive five length Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream Park West November 18 in her first start for her new trainer, an eighth in a similar race at Keeneland October 2 and consecutive third place finishes in Allowance Optional Claiming races in the summer. She has just one other stakes start which resulted in a runner-up finish in the minor Pago Hop Stales at Fair Grounds in December, 2014. Cali Star has placed in four of her last five starts overall and could surprise again having won two straight ahead of this weekend. Tyler Gaffalione has the mount from gate 6.

Diva's Diamond 8-1 - has 11 wins, 15 seconds and six third place finishes in 45 career starts. She looked good early last year - runner-up finish ahead of Beholder in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April was followed by a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in May and two straight minor stakes scores - the Wild Rose Stakes May 25 and the Iowa Distaff June 26 - both results at Prairie Meadows. Diva's Diamond hasn't been great since - a sixth last time out in the minor She's All In Handicap December 13 followed an OK second in the minor Treasure Chest Stakes in November and a ninth in the Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes at Keeneland in October. She hopes to get back to her early/2015 form with Patrick Valenzuela aboard from gate 4.

Welcome Aboard 10-1 - Eric Reed trained mare makes her graded stakes debut Saturday after 24 career starts produced eight wins, five seconds and a third place finish. She won the minor Opelousas Stakes at Evangeline in July - her best career effort but hasn't been great since. Last time out was a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming December 13 which followed a ninth in an Allowance in October and an OK third in the minor River Cities Stakes in September. Welcome Abroad looks to bounce back Saturday when she leaves from the outside post 7 with Deshawn Parker guiding her.

Rose to Glory 15-1 - Donnie Von Hemel trained filly will make her graded stakes debut Saturday having posted just two wins and two seconds in 12 career starts. Last time out was a fourth in her only stakes action to date - the minor Remington Park Oaks way back on September 27. Before that was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming August 29 and an Allowance score August 2 - both results at Ellis Park. Rose to Glory steps up in so-so form and leaves from gate 2 with Lindey Wade in the saddle.

The road to the kentucky derby points update january 11

oad to the Kentucky Derby is in full swing as two and three year olds from around the world try to qualify for arguably the biggest race on the planet - the first Saturday in May 2016 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Right now we are in the middle of a series of 19 races held between September and February. Those races award the top four finishers points on a 10-4-2-1 scale - the Kentucky Derby Prep Season as it is known. As we get closer to the Run for the Roses things become a little bit more interesting in the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. The first leg includes eight races with a 50-20-10-5 scale. Races in this leg include the Risen Star at Fair Grounds, the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream, the Gotham at Aqueduct, the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, the San Felipe at Santa Anita, the Rebel at Oaklawn, the Spiral at Turfway, and the Sunland Derby at Sunland Park. The second leg includes seven races with a 100-40-20-10 scale including the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita, the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, and the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and the UAE Derby in Dubai.

There are two races in the weeks preceding the Kentucky Derby in which contenders can earn points on a 20-8-4-2 scale - this is the "Wild Card Round".

So, with that in mind, who are the early contenders for the 2016 Kentucky Derby? Let's take a peek at the top 30 point getters so far with the realization that only the top 20 will earn a spot in the Run for the Roses.

Nyquist, Doug O'Neill, 30 points - has been the most impressive horse on the Road so far with wins in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile ,the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes September 26 and the Del Mar Futurity September 7. He is undefeated in his five race career and is expected to be at or near the top until the Big Race in May.

Exaggerator, Keith Desormeaux, 16 points - was at his best in last time out when he win the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21. He also had a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity October 3 and a win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August.

Brody's Cause, Dale Romans, 14 points - earned his points with a third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and a win in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 3.

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Mor Spirit, Bob Baffert, 14 points - won the Los Alamitos Futurity December 19 and posted a second in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes November 28.

Flexibility, Chad Brown, 14 points - started 2016 with a good win in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct January 2 and also had second place finishes in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes November 28 and the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes November 4 - also at Aqueduct.

Swipe, Keith Desormeaux, 12 - earned his points with a couple of respectable runner-up finishes in the Breeders' Cup and the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita September 26.

Airoforce, Mark Casse, 10 - has three wins and a second place finish in four career starts including a win in the Grade 1 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last time out at Churchill Downs November 28 and a runner-up finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Greenpointcrusader, Dominick Schettino, 10 - got his 10 points thanks to a win in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 3 but was a somewhat disappointing seventh last time out in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile against many of his future competitors.

Mohaymen, Kiaran McLaughlin, 10 - has won all three career starts (two graded stakes including the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct November 28 and the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes on that same track November 4.

Cocked and Loaded, Larry Rivelli, 10 - won the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs September 12 but finished fifth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He has placed in just one of four graded stakes tries however.

Riker, Nick Gonzalez, 10 - has won four of five career starts including the 10 point Grade 3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine October 4 but was sixth in his biggest step up in competition - the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last time out.

Collected, Bob Baffert, 10 - has two wins and a second place finish in three career starts including the Grade 3 Sham Stakes in his dirt debut last weekend as overwhelming favorite.

The rest of the top 30:

  • Sunny Ridge, Jason Servis, 8
  • Rated R Superstar, Kenny McPeek, 6
  • Toews on Ice, Bob Baffert, 4
  • Vorticity, James Lawrence II, 4
  • Kasseopia-GB, Charles Fellowes, 4
  • Let's Me in Rio, Bob Baffert, 4
  • Harlan Punch, Tom Amoss, 2
  • Found Money, Doug O'Neill, 2
  • Hollywood Don, Peter Miller, 2
  • I'malreadythere, Jerry Hollendorfer, 2
  • Mo Tom, Tom Amoss, 2
  • Sail Ahoy, Shug McGaughey III, 2
  • Portfolio Manager, Chad Brown, 2
  • Tizzarunner, Mark Casse, 2
  • Gift Box, Chad Brown, 2
  • In Equality, Leah Gyarmati, 2
  • Unbridled Outlaw, Dale Romans, 2
  • Laoban, Eric Guillot, 2