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2
Sep

TRC Passes Rules for Historical Racing

TEXAS RACING COMMISSION PASSES RULES FOR HISTORICAL RACING

Texas Thoroughbred AssociationUpdate from the Texas Thoroughbred Association:

Texas horsemen are pleased and grateful that the Texas Racing Commission today took a step towards saving the Texas horse industry. With a vote of 7 in favor, 1 against and 1 abstention, the Texas Racing Commission approved rules authorizing pari-mutuel wagering on historical races.

Commission staff reported that over 13,000 comments on the subject had been received during the public comment period, with about three-quarters in support of the measure.

Chairman Robert Schmidt allowed a limited amount of testimony at the meeting, including testimony from a representative of Gaming Laboratories International, a regulatory certification firm that conducted scientific studies on historical racing terminals, determining that historical racing terminals are indeed pari-mutuel in nature and do not comply with scientific standards for slot machines. The terminals operate through a totalisator system with pari-mutuel pools that are seeded only on the first day of operation, and are basically the same as any self-service racetrack wagering terminal.  The terminals do not produce outcomes, as do slot machines, but simply display the outcome of a race.  Whereas the outcome of a slot machine is based entirely on chance, the outcome of a historical racing terminal is based upon actual race results and the patron’s skill in selecting the winner of the race.

Those speaking in opposition to adoption of the rules included representatives of the Christian Life Commission, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe and charitable bingo operations.

Horsemen including TTA President Ken Carson, Fasig-Tipton Texas Director of Sales Tim Boyce, Robert Francis, and Bryan Neff DVM spoke in support of the measure.

In spite of pressure from competing interests both inside Texas as well as out-of-state, the Racing Commission firmly embraced the technological advances that have evolved since the original Texas Racing Act was enacted in 1986.   Pari-mutuel wagering on Historical Races will help to make Texas more competitive with our casino-laden neighboring states by increasing purses, which will in turn encourage breeding and sales activity.  The State of Texas stands to benefit overall from the resulting positive agricultural impact and opportunity for additional jobs.

Just yesterday, State Representative Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) filed a lawsuit against the Commissioners along with petition for a temporary restraining order to prevent the commission from voting on the matter today.  This morning a Tarrant County judge decided not to issue the temporary restraining order.

But 48th District Court Judge David Evans set a September 10th hearing to consider whether to approve a temporary injunction to prevent the rule change from going into effect.

Please take the time to express your thanks to the Texas Racing Commission. Today’s victory is just the first step of many we must take in order to restore our industry to health. Let’s all work together to make it happen.

2
Sep

Two New Stallions to Eureka Thoroughbred Farm

EUREKA THOROUGHBRED FARM ADDS THE HUNK AND EXPECT A LOT TO STALLION ROSTER IN TEXAS

The Hunk * Photo by Bill Denver/Equiphoto

Mike Grossman’s Eureka Thoroughbred Farm in Fredericksburg, Texas, will welcome two new stallions for the 2015 breeder season with The Hunk and Expect a Lot.

The Hunk is a stakes-winning son of champion sprinter and top stallion Speightstown. A winner of six of 19 career starts, The Hunk captured the John J. Reilly Handicap at Monmouth Park, and the front-running sprinter also reeled off four straight allowance wins at Monmouth and Gulfstream Park. His dam, the Pentelicus mare Penniless Heiress, has produced the two-time graded stakes-winning mare Forest Heiress and leading Florida stallion and Grade 1 winner Wildcat Heir, both by Forest Wildcat.

Expect a Lot is an unraced son of leading stallion and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Awesome Again out of a full sister to two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow. Expect a Lot is also a full brother to Preakness Stakes (G1) winner and Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Oxbow.

The Hunk will stand for a $1,500 fee, and Expect a Lot’s fee has been set at $1,000. They will join the Giant’s Causeway stallion Angliana at Eurkea, and Grossman also stands Read the Footnotes, Latent Heat, Chitoz and Oratory in Oklahoma at Lori and Francisco Bravo’s River Oaks Farms in Sulphur. Oratory stood at Eureka this past breeding season.

29
Aug

News and Notes for August 29, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR AUGUST 29, 2014

TODAY IS A GREAT DAY FOR THE TEXAS HORSE INDUSTRY!
Texas horsemen are pleased and grateful that the Texas Racing Commission today took a step towards saving the Texas horse industry. With a vote of 7 in favor, 1 against and 1 abstention, the Texas Racing Commission approved rules authorizing pari-mutuel wagering on historical races.

