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News and Notes for July 31, 2015

If you submitted a fingerprint fee to the Texas Racing Commission between February 1, 2015, through July 19, 2015, you may have overpaid and be eligible for a refund of $1.75.

A Request for Refund of Fingerprint Fee Overpayment form is available at the Commission Licensing offices, at, or upon request by calling 512-833-6699. The completed form can be mailed or faxed to the Commission or submitted to any TxRC Licensing office.

Lone Star Park will be open for training now through August 30th, Monday – Saturday, from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. with no break.  The track will be closed on Friday, August 14th and Saturday, August 15th.

Cost is $6.50 per day, per stall and $20 to ship in and train – work or gallop.

Official Workouts will be available Wednesdays and Saturdays. You must have a copy of foal papers in the Racing Office and the exercise rider must be identified and licensed by the TXRC to get an official workout.

For more information: contact the racing office at 888-4 racing or 972-237-1130.

Accredited Texas-bred Thegirlinthatsong (My Golden Song – Belle of the Band) will take on 8 opponents, including 2-time Eclipse award winner Beholder, in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr.1) for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up going a mile and a sixteenth at Del Mar on Saturday.  Bred by the late Clarence Scharbauer Jr., the filly has been given odds of 5/1.

Victoria Ashford’s homebred Bravura (Early Flyer – Coryphee) will run in the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes going 6 furlongs on Saturday at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.  Trained by Bret Calhoun, the colt has morning line odds of 4/1 in the field of 9 two-year-olds.

The first condition book for the 26-day Thoroughbred meet at Retama Park is now available at  Late nomination forms are also available for the El Joven Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings and the La Senorita for 2-year-old fillies.  Both races are $75,000-guaranteed at a distance of one mile on the turf, scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd.

According to an article in The Blood-Horse, the American Association of Equine Practitioners has released a 10-point “Prescription for Racing Reform” that includes identifying treatment alternatives for exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

Also known as bleeding, EIPH typically is treated by administration of furosemide, which is marketed under the trade name Salix (formerly Lasix). According to the AAEP announcement, if an alternative of “equal or greater efficacy to furosemide can be found that will not require race-day administration, the AAEP will support the cessation of race-day furosemide.”

Recent efforts to prohibit race-day medication have focused on Salix, the only medication permitted for use on race day in most U.S. jurisdictions. The AAEP’s announcement marks the first time the Lexington-based organization with more than 9.000 members worldwide has indicated it would possibly endorse a race-day prohibition on Salix.

New York’s five offtrack betting corporations have canceled a simulcasting contract with Churchill Downs Inc., and have dropped the signals from the tracks controlled by the company.

According to a report in the Daily Racing Form, the OTBs, which negotiate collectively for signals, notified Churchill officials last week that they would exercise an opt-out clause in their existing contract. The OTBs pulled the Churchill signals on Friday.

Mike Kane, the president of Western OTB told the Form that the corporations objected to the price Churchill charged for the signals.

The discontinued signals include Arlington Park, Hoosier Park, and the Meadows. Should the dispute not be resolved, it could also include Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds later this year.

NOTES: If you have not yet paid your stallion’s Annual Administrative Fee for the 2015 breeding season, the deadline for late payment of $325 is August 1. Call Jennifer in the TTA office at 512.458.6133 if you have questions.  Also, remember to send us a copy of your Report of Mares Bred…A total of 4,164 yearlings have been cataloged for the 72nd annual Keeneland September Yearling Sale, to be held September 14-26.  September Sale catalogs will be available online at beginning Tuesday, August 11, and print catalogs will be mailed the week of August 24…A total of 188 head have been consigned to the Equine Sales Company’s Consignor Select Yearling Sale to be held September 2 in Opelousas, Louisiana. The catalog is available online at and printed versions can be requested by calling (337) 678-3024…We offer condolences to the family of TTA member Jack Strong of Longview, who passed away this week at age 85…The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) recently received confirmation from the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) of Texas horses testing positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The infected horses are located in: Newton, Orange, Liberty, Jasper and Jefferson counties. To date, there are a total of five positive EEE cases in Texas. We encourage everyone to vaccinate their horses…The next regular meeting of the TTA board of directors is slated for 3:00pm on Saturday, August 29 at Retama Park…Best of luck to American Pharoah in the Haskell on Sunday!


TTA Member Jack Strong of Longview Passes Away at Age 85

Senator Jack Strong speaks after receiving the Unity Award during the Unity Honors Luncheon sponsored by the Race Relations Committee and the City of Longview Partners in Prevention, on Thursday February 2, 2012, at the Maude Cobb Convention Center. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

Former state Sen. Jack Strong lived his life in pursuit of equality for all.

