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26
Mar

Contact Your Representative Re HB 1

TTA Member Alert

Your immediate action is needed!  HB 1, the General Appropriations Bill is scheduled to be heard on the House floor next Tuesday, March 31st.  Unlike the Senate version, this bill provides for continued funding of the Texas Racing Commission.

Please contact your personal State Representative as soon as possible, to ask for his/her support of HB 1. Be sure to thank the member for his/her time and emphasize that this measure will keep funding intact for the Texas Racing Commission, which is vital to the health and integrity of the Texas horse racing industry.

The email address for all Representatives is:

 firstname.lastname@house.state.tx.us

To find out who represents you, go to  http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx  and enter your address.

If you receive any informative response, please forward to us at maryr@texasthoroughbred.com.

The active involvement of all horsemen in such issues is imperative to protect our industry.  Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

20
Mar

News and Notes for March 20, 2015

NEWS AND NOTES FOR MARCH 20, 2015

TRAINERS’ EXAM PREP CLASS SET FOR APRIL 1-3 AT LONE STAR PARK
Dr. C. Reid McLellan, an experienced teacher and former trainer who served on the committee that wrote the current National Trainers’ Exam, has scheduled a Trainers’ Exam Prep Class for April 1-3 at Lone Star Park. The class includes an intensive 20 hours of focus on material covered on National Trainers’ Exam Barn and Written exams. It will include an emphasis on Texas Rules of Racing and comparison of rules from other states represented. This class is also beneficial for individuals interested in learning about the Rules of Racing, whether you want to take Trainers’ Exam or not. For more information, call (859) 321-4377, go to purplepowerracing.com.

BATTLE OF THE X’S, THE OTTB TRAINER CHALLENGE & ALL BREED HORSE SHOW
Join us in the John Justin arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Center for a fun-filled weekend of horse shows and competitions with free admission for all spectators.

The all-breed horse show begins at 8am on Saturday, with classes in Leadline, Halter, English Hunter, Western Halter, English Pleasure, Western Pleasure, Dressage and Sport Horse – In Hand, as well as junior, amateur, and professional divisions for Hunter, Jumper and Eventing, with cash prizes.  There will also be a $300 cash prize for overall Hi-Point Thoroughbred.

On Sunday at 2pm, the Battle of the X’s OTTB Trainer Challenge will showcase 8 retired Thoroughbred racehorses with 4 months of professional training in a new discipline, competing for a $10,000 prize.

After the Challenge the participating horses will be auctioned and the proceeds will benefit the Remember Me Rescue.   Only pre-approved adopters will be allowed to bid on the horses from the Challenge.  This will be a great opportunity for students, weekend trail riders or anyone else wanting to purchase a thoroughbred that has been professionally retrained to another discipline