Commission staff reported that over 13,000 comments on the subject had been received during the public comment period, with about three-quarters in support of the measure.

Chairman Robert Schmidt allowed a limited amount of testimony at the meeting, including testimony from a representative of Gaming Laboratories International, a regulatory certification firm that conducted scientific studies on historical racing terminals, determining that historical racing terminals are indeed pari-mutuel in nature and do not comply with scientific standards for slot machines. The terminals operate through a totalisator system with pari-mutuel pools that are seeded only on the first day of operation, and are basically the same as any self-service racetrack wagering terminal.  The terminals do not produce outcomes, as do slot machines, but simply display the outcome of a race.  Whereas the outcome of a slot machine is based entirely on chance, the outcome of a historical racing terminal is based upon actual race results and the patron’s skill in selecting the winner of the race. Read more »

28
Aug

2014 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Inductees

texashof403The Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame will once again honor individuals who have enriched the tradition and sport of horse racing in Texas on Saturday, October 18, at Retama Park near San Antonio. The celebration will be held before and during the races starting at 5 p.m. and will include valet parking, cocktails including Tito’s Vodka, a gourmet buffet dinner featuring prime rib, induction of the honorees, silent auction and live Thoroughbred races.

All proceeds from the gala, which is open to the public, will benefit the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the horse racing industry and those individuals who have contributed to its development. Proceeds from the 2013 gala benefitted the Saddle Light Center and Groom Elite, as will the proceeds from this 2014 event. Past honorees are listed at www.txhorseracingmuseumandhalloffame.org/past-honorees.html.

The featured speaker will be Anthony Sanfillippo, the Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, a casino resort entertainment company that is the management company for the Retama Park. Pinnacle Entertainment owns and operates 16 casinos throughout the United States including L’Auberge Casino Resorts in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge Louisiana. Pinnacle Entertainment has over $2 billion dollars in annual revenue and is publically traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PNK. The company employs 15,000 team members and operates in eight states. Anthony grew up in the East Texas town of Longview.

The emcee for the evening will be Australian-bred Dave Appleton, a former superstar on the professional rodeo circuit. In 1988 he became the first Australian and first non-American to win a world rodeo championship when he was named the “World Champion All-Around Cowboy.” He has provided color commentary on ESPN and other networks; he continues his broadcast work during the race season at Lone Star Park and commercial appearances and speaking engagements. Dave has been inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Australian Rodeo Hall of Fame. Now retired from competition, Dave primarily concentrates his time in the oil and gas industry and as a managing bloodstock agent for several Thoroughbred syndicates.

The 2014 Hall of Fame honorees are:
•    Art Preston, who entered the thoroughbred horse racing industry when he bought a $10,000 claiming horse named Old Sew and Sew. Preston and his three brothers established Prestonwood Farm near Versailles, Kentucky; it was later sold and renamed Winstar Farm in 2000.
•    Joe McDermott of McDermott Ranch, owner of a leading Thoroughbred breeding facility in the southwest.
•    Cecil Perkins, owner of Witch Doctor Farms just outside of Austin in Bee Caves. He was a columnist for the Texas Thoroughbred Association magazine for 12 years, and was named TTBA Man of the Year in 1984. Mr. Perkins was instrumental in passage of pari-mutuel racing in Texas.
•    Jerry Rheudasil (deceased), breeder of On a High, who won the All-American Futurity in 1983.
•    Leo Wood (deceased), Quarter Horse trainer who was, in large part, responsible for the building of Lubbock Downs.  He also trained Pie in the Sky and Mighty Deck Three.

TICKETS: For more information or to purchase tickets for the gala at $125 per person, visit www.txhorseracingmuseumandhalloffame.org, or contact Sharolyn Grammer at (210) 651-7000 or txhorseracinghof@gmail.com.  Generous sponsorships are available. Retama Park is located at 1 Retama Pkwy, Selma, TX.

More on Horse Racing Hall of Fame:
Joe Straus, Jr. is founder and Board Chairman of the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and an inductee into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. A breeder and owner of Thoroughbred horses, Straus is a co-founder of Retama Park and the former chairman of Retama Entertainment Group (the former management company of Retama Park). The mission of the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame is to promote the character and integrity of the horse racing industry and highlights the enjoyment the sport provides. The Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame celebration recognizes the accomplishments of Texas racing legends (individual and horses). The foundation will document, preserve, and promote the rich history of the horse racing industry; recognize and honor Texas racing legends; and educate the public on the sport of racing.