“The most important thing is how we as individuals day by day understand that we are all part of God’s family,” Strong said in February 2012 as he was presented with a Unity Award from the Longview Race Relations Committee.

Strong, 85, died Tuesday in Longview.

The Carthage native served in the Texas Senate from 1962 to ’71 after working as an assistant committee clerk in the Texas House and graduating from the University of Texas School of Law.

Strong also served eight years on the State Board of Education.

Visitation for Strong is set 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 6 at Rader Funeral Home in Longview. A memorial service is planned 3 p.m. Aug. 7 at First Methodist Church.

For more information:




Reminder: August 1st Deadlines

Stallion Accreditation and Admin Fee Deadline:

In order to receive Stallion Awards on foals conceived during the 2015 breeding season, a stallion must be accredited and his annual administrative fee for the 2015 season must be paid.

If you stood a stallion in Texas for the 2015 breeding season, but have not yet accredited him, you have until August 1 to do so for $100. Any stallion accreditation applications postmarked after August 1 will not apply to the 2015 breeding season, but will apply to 2016.

If you have not yet paid your stallion’s Annual Administrative Fee for the 2015 breeding season, the deadline for late payment of $325 is August 1, 2015. 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 the August 1 deadline.

Report of Mares Bred:
Rules and Regulations for the Accredited Texas-bred Program state:

“A photocopy of the annual ‘Report of Mares Bred’ shall be submitted to the TTA office on or before the date required by The Jockey Club (August 1).”

If you file your Report of Mares Bred electronically, you have the opportunity to print the report before filing so that you may make a copy to send to TTA.

Contact Jennifer in the TTA office with any questions: 512.458.6133.


TVMDL Diagnoses West Nile Virus, Confirms Additional EEE Positives

The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) confirmed West Nile virus (WNV) in a horse located in south Texas. This is not the first case of WNV in Texas in 2015; the first recorded positive was in a Houston County horse on July 2. However, the most recent positive comes from a horse in Atascosa County, south of San Antonio. Read more »


News and Notes for July 24, 2015

We know that TTA members are concerned about the status of horse auction sales in Texas and the TTA Sale Futurity.

In a conference call meeting earlier this week, the TTA Board of Directors voted not to commit to any 2015 yearling sale. TTA President Hal Wiggins has appointed a 16-member Sales Committee comprising directors and active consignors to meet as soon as possible to discuss plans for a 2-Year-Old Sale and develop a recommendation to bring back to the full TTA Board for a vote.

The TTA Sales Futurity is a separate matter that will be pursued as well. The Board recognizes the importance of that race and will seek options to keep it in one form or another.

Accredited Texas-bred He’s Comin in Hot (Early Flyer – Shocktime), will be one of the favorites in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga. Competing in a tough field of 11, he has been given morning line odds of 4/1. Bred by Valor Farm Inc., the 2-year-old gelding is already the winner of the $100,000 G3 Bashford Manor at Churchill for trainer Bret Calhoun and owner Douglas Scharbauer.

Graded stakes-placed W V Jetsetter (Jet Phone – Better Than Most) will take on five foes in the Grade 3 $100,000 Jersey Shore Stakes for 3-year-olds going 6 furlongs at Monmouth Park. Bred by the late Clarence Scharbauer Jr. and owned by R. A. Hill Stables and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, the colt has been given odds of 6/1.

A pair of Texas-breds are competing as part of the field of 9 in the $75,000 Turf Express Stakes for 3-year-olds and up going 5 furlongs on the turf at Evangeline Downs.  Bred by John T. L. Jones Jr. and owned by Preston Stables LLC, Reflector (Ready’s Image – Passionate Dancer) has been given odds of 7/2.  The tenacious gelding Solar Charge (Authenticate – Another Sunlit) runs for breeder Carolyn Barnett, who now owns the 8-year-old in partnership with David and Lana Alford. With a career record of 61-17-14-12 and earnings of over a half million dollars, he has odds of 10-1.

F P Silent Eyes (Silent Picture – Lovely Eyes) has travelled to Assiniboia Downs to run in the $25,000 Winnipeg Sun Stakes for fillies and mares going a mile.  Bred by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prifiterra and owned by Henry Witt, the 5-year-old was given 5/1 odds.

TTA member Mary Cage wrote an excellent story about Brooks Open Gold, a 7-year-old gray gelding by Open Forum and out of the Alphabet Soup mare Alphabet Gold, who not only competes in races at the track but also in barrel races.  See the full story here:

Despite rainy weather, Lone Star Park registered increased attendance and total on-track wagering at its spring Thoroughbred meet, although all-sources handle declined 3.1% to $67.6 million.

