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30
Sep

Fiftyshadesofgold Retired

TOP TEXAS-BRED FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD RETIRED FROM RACING

Fiftyshadesofgold

Fiftyshadesofgold, last year’s Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and one of the nation’s top 3-year-old fillies this year, has been retired from racing.

The Texas-bred ran in the Grade 3 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs on September 20 and came back sound after the race. However, her foreleg swelled up mid-week and an ultrasound revealed a significant tear in her left fore suspensory.

“She was certainly one of the best I’ve ever trained. She was the total package—a grand individual, was very fast and could carry it, a great mind and a big heart to go with it,” said trainer Bret Calhoun. “I regret that she didn’t get the Grade 2 stakes win when she had the rough trip last summer in the Adirondack at Saratoga and didn’t get the Grade 1 win in the Test when she drew the tough inside post and was beaten a length and two noses.”

Bred by the late Clarence Scharbauer Jr., Fiftyshadesofgold was born and raised at his Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas. The filly is now owned and raced by Scharbauer’s son, Douglas.

“Of course I’m disappointed that her racing career is over, but more than that, I’m so glad that she is sound and can go on to the breeding shed,” said Scharbauer. “Given her talent and looks, I think she will make a great broodmare.”

Fiftyshadesofgold is a daughter of Valor Farm stallion My Golden Song out of Hadif Cat, a mare by former Valor stallion Hadif. Fiftyshadesofgold earned $420,531 with a record of 9-4-1-1 and stakes victories in the Eight Belles Stakes (G3) and Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Two Altazano division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park.

26
Sep

News and Notes for September 26, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR SEPTEMBER 26, 2014

UPDATE ON HRT LAWSUIT
The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas has intervened as a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by charitable bingo interests against the Texas Racing Commission. Plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment along with a temporary restraining order, as well as temporary and permanent injunctions against the implementation and operation of Historical Racing Terminals.

The Tribe operates a Class 11 bingo-based facility in Maverick County. Their petition alleges that many of their gaming patrons will be diverted to Texas racetracks with Historical Racing Terminals, thereby negatively impacting Tribal revenues.

A hearing is currently scheduled for 9 am on October 2 in the Travis County 261st Court.

COADY TO BE HONORED WITH TRIBUTE TO EXCELLENCE AWARD
On October 30th, three deserving individuals will be recognized by Race Track Chaplaincy of America at the 12th Annual White Horse Awards Luncheon. One of the awards, the Tribute to Excellence, is a posthumous award presented to an individual who in their lifetime, exhibited outstanding initiative, inspiration, benevolence, and/or leadership which produced significant results directly benefiting those working in the horse racing industry.

This year’s Tribute to Excellence Award is being bestowed upon the late Jeff Coady and will be presented to his wife Nelda Coady of Luling, Texas. Jeff spent most of his life as a photographer on racetracks across the country. Jeff and his wife supported the ministry at Oaklawn Park tirelessly. Chaplain Rich Heffington from Oaklawn summed it up with this statement, “It was truly Jeff’s heart to help those in the horse racing industry any way he could.”

THIS WEEKEND AT RETAMA PARK
Tonight’s program at Retama Park serves as a prelude to the Fiesta Mile and Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Stakes, to be run Oct. 8 with each race offering a $50,000 purse.

The sixth race brings out fillies and mares to compete at one mile on the turf course as 5/2 favorite Swifterthantaylor sports the colors of the John Silverthorne Ranch.

Trained by Danny Pish, Swifterthantaylor finished fourth in this year’s Two Altazano Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. The 3-year-old filly by My Golden Song tokes on older fillies and mares but brings good credentials into the Friday contest.

Jockey Gerardo Mora pilots Swifterthantaylor after the pair recently cruised to a $25,000 claiming victory at Lone Star Park. A possible spoiler in the race could be 12/1 Mescelares for trainer Jerimiah West. Though she’s been fairly quiet lately, the 7-year-old daughter of Marquetry has the backclass to surface with a big run.

Mescelares finished third in this year’s Tomball Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in a race that she led most of the way. Read more »

19
Sep

News and Notes for September 19, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

BINGO COALITION SUES TO BLOCK TRC DECISION ON HISTORICAL RACING
A second lawsuit has been filed to try to stop the Texas Racing Commission from moving ahead with approval of Historical Racing at Texas racetracks.

About two dozen organizations that run bingo halls across Texas filed suit in Travis County on Tuesday, arguing that a rule adopted by the commission violates the Texas Constitution, the Texas Racing Act, and the Administrative Procedures Act. The rule approved nearly unanimously by the commission, with only one member voting “no,” is set to take effect this month.

TEXAS JUDGE DECIDES NOT TO STOP HISTORICAL RACING MACHINES
State Representative. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) sued in August to prevent the Texas Racing Commission from implementing rules for Historical Racing Terminals. Yesterday, State District Judge David Evans decided not to issue the injunction Krause requested. In his letter opinion, the judge said Krause did not have standing to bring the suit as a legislator.

