Trainer Matt Baker knew he had a good chance to win last night's $263,641 Sam Houston Futurity (G1) on the second-to-last night of the meet at Sam Houston Race Park. Baker was red-hot in the August 24 trials, winning five races and qualifying four
horses to the final. They included fastest qualifier Prince Of Toys and second-fastest qualifier Mr Bar Code.
The Rare Bar gelding Mr Bar Code won the final and broke Mr Jess Perry's six-year-old track record of :19.66 for 400 yards. The homebred racing for B and B Joint Ventures of Bay City, Texas, has run well at Sam Houston, winning two races and finishing third in the August 11 TQHA Sires' Cup Futurity (RG2). With a time of :19.59 in the Sam Houston Futurity, Mr Bar
Code recorded a career-high speed index of 108.
"He ran awesome," said Alvin Brossette, who picked up the mount on Mr Bar Code when
regular rider Eddie Cox Jr. chose to ride Prince Of Toys.
"Winning this race means a lot to me," said Baker. "Mr Bar Code is a really nice horse. He seems to be getting better with each race. The extra 50 yards seems to be good for him, and as a three-year-old he should continue to improve."
Mr Bar Code defeated Pivotal Decision by a neck, with Prince Of Toys running third. They were followed by Dasher Winner, Romancin Ashley, Lady With The Cash, Sheza Lilbituino, Dons Colours and Watch Lois Go. Cash To The Font, which won the TQHA Sale Futurity (RG2) at Sam Houston, was scratched. The Mr Jess Perry filly, which races for Mr Bar Code's connections, colicked the night after the trials and was taken to Texas A&M University for
"Man, he broke good this time," jockey Juan Vazquez said about Pivotal Decision. "We made the lead but he doesn't like lights for some reason. He drifted in and then out. I switched sticks three times, but we got outrun."
"We just got outrun," said Cox about favorite Prince Of Toys. "He kind of slipped a little bit at the start and drifted into the 8 horse (Watch Lois Go), but I got him right off. He was still in the lead until about 350 yards. Then I saw Mr. Bar Code -- I knew that he would be coming. I really wanted to ride that colt, but Ms. Bode, the owner of Prince of Boys has cancer and it could be the last time for her to see him run. She has been real nice to me, so I couldn't tell her no
when she asked me to ride."
Sam Houston drew 5,040 fans last night, while total on- and off-track handle on the live card reached $1,064,343. The figure marked the fifth time during the meet that the track has surpassed $1 million in live handle. Sam Houston's American Quarter Horse meet concludes tonight with the Sam Houston Derby (G2).