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Sam Houston Offers Race for Zenyatta, Rachel

The track would host the $1.5-million race with Gallery Furniture Jan. 30.

(Edited press release)

Sam Houston Race Park and Gallery Furniture have continued to step up efforts to bring super star females Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra together in a stakes race slated for Jan. 30. The $1.5 million contest would be contested over 1 1/8 miles on the dirt track.

James McIngvale, a Houston horse owner known for his high profile promotions on behalf of his Gallery Furniture stores, first proposed a $2-million match race between the two females back in August to take place in September or early October at Sam Houston, but both owners of the horses declined.

“Of course the Breeders Cup (Classic, gr. I) win was one of historic proportions for Zenyatta, her owners and trainers,” said McIngvale. “We are more dedicated than ever to bringing her and Rachel Alexandra to Houston for an epic showdown of the two greatest racehorses in the world.”

“We are fully prepared to host this race as part of our John B. Connally Turf Festival, in the event that both parties are interested in participating,” said Andrea Young, president and chief operating officer of Sam Houston. “This is our largest race day of the year, and we would be proud to welcome not only Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra, but top horses from around the world, to race on our nationally recognized surface. We would absolutely love to have this historic race take place at The Park.”

Like Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra also defeated males in the Preakness Stakes, Haskell Invitational, and Woodward Stakes (all gr. I). She is owned by Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick and trained Steve Asmussen.

Zenyatta, owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Sherriffs, is a winner of four other grade I races this year on the West Coast circuit.

Both females are undefeated this year and are the top contenders for Horse of the Year honors.