For the full story, see http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/09/18/6132237/historical-racing-lawsuit-dismissed.html.

FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD HOPES TO KEEP CHURCHILL RECORD INTACT
As the 2/1 morning line favorite, three-time stakes winner Fiftyshadesofgold will look to keep her Churchill Downs win record intact when she tops the field of 10 fillies entered in Saturday’s $100,000 Dogwood Stakes (gr. III).

The Dogwood, for 3-year-old fillies going seven furlongs, is the ninth race on the card, with an approximate post time of 4:55 p.m. (EDT).

Trained by Bret Calhoun for Douglas Scharbauer, the Texas-bred daughter of My Golden Song has won both her starts under the Twin Spires, including a half-length triumph over Dogwood entrant Milam in the Eight Belles Stakes (gr. III) on the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) card. She also took the Debutante at Churchill last year.

Fiftyshadesofgold is coming off consecutive fourth-place finishes in the Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga and the Acorn (gr. I) at Belmont   In both races, she set the pace before succumbing late, with Sweet Reason victorious in both.

In preparation for Saturday’s race, Fiftyshadesofgold breezed a half-mile in :47 2/5 on September 13th, the fastest time for 57 workers at the distance.

MORO TAP TO BECOME FIRST SON OF TAPIT TO STAND IN TEXAS
Moro Tap, a graded stakes-placed son of North America’s leading sire Tapit, has been retired to stud and will stand the 2015 breeding season at Double Infinity Ranch in Texas. His stud fee will be $2,500 live foal, and Double Infinity Ranch will be offering a limited number of shares in Moro Tap through its “Breed to Infinity” program. Please visit www.DoubleInfinityRanch.com or call 903-885-7280 for more information.

FRED HUTTON NAMED NEW RACING SECRETARY AT SAM HOUSTON
Fred Hutton, currently the Director of Racing at Zia Park, will seek to make his mark in Texas when the Sam Houston Race Park stables open December 4th. In his new position at SHRP, Hutton will also coordinate stall applications that are due on November 3rd. A longtime racing official and former jockey and trainer, Hutton has previously served in Racing Secretary roles at Zia Park, Prairie Meadows and Remington Park.

“I’m excited to grow my role at Penn National Gaming by joining a track of Sam Houston Race Park’s caliber as its Racing Secretary. The clear leader of Texas racing, I have been impressed by the quality program they have developed over the past several seasons and will aim to build upon it going forward” said Hutton.

OAKLAWN TO OFFER PURSE BONUSES FOR LASIX-FREE WINNERS
In 2015, Oaklawn Park will become the first in America to offer a 10% bonus to the winner’s share of the purse for all horses that run and win without Lasix.  The total potential bonus supplement of $1.4 million will be provided by Oaklawn itself and will not come out of the purse fund.

Note: Arapahoe Park in Colorado began offering bonuses to trainers who run their horses without Lasix in June.

FOAL CROP PROJECTED TO REACH 22,000; DOWN SLIGHTLY FROM 2013
According to statistics compiled through September 9th, The Jockey Club has reported that 2,230 stallions (down 6.8%) covered 36,656 mares (down 3.3%) in North America during 2013, resulting in 21,697 live foals (down 1.4%) of 2014 being reported.

The Jockey Club estimates that the number of live foals reported so far is approximately 90% complete. Ultimately, the 2014 registered foal crop is projected to reach 22,000.

NOTES: A ballot measure to allow Instant Racing in Nebraska may have died in court this year, but supporters are already looking ahead to press the issue in 2016…The New Jersey Racing Commission on Wednesday adopted a set of medication rules that has been endorsed by most major racing organizations, including a new penalty schedule applying to repeat offenders…Last week it was announced that CDI is seeking to sell Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots for a reported $125 million. This week, citing pending litigation from Louisiana Quarter Horse owners, Fair Grounds announced that it will withhold $2.7 million in purse supplements at the upcoming meet… Since September 10th, the Texas Animal Health Commission has received confirmation of three new cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in horses. One premises is located 3 miles north of Bastrop in Bastrop County, one is located 5 miles east of Bastrop in Bastrop County, and the other is located 10 miles northeast of Giddings in Lee County… Saturday is Customer Appreciation Day at Lone Star Park and one lucky customer will win a trip for two to the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships…Congratulations to Jerry Durant, whose 2-year-old colt Lucky Player won the Iriquois Stakes(gr. III) at Churchill Downs, giving him an automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  The colt is trained by Steve Asmussen.

17
Sep

Moro Tap to Stand at Double Infinity Ranch

Moro Tap (Photo by Kentucky Downs)

Moro Tap, a graded stakes-placed son of North America’s leading sire Tapit, has been retired to stud and will stand the 2015 breeding season at Double Infinity Ranch in Texas.

Moro Tap will be the first son of Tapit to stand in Texas and the most accomplished son of the top stallion in the region. Tapit, who stood the 2014 breeding season for a $150,000 fee, has sired the earners of more than $61.5 million. Tapit is easily the leading stallion by earnings this year at more than $10.5 million, and his offspring include some of 2014’s top 3-year-olds in Tapiture, Untapable, Tonalist and Constitution.  He has also been represented by several million dollar yearlings in the sales ring in 2014.

