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Sam Houston: Shorter Meet, Higher Purses

Sam Houston Race Park will kick off the Texas racing season Jan. 21.

The 2011 Texas racing season begins Jan. 21 with the opening of Sam Houston Race Park, which will offer a 27-day meet through March 7.

Purses will average $160,000 a day, a figure officials at the Houston racetrack said is the highest in its 17-year history. The meet was trimmed in order to increase average daily purses.

A 14-race, $1.1 million stakes schedule will be highlighted by the $200,000 Connally Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) Jan. 29. Texas Champions Day Jan. 22 will feature seven state-bred stakes valued at a total of $400,000.

Sam Houston will implement 50-cent minimum wagering on trifectas, pick threes, and pick fours for the upcoming meet.

First post times for the meet are as follows: Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. CST, Sundays at 5 p.m., and Mondays at 1:20 p.m.