Sam Houston Meet to Open Jan. 18

Average daily purses in excess of $165,000 is the highest in its history.

Sam Houston Race Park will open its 20th annual live racing season when it kicks off its 2013 meet on Friday, Jan. 18, with average daily purse amounts in excess of $165,000, the highest in its history.

A revamped stakes schedule in 2013 will be anchored by the richest Thoroughbred race in Texas and in Sam Houston Race Park history. The all new $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic is set for Saturday, Jan. 26, and will be carried on HRTV and locally on Fox Sports Southwest. In total, the meet will feature 23 stakes including four new stakes for Texas-breds, paying more than $1.7 million in purses.

The 2013 Thoroughbred stakes schedule will begin with Texas Champions Weekend starting on Friday, Jan. 18, and continuing on Jan. 19. Texas Champions Weekend will feature over $400,000 in total purses beginning Friday, a day highlighted by stakes for fillies and mares, and carrying over to Saturday, a day that will feature open races for Texas-breds. The Texas-themed live racing event will include the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes for 4-years-old and up; $50,000 Richard King Stakes; $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes; $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes for fillies and mares; $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes; $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes for 3-year-old fillies; and the $50,000 Groovy Stakes for 3-year-olds.

In addition to Texas Champions Weekend, the 2013 stakes schedule also includes the following:
Jan. 26--$400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup (gr. III), $75,000 Champions Energy Services Stakes, and $50,000 Allen's Landing Stakes;
Feb. 2--$50,000 Bucharest Stakes;
Feb. 9:--$50,000 Tomball Stakes;
Feb. 16--$75,000 Jim's Orbit Stakes and $75,000 Two Altazano Stakes;
Feb. 22--Texas Six Shooter Stakes and Texas Yellow Rose Stakes;
Feb. 23--$50,000 Jersey Village Stakes;
March 2--$100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup, $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes, and $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup;
March 9--Sheikha Mubarak Ladies Stakes and HH Sheikh Zayed Cup;
March 16--$50,000 Spring Dodge Stakes.

Post times for live Thoroughbred racing have been adjusted in 2013 and will be Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (6 p.m.), Sunday (1 p.m.), and Monday (1 p.m.). There will be no live racing on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3). Post times for Live American Quarter Horse racing will be every Thursday (7 p.m.), Friday (7 p.m.), and Saturday (6 p.m.). For the full calendar of Sam Houston Race Park's 2013 live race dates, visit