About Retama Park Racetrack: Located northeast of San Antonio in Selma, Retama Park Racetrack is open for simulcast wagering daily, with live racing on Fridays and Saturdays in 2014. Quarter Horse racing runs June 6 through August 9, 2014; Thoroughbred racing will run Sep. 5 through Nov. 29, 2014. Now owned and managed by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.—a casino entertainment company that owns and operates 16 gaming entertainment properties located in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada and Ohio, including  L’Auberge Casinos—Retama Park Racetrack features a wide variety of dining options including Terrace Dining on the finish line and the Race Book & Sports Bar offering delicious fare enjoyed while watching simulcast racing or your favorite sports team; or more casual options at the concession stands throughout the facility.

Read more »

22
Aug

News and Notes for August 22, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR AUGUST 22, 2014

FINAL WEEKEND OF RACING AT GILLESPIE COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS
This is the final weekend of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing at Gillespie County Fair Grounds in Fredericksburg for 2014, with 1pm post times each day.

Carded as race 10, the $17,100 GCFA Texas-Bred Stakes is the feature race on Sunday, with a field of seven competing in the 7-furlong race for Accredited Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up.

Berry Loud (Gold Alert – Be Berry Quiet) is the morning line favorite at 5/2. The 3-year-old gelding runs for breeders Gentry Farms and is trained by Danny Pish.  Stakes-placed Berry Loud has a career record of 10-4-2-1 with earnings of $46,245.  He finished second in the July 19th Texas Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes to Halifax Flyer. Read more »

19
Aug

ATB AWARDS TO MAIL THIS WEEK

ATB Awards checks for the 2014 Lone Star Park Thoroughbred Meet will mail out by Thursday, August 21st.

The regular awards percentages are as follows:

Owner: 8.42481% of purse money earned for finishing 1, 2 or 3
Breeder: 8.13942% of purse money earned for finishing 1, 2 or 3
Stallion Owner: 4.89762% of purse money earned for finishing 1, 2 or 3

The Owner Bonus awards are 14.50359% of purse money earned for finishing 1, 2 or 3 in OPEN COMPANY races.

Be checking your mailbox, and congrats to all.

8
Aug

News and Notes for August 8, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR AUGUST 8 2014

TRC DELAYS ACTION ON HISTORICAL HORSE RACING RULES, THEN CANCELS AUGUST 12 MEETING
The Texas Racing Commission (TxRC), which received over 13,000 comments regarding approving rules for historical racing terminals in Texas, did not put the issue on the agenda for its August 12 meeting.  Commission Chairman Robert Schmidt told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Don’t over read it either way that it’s not coming up this month. We are trying to do our due diligence and be as open and transparent as possible. If you are going to take the time to write the Racing Commission, we need to take the time to read it.”

TxRC Public Information Officer Robert Elrod stated, “The Commission could take action on the rules at a later date, and it has the option to delay action until as late as December 27.” he said. “If the Commission takes no action by December 27, the proposed rules will automatically expire by operation of law.”

Then yesterday, Texas Racing Commission Chairman Schmidt canceled the meeting set for August 12, stating “The Commission has had several meetings in the recent past that were so short that they did not justify the travel burdens placed on the Commissioners and stakeholders and this agenda appears to be similarly brief.” The Chairman directed staff to review whether matters that are typically considered later in the year may be placed on the next agenda.

The Commission can still choose to move forward approving rules for historical racing at Texas racetracks at any of its meetings through December 27. So if you have not voiced your opinion on this important matter, please do so immediately.

TEXAS HORSE RACING HALL OF FAME GALA
The 2014 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Gala has been scheduled for Saturday, October 18th in the Showplace Pavilion at Retama Park. Inductees include Art Preston, Joe McDermott Jr., Cecil Perkins, Jerry Rheudasil and Leo Wood.

Individual tickets will be $125 and there are sponsorship options available. Contact Ryan Grammer at 210-651-7045 for details concerning the event.

RACING AT GILESPIE COUNTY FAIR THIS WEEKEND
Saturday has 10 Quarter Horse races and 2 Thoroughbred races for 3-year-olds and up: an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles and a 4 furlong maiden.  Sunday also has 10 Quarter Horse races and 2 Thoroughbred races for 3-year-olds and up: a claiming race at 5 ½ furlongs and a 6 furlong allowance race.  Post time is 1pm each day.

ACCREDITED TEXAS-BREDS IN STAKES ACTION THIS WEEKEND
Accredited Texas-bred Pure Tactics (Pure Prize – Dixie Tactics) is the 5/2 morning line favorite in the $50,000 Jess Jackson Owner’s Handicap at Santa Rosa on Saturday.  The 5-year-old horse bred by the late Don Eberts now races for Nita Winner, LLC and is trained by Doug O’Neill.  He will face 7 foes in the 5 furlong turf race.  With a career record of 16-7-2-2, Pure Tactics has amassed $261,011 in earnings.

Man of Stature (My Golden Song – Final Trick) will race in the $100,000 Prairie Meadows Juvenile Stakes on Saturday after coming off a 1 ¾ length maiden stakes win at Lone Star Park on July 11.  The 2-year-old gelding races for breeders Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch and is trained by Bret Calhoun.  With odds of 4/1, he will take on 6 opponents.

Best of luck to our Texas-breds and their connections!

TEXAS A&M VET LAB NOW OFFERING EQUINE PRE-PURCHASE DRUG SCREENING
To better serve the laboratory’s large equine clientele, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station now offers an equine-specific drug screen for pre-purchase exams. Previously, veterinarians screening horses for tranquilizing or pain-relieving drugs when conducting a pre-purchase exam would note the tests needed on the accession form. Now, with one click, the veterinarian can indicate the necessary tests to satisfy a client looking to buy a new horse. Read more »

1
Aug

News and Notes for August 1, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR AUGUST 1, 2014 

STALLION ACCREDITATION AND ADMIN FEE DEADLINE IS TODAY
In order to receive Stallion Awards on foals conceived during the 2014 breeding season, a stallion must be accredited and his annual administrative fee for the 2014 season must be paid.

If you stood a stallion in Texas for the 2014 breeding season, but have not yet accredited him, TODAY IS THE DEADLINE to do so for $100.  Any stallion accreditation applications postmarked after TODAY will not apply to the 2014 breeding season, but will apply to 2015.

If you have not yet paid your stallion’s Annual Administrative Fee for the 2014 breeding season, the deadline for late payment of $325 is TODAY.  If this is the stallion’s first year in Texas and he came into the state after February 1, you may pay the normal admin fee of $200. The Annual Administrative Fee cannot be accepted for the current breeding season after TODAY.

Contact Jennifer Gibbs in the TTA office at 512.458.6133 for details.

WILL TAKE CHARGE VS. PALACE MALICE IN WHITNEY
Will Take Charge and Palace Malice meet again Saturday in the $1.5 million Whitney Handicap (gr. I), squaring off as the top two choices in a field of nine drawn for the 1 1/8-mile test.

Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice, the Belmont Stakes winner of 2013 who has strung together four straight victories this year, is the even-money favorite for the Whitney from post 5. Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez is in the irons for trainer Todd Pletcher. Read more »

25
Jul

News and Notes for July 25, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR JULY 25, 2014

TAHC UPDATE ON VESICULAR STOMATITIS
On July 10, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of two new cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in horses in Bastrop and Travis counties in Central Texas. One is located two miles east of Webberville, Texas in Travis County and the other premise is located four miles east of Webberville in Bastrop County. Read more »

18
Jul

News and Notes for July 18, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR JULY 18, 2014 

LONE STAR PARK THOROUGHBRED MEET CONCLUDES
Last weekend marked the close of the Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park with four stakes races.  The stakes action kicked off with the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes for Texas-bred fillies and mares, and Judy Peek’s homebred Lasting Bubbles captured the event for the second year in a row. Ridden by Chris Rosier for trainer Kevin Peek, Lasting Bubbles scored a convincing three-length victory as the 9-10 favorite. The 6-year-old daughter of Pulling Punches covered six furlongs in 1:09.89. This was the fifth career stakes win for Lasting Bubbles and improved her lifetime record to 23-9-6-1 with earnings of $295,581.

In the fillies division of the $98,100 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity, Louisiana-bred Vivian Da Bling romped to an easy 6 ¼-length victory under jockey Cliff Berry. Trained by Bret Calhoun and owned by JRita Young Thoroughbreds LLC, the daughter of Lane’s End Texas stallion Too Much Bling was sent off as the 1-5 favorite after breaking her maiden at Lone Star by 9 ½ lengths in her debut. Bred by Channon Farm LLC, the filly sold for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Texas Yearling Sale from the consignment of Inside Move Inc., agent. The filly, who dashed five furlongs in :58.13, has already banked $70,740. Read more »