Moro Tap was a $350,000 2-year-old purchase for Skychai Racing and comes from a very deep Edward Evans family that was in high demand from breeders all over the world when it was dispersed in 2011. Mike Maker, who trained Moro Tap, said, “Moro Tap retired completely sound and has won at longer distances than any other Tapit progeny.”

Moro Tap, who is out of the stakes-winning Silver Ghost mare Ghost Dancing, earned $161,816 during his career with victories at Keeneland, Churchill Downs and Kentucky Downs. He also placed in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at 1 ½ miles and faced Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

His stud fee will be $2,500 live foal, and Double Infinity Ranch will be offering a limited number of shares in Moro Tap through its “Breed to Infinity” program. Please visitwww.DoubleInfinityRanch.com or call 903-885-7280 for more information.

12
Sep

News and Notes for September 12, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

HEARING ON HISTORICAL RACING
Thursday’s hearing in 48th District Court was the latest development in the ongoing effort to allow historical racing at Texas tracks.

On August 29th, the Texas Racing Commission, in a 7-1 vote, approved a rule change to allow historical racing.

State Representative Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) filed a lawsuit to prevent the rule change from going into effect.  Krause testified in district court Thursday that “The Texas Racing Commission had no right to pass rules last month allowing the controversial practice of historical racing at dog and horse racetracks statewide.”

Ted Ross, an assistant attorney general for Texas, argued that Krause’s case doesn’t hold water. “We believe this case must be dismissed,” he said. Ross also argued that Krause has no cause of action, but acknowledging that he does have the right to file a rule challenge lawsuit after the rule change goes into effect.

Other attorneys were in court, arguing that their clients — Sam Houston Race Park and the Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie — should be allowed to intervene in the lawsuit. Read more »

10
Sep

Fasig-Tipton Texas Sale News

Cooler Sale Gets Warm Reception

Fasig-Tipton Texas is very encouraged by the response of sellers to the 2014 yearling and mixed auction at Lone Star Park.  Previously held in summer, the auction will be held this year on Monday, October 13, starting at 11:00 a.m.

“We are closing in on 190 entries,” noted Tim Boyce, director for the south-west Fasig-Tipton venue. “We will have around 130 yearlings, with the balance primarily made up with broodmares and weanlings.  Over the last week or so, we have also been working on a supplemental catalogue of horses of racing age.”

Boyce noted that recently-announced gaming developments will benefit racing in Texas and have created a positive atmosphere throughout the region.

“Our consignors have put together a quality catalogue that has already generated many inquiries”.  Among the sires of yearlings are Birdstone, Broken Vow, Scat Daddy and Tiz Wonderful.  Local stars like Too Much Bling and Jet Phone have a strong following.

“Between our date change, the positive landscape for Texas Racing, and interest in the sale from all around the region, we are looking forward to a big day.”

Catalogues will be available from all Fasig-Tipton offices from September18th and may now be viewed online.

5
Sep

News and Notes for September 5, 2014

NEWS AND NOTES FOR SEPTEMBER 5, 2014 

RETAMA THOROUGHBRED MEET BEGINS TODAY
Retama Park will celebrate 20 years of racing tonight when Thoroughbreds take the stage for the 26-day meet that gets underway this weekend. Returning title holders – trainer Danny Pish and jockey Gerardo Mora – are back in action at the Selma oval for what has become the Texas autumn classic season of racing.

The grandstand has been updated with over 100 new televisions and the Terrace Dining Room offers the best seat in the house for live racing with wonderful buffets.  Also, Fridays are family nights, with $1 hot dogs, 75¢ sodas, free parking and free admission for kids age 12-and-under, plus free kids activities on the track level starting at 7 p.m. Read more »

3
Sep

ATB Ol Winedrinker Who Wins Again

Ol Winedrinker Who * Photo by Gay Harris/Ruidoso Downs

Accredited Texas-Bred Ol Winedrinker Who Wins Again!

Sam and Sammy Stevens’ Ol Winedrinker Who rallied past a game pacesetter King Coral to win the $60,000 Ruidoso Downs Thoroughbred Championship, the final race on closing day Monday.

M.H. Carson’s King Coral went to the lead out of the gate and set all the early fractions in the one-and-one-sixteenth-mile test. Ol Winedrinker Who took the lead and the top of the stretch, but King Coral fought gamely along the rail and was beaten by one-and-one-half lengths.

J. Kirk and Judy Robison Isn’t He Clever, the 4-5 favorite, finished third and never threatened the top-two finishers.

From the Joel Marr barn and ridden by Carlos Madeira, Ol Winedrinker Who was making his first start since June when he won the San Juan County Commissioners Handicap at SunRay Park. He also won the $150,000 Zia Park Distance Championship last November. The 5-year-old gelding by Sligo Bay (Ire) now has a record of 25-9-4-3 with earnings of $437,847.

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.