Corporate Name: Sam Houston Race Park, Ltd.
Street Address: 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, Texas 77064 (click for map)
Telephone: (281) 807-8700 or (281) 807-RACE
Horsemen’s Line: (800) 807-7223
Fax: Main: (281) 807-8777; Press Box: (281) 807-8772
Marketing: (281) 807-8771
Located in Houston, Texas, Sam Houston Race Park celebrates 22 years of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing in 2016. The Park opened in April 1994, as the first Class I racetrack in Texas. Since its debut, Sam Houston has continued to grow in reputation and popularity, receiving national acclaim for both its main course and the Connally turf course, named after former governor John B. Connally. Since 2011, Sam Houston Race Park has experienced significant gains in Thoroughbred attendance and handle, a result fueled by revamped purse structures and stakes schedule.
Sam Houston Race Park is a joint venture between Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PNGI) and Maxxam, Inc., a Houston-based real estate development company. PNGI is the largest operator of pari-mutuel facilities in North America. PNGI operates 12 pari-mutuel facilities in 10 different states, including Thoroughbred tracks Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (host of the Grade II Charles Town Classic and Grade III Charles Town Oaks), Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course (host of the new Grade III Penn Mile), Sam Houston Race Park (host of the Grade III John B. Connally and Grade III $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic) and Zia Park Casino, Hotel and Racetrack (host of the $300,000 Zia Park Oaks).
PNGI’s portfolio also includes four off-track wagering facilities and two regional account wagering operations. In 2015, PNGI facilities conducted more than 1,150 live racing dates and processed nearly $1 billion in on-track, import and export wagers. In 2016, PNGI tracks will host the third edition of the Penn Gaming Racing Challenge featuring 20 stakes races with $5 million in purses with starting incentives for owners and trainers and a year-end award for the leading owner, trainer and jockey in the series. Previous winners of the Penn Gaming Challenge include nationally recognized racing stars such as Jockey Javier Castellano (winner both years), owners Fox Hill Farms, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, and trainers Mike Maker and Chad Brown.
Sam Houston Race Park is led by Andrea Young, who has served as the organization’s President since 2008. Her duties include the oversight of all day-to-day operating activities for the track, including revenue and sales growth; expense, cost, and margin control; financial goal management; racing, facility operations, sales, marketing, human resources, and business administration. Young also establishes and maintains performance goals, allocates resources, and assesses policies for senior management. Prior to joining Sam Houston Race Park, Young served in a variety of capacities with the NBA’s Houston Rockets and the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Young is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.
The 2016 stakes schedule will once again be anchored by the Grade III $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic on January 30, the richest Thoroughbred race in Texas, and the Grade III $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup. The 2016 Thoroughbred meet will feature 24 stakes races with Texas Champions Weekend on Friday, January 22 and Saturday, January 23. Texas Champions Weekend will feature the San Jacinto Turf Stakes, Yellow Rose Stakes, Bara Lass Stakes, Star of Texas Stakes, Richard King Turf Stakes, Spirit of Texas Stakes, and the Groovy Stakes.
In addition to Texas Champions Weekend, the 2016 Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule also includes: January 30 – Frontier Services Turf Sprint, Space City Stakes; February 6 – Texas Six Shooter Stakes and Texas Yellow Rose Stakes; February 13 – Sam Houston Sprint Cup & the Houston Turf Stakes; February 20 – Jim’s Orbit Stakes & Two Altazano Stakes; February 27 – MAXXAM Gold Cup; March 5 – HH Sheikh Zayed Arabian Cup.
The 2016 live racing season will also feature a variety of special events including Dollar Day on February 6 and March 26, Wiener Dog races on February 20, Camel & Ostrich Races on March 4 and 5, Derby Dog Dash on April 16, Kentucky Derby Day on May 7, and Mother’s Day Brunch on May 8. The park will also host a 24-day Quarter Horse Meet from March 25–May 16.
In addition to great live racing, Sam Houston Race Park is also one of Houston’s premier dining, special event, and live music facilities. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Houston, the racetrack also includes 16 recently renovated luxury suites, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming racing, shows, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com. .
Officers: Andrea Young, President; Wayne Hodes, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing; Dwight Berube, Vice President of Operations; Matthew Stahlbaum, VP of Finance
Corporate Vice President–Racing: Christopher McErlean
Corporate Simulcast Manager: David Koepp
Sr. Director of Racing Operations: Frank Hopf
Racing Secretary: Fred Hutton
Track Photographer: Jack Coady (Coady Photography)
Location: Sam Houston Tollway, 1 mile west of Highway 249 in Northwest Houston
Track Data: 1-mile dirt oval; 7/8-mile turf oval; length of stretch, 966 feet; stall capacity: 1,250
Simulcast Information: 364 days a year (closed Christmas)