Alumni Hall, ridden by Robby Albarado, turned back the closing Colonial Colony in the stretch to win Saturday night's $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park by three-quarters of a length.
The 4-5 choice in the field of seven, Alumni Hall, a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by A.P. Indy
-Private Status (by Alydar), completed the 1 1/8-mile event in 1:51.10.
Alumni Hall tracked the 30-1 shot Toratora through fractions of :24 1/5 and :49 2/5 before taking a narrow advantage on the turn. He opened up his lead in the stretch and finished driving as Colonial Colony and Larry Melancon made it close. Toratora held on for third, 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner.
Albarado won the Truly Bound Handicap aboard Shadow Cast at Fair Grounds earlier in the day.
Trained by Neil Howard, Alumni Hall is owned and was bred by William Farish, James Elkins Jr., and W. Temple Webber Jr. The chestnut won for the first time since the July 10 Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park. He had lost five in a row since that victory. Overall, Alumni Hall has five wins in 11 starts and earnings of $251,045.
He paid $3.60, $2.40 and $2.40. Colonial Colony, the second favorite, returned $3.20 and $3.20 as part of a $9.60 exacta. Toratora's show was $5.60.