John Deere, Adequan Challenge Trials On Tap Thursday at Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston Race Park will host two sets of AQHA Racing Challenge regional trials on Thursday’s race card.

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John Deere, Adequan Challenge Trials On Tap Thursday at Sam Houston Race Park

HOUSTON, TX—MAY 23, 2022—Sam Houston Race Park will play host to two sets of trials for the AQHA Racing Challenge Program on Thursday. 

Two $15,000 400 yard trials for the $65,000-added Adequan Sam Houston Derby Challenge are slated as Races 3 and 4 on the 10 race card. Those will be  followed by five $15,000 350 yard trials (races 5 thru 10) for the Grade 3 $65,000-added John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge.

Finals for both events will be conducted on Thursday, June 16th.  

Winners of both races will be extended invites to participate in their respective championship races—$125,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship(G2) and the $150,000-est. Adequan Derby Challenge Championship(G3)—October 22nd during the Bank of America Challenge Championships at Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Adequan Sam Houston Derby Trials

Donttemptthisnatural, a son of leading sire Kiss My Hocks, will be looking for this third consecutive win in the second trial on Thursday for trainer Jose Sanchez, III. The 3-year-old gelding, racing for owner Michael Valenzuela, broke his maiden at Lone Star Park last December then returned off a layoff win a $30,800 Allowance at Sam Houston Race Park April 2.

Jockey Esgar Ramirez has been tapped to ride the 2-1 morning-line favorite from post 3.  Tyler Graham and T.C. Flack bred Donttemptthisnatural from the Furyofthewind mare Just Another Natural.

De Laurentis (6-1) will start from the 4 post in Race 10 under jockey Nestor Duran.  Trainer Jason Driver will send out this royally bred son of champion American Runaway for owners Reynoldo Munoz and Heavy Hitters Racing Stables.

AQHA Champion Breeder Bobby D. Cox bred the gray gelding in Texas from the Grade 1 producing Invisible Injun mare Babe On The Beach. He was won five of 10 lifetime starts and earned $87,756. His last win was two races back when he posted a 2-1/4 length Texas Classic Futurity(G1) trial victory at Lone Star Park.

The opening trial (Race 3) will be headed by 2-1 morning-line favorite Toro O Nada, a lightly raced son of multiple stakes sire Jess Lips. Toro O Nada broke his maiden in last start at Sam Houston Race Park May 6th. Juan Diz, Jr. owns the Texas-bred out of Like A Fine Oak by Oak Tree Special. He has earned $32,867 in four starts.

John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge Trials

Lance Moore’s Old South Futurity winner Jes An Angel will has been entered with 59 other Challenge-enrolled two-year-old’s to contest the John Deere Juvenile trials on Thursday.

Jes An Angel has been installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite in the last of five trials. A $10,000 Heritage Place Yearling Sale graduate, Jes An Angle won the $147,949 Old South Futurity on Saturday at Delta Downs.

Bobby Joe Nixon trains the son of Jess Zoomin from the First Down Dash mare Ms Kates Angel. Bred in Texas by Jerry Windham, Jes An Angel has compiled a (4) 3-0-0 record and earned $85,306 this season. Her only off the board performance was a troubled effort in the $324,000 Louisiana Downs Futurity(G2) at Louisiana Downs last March.

Race 9 will feature $87,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale graduate Apollitical Dynamite. The son of leading sire Apollitical Jess will hope to bounce of a third-place effort in his career debut May 13 at Sam Houston Race Park.

Juan Diaz, Jr. trains the colt for owner Red Sea Racing Stables, LLC. Out of the First Down Dash mare Runawayheart, Apollitical Dynamite will be ridden by Victor Ureita, Jr. from post-position 9.

Frist post for Thursday’s 10 race card is 4:00 p.m. (CDT). All races at Sam Houston Race Park can been seen on-line at

Qualifiers for both races will be posted on as soon as they are made available on Thursday evening.

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Sam Houston Race Park is Houston's premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston.  The Park offers a variety of attractions including our Suite Level featuring luxurious suites overlooking the racetrack and accommodating groups from 20 to 300 people, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner's Circle Restaurant and the Jockey Club.  For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit