Marfilous Defeats Zenergetic By A Nose In $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes
© Coady Photography
Marfilous (#3), under jockey Jorge Linares, gets a head-bob over Zenergetic(#1) and jockey Luis Vivanco in Saturday's $20,000 Miss Sam Houston Stakes.

HOUSTON, TX—APRIL 14, 2018—A quality field of accredited Texas-bred fillies and mares ran in the 330-yard Miss Houston Stakes with Marfilous holding off a gritty challenge from Zenergetic.

AQHA champion breeder Bobby Cox bred the 4-year-old daughter of IVORY JAMES, who is owned by Ruben Garcia Montemayor. She had a solid 2-year-old campaign, qualifying for both the Harrah’s Entertainment Futurity at Louisiana Downs and the Firecracker Futurity at Delta Downs.

Tonight with Jorge Linares in the irons, Marfilous broke alertly and surged to the wire of the 330-yard stakes in :16.604 seconds, earning a 103 speed index.

"She was really fast as a 2-year-old," said trainer Abelardo Flores, Jr. "Earlier this year at Louisiana Downs, she was running well and showed us she was ready."

This was the sixth win from 13 starts for Marfilous, who was sent off as the fourth betting choice, and paid $14.80 for the win. She earned $12,000 for her first stakes victory, and increased her lifetime earnings to $53,869.

Selma Stakes winner Zenergetic finished second by a neck under Luis Vivanco. The 5-year-old daughter of DOMINYUN has won four of her 21 career starts for the Zenergetic Group and trainer Trey Ellis.

Also bred by Bobby Cox, from the First Down Dash mare Zenergy, Zenergetic picked up $4,000 to bring her earnings to $56,178.

Graded stakes-placed mare One Sweet Picky rallied from the far outside post to finish third and John Deere Juvenile Challenge champion Carris Cartel completed the superfecta.

Jockey Noe Suarez rode One Sweet Picky for owner Ricardo Barrera. Rodolfo Sanchez conditions the multiple graded-placed 4-year-old out. A $2,200 payday pushed the bay filly's earnings mark to $106,203.

Sr Esmeralda, Mos Courage, Dm Maryanna and Tacky Lil Groundhog completed the field.