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Maxxam Gold Cup Stakes

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 2/25/2015 7:42:48 PM

About the Race and Track

With limited serious action around the country with 3-year-olds, let’s think out of the box and examine the Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park. A $100,000 will be on the line for older runners going 9 furlongs and a short and sweet field of 6 will face the starter.

This race is the third richest that is run at Sam Houston. Opened in 1994, Sam Houston is considered one of the fastest growing tracks in the land. The main track is a mile and the turf course is a compact 7-furlong course.

Last year Red Rifle was coming off a second and an 89 Beyer Speed Figure in a $62,500 optional race at Gulfstream before winning this race wire-to-wire with a 92 Beyer. And he proved it was no fluke by closing out 2014 taking the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup.

A Longshot With Some Value: C.J.’s Awesome

C.J.’s Awesome fits the long shot mode. He has caught repeat winners in this last 2 races and the horse that beat him last time, East Hall, went on to take a $100,000 stakes and then was 2nd in a $250,000 stakes.

The Pick: Albano (Win)

From the rail out, F J Uncle Vic will carry the hopes of Texas-breds in this event. Two of his 3 wins have come at Sam Houston and both of those wins came in $50,000 stakes. He was on the wrong surface last time and that turf effort can be totally dismissed.

Woodmans L uck posted a rare victory last time. It came on the grass in an entry-level allowance race but in reality, this runner lacks the killer instinct. He has only won 4 of 38 and has 18 slices on his record. The reformed claimer has his work cut out.

Alban o is the most accomplished runner in this race and he figures to be super tough. He was beaten a nose last year in the Grade 2 Risen Star, shipped to New Jersey in June and won the Grade 3 Pegasus and he was not disgraced at Monmouth Park in the Grade 1 Haskell last July when running second to Bayern, who went on to capture the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Trained by Larry Jones, who is hitting at 29% this year and is 2 for 3 at Houston this meet, Albano needed in last race, has tactical speed and should sit a super track and kick trip.

Hattaash is still trying at the advanced age of 8 and he still has some vinegar in the tank. He’s won 11 of 55 in his career and in his races this year, he’s won, run 2nd beaten by a head and run 3rd, also beaten by a head.

C.J.’s Awesome has an advantage of training locally for several weeks but he only has two wins to tell his fans about.

Endurance is the name but he has to prove he has stamina, as he has never raced this far. He has some semblance of speed but this is his first stakes appearance.

When the gates open, C.J.’s Awesome and Endurance figure to be send along for the lead with Albano falling into an ideal 3-hole trip.

At the top of the lane expect Kerwin Clark to let Albano roll and overtake the leaders and cruise to the wire.




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