Attendance during the meet conducted over 50 dates from April 9-July 19 increased 4.8% to 366,720, compared with 349,396 during the 50-date 2014 season. Average daily attendance was 7,325, compared with 6,988 a year ago.

On-track wagering on the live product was down 11.1% to $12.2 million compared to last year’s total of $13.7 million. But total on-track simulcast wagering showed a positive gain, rising 7.6% to $26.7 million compared with the $24.8 million wagered in 2014. The on-track wagering total, including both live and simulcast, rose 1% to $38.9 million versus $38.5 million last year. Daily averages were $777,677 compared with $770,129 one year ago. Read more »


TTA Board Action on Sales and Futurity

We know that TTA members have questions relating to the status of horse auction sales in Texas as well as the TTA Sale Futurity.

In a conference call meeting today, the TTA Board of Directors voted not to commit to any 2015 yearling sale. TTA President Hal Wiggins has appointed a 16-member Sales Committee comprising directors and active consignors to meet as soon as possible to discuss plans for a 2-Year-Old Sale and develop a recommendation to bring back to the full TTA Board for a vote.

The TTA Sales Futurity is a separate matter that will be pursued as well. The Board recognizes the importance of that race and will seek options to keep it in one form or another.


Golden Horse: Texas-bred Transitions from the Track to the Barrels

Texas-bred Brooks Open Gold is now embarking on a career as a barrel racer (Photo by Image Hounds Photography/Ken Carmona)

Texas-bred Brooks Open Gold is now embarking on a career as a barrel racer (Photo by Image Hounds Photography/Ken Carmona)

By Mary Cage
There are two meanings of the word “race” for Texas-bred Brooks Open Gold. A 7-year-old gray gelding by Open Forum and out of the Alphabet Soup mare Alphabet Gold, Brooks Open Gold not only competes in races at the track but also in barrel races.

After finishing fifth in what was likely his final career start at Lone Star Park on July 16, his owner – Haley Thorne – will now focus on the gelding’s barrel racing career. The gray, who she calls Steel, wrapped up his racing career with 40 lifetime starts. Although he never reached the winner’s circle, he garnered three seconds and five thirds, as well as earnings of $20,014.

Steel entered Thorne’s life in March 2014, shortly after the gelding finished third in a maiden claiming at Sam Houston Race Park – his first in-the-money finish since December 2012. Brought to her attention by Dr. Geneve Dundas, a veterinarian and friend of Thorne’s, Steel immediately impressed Thorne with his calm demeanor. This quality of Steel’s convinced Thorne to purchase him and begin training him for barrel racing.
Read more »


News and Notes for July 17, 2015

This weekend marks the final weekend of the Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park.  Post time for racing tonight and Saturday is 6:35pm and 1:35pm on Sunday.

Gillespie County Fair’s Mixed Meet continues with two Thoroughbred races each day, including Saturday’s $10,000-added Texas Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes for Accredited Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs.  Five-year-old Marty’s Wimbledon (Wimbledon – Martys Expectation) is the 7/5 morning line favorite in the field of six.  Bred by Jim & Marty Evans, the horse runs for George A. Bryant and is trained by George R. Bryant.

Completing the field are Hacienda (Limehouse – Classic Touch), Prince Isaac (Catienus – Cantrell Road), Angliano (Angliana – Purse Snatcher), Expect Foolishness (Valid Expectations – Chatte Noir) and Our Romeo (Captain Countdown – Crimson Flagship).  Post time for both days is 1pm.

C. Reid McLellan, PhD., national equine educator, will be conducting a Trainers’ Exam Prep Class at Retama Park on August 14-16.  McLellan, Executive Director of the Groom Elite Program, was a participant on the National Trainers’ Exam committee and has been teaching rules of racing to prospective trainers since 1985. The Trainers’ Exam Prep Class provides information about the Rules of Racing to individuals considering taking a state licensing exam as well as owners or horseplayers that simply want to know more about the Rules of Racing as they pertain to the training and racing of racehorses.

This class includes discussion of information covered in both the barn and written tests. Rules differ from state to state and this class discusses those important differences. Drug rules and regulations are rapidly changing and updated changes are discussed in the Veterinary Rules section.

Registration fee for the Retama Park class is $299 if paid before class starts, $349 at the door if space is available. The extended dates for the early registration fee deadline for the Texas class are supported by contributions to the Groom Elite program by the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

For more information, to see a class outline or to register for one of these Trainers’ Exam Prep Classes, go to or and select the link for your preferred class. Dr. McLellan is available by cell phone at 859-321-4377, twitter @creidmac or email

Last Saturday marked another successful “Roses to Ribbons” event at Lone Star Park, sponsored by The Paddock Foundation, TTA’s non-profit organization with a mission to support and advance the care of Thoroughbred racehorses after their racing careers by supporting rescue, retirement, rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming.

The venue provided an opportunity for trainers and owners to showcase Thoroughbreds to prospective buyers seeking horses to train for secondary careers.  About half of the 20 horses presented found new homes that day, with negotiations in the works for the remainder.

Attendees also had the opportunity to visit with vendors including representatives of CANTER Texas, TTA and The Paddock Foundation, artists and equine feed and supplement suppliers. Lone Star Park provided attendees with coupons for complimentary admission to the races and racing programs.

The Dallas Morning News included a great story on the event, which may be viewed at:

Many thanks to event organizer Tracy Sheffield, host Lone Star Park, vendors, trainers and attendees.

The next “Roses to Ribbons” showcase will be held at Retama Park prior to the end of the Thoroughbred meet in October.

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), the co-chairmen of the Congressional Horse Caucus, have introduced the bipartisan Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 to address the lack of uniformity in the rules of horseracing across the US.

By establishing an independent, nongovernmental anti-doping authority (USADA and THADA) charged with the responsibility of implementing a national uniform medication program with input from the thoroughbred industry, the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act will encourage fair competition and a level playing field across state lines, assure full and fair disclosure of information to purchasers of breeding stock and to the wagering public and provide for the safety and welfare of horses and jockeys.  This, in turn, will enhance the popularity and international competitiveness of American thoroughbred horseracing. Read more »


News and Notes for July 9, 2015

On Saturday, July 11, Lone Star Park will host Stars of Texas Day featuring two $100,000 stakes and two $50,000 stakes.

Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Old Sale graduates are the favorites in both of the 5-furlong, $100,000-estimated divisions of the TTA Sales Futurity.

Fleet Grey (Too Much Bling – Funny Tune) is the 3/5 morning line favorite in the filly division.  Bred by W. S. Farish, the Accredited Texas-bred was purchased by Clark Brewster out of the Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Old Sale in April for $68,000.  She is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Completing the field for the 4th race are Ohio-bred Flashy G, Oklahoma-breds Josie the E F Five and Kipling’s Appeal, and Accredited Texas-bred Flight Plan (Early Flyer – Shesabigcat),and Flyin’ Katnip (Early Flyer – Cat Tale).

Carded as race 9, the colt/gelding division boasts a robust field of 11 topped by 2/1 favorite Kentucky-bred Cash Bonus.  The colt is trained by Bret Calhoun for Carl Moore, who purchased the colt for $75,000 from the April sale.  Calhoun will also saddle Flying Cat (Early Flyer – Hadif Cat), Jet Over (Jet Phone – Belle of the Band), and Moon Hopper (Grasshopper – Summer Moon).

Rounding out the field are A. P. Bling (Too Much Bling – White Wing), Break Free (Grasshopper – Head for the Shed), Chatte Blue (Grasshopper – Chatte Noir), Fred’s Lucky Boy (Wimbledon – Dancin’ Daphne), Phrase (Grasshopper – Five Star Mystery), Tall Tales (Special Rate – Mal’s Showntell) and Texas Chrome (Grasshopper – Margarita Mistress). Read more »


Grade I Winner Congaree to Stand at Lane’s End Texas

Congaree (Photo by Barbara D. Livingston)

Congaree, a multiple Grade 1 winner and accomplished stallion, will stand the 2016 breeding season at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Texas near Hempstead. Farm Manager Danny Shifflett said the 17-year-old stallion is due to arrive today. A stud fee will be announced soon.

Congaree earned $3,276,490 during his racing career with five Grade 1 victories from seven furlongs to 1 ¼ miles in the Swaps Stakes, Hollywood Gold Cup, Carter Handicap and Cigar Mile (twice). He finished third in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and also found success in Texas with a victory in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap.

As a stallion, Congaree has sired the earners of more than $15.4 million with 15 stakes winners. Among his progeny are Grade 1-winning millionaires Jeranimo and Don’t Tell Sophia. The latter is out of a daughter of Valid Expectations, Texas’ all-time leading stallion who stood at Lane’s End Texas until being retired from stud duty in 2013.

Congaree is a son of champion Arazi out of the Grade 1-placed Mari’s Book mare Mari’s Sheba. Congaree’s half brother, Sangaree by Awesome Again, is a Grade 1-placed stakes winner who stands in Indiana.

Congaree, who stood the 2015 season at Saratoga Stud in New York, was bred and campaigned by Texans Bob and Janice McNair’s Stonerside Stable and is still owned by the couple under the Magnolia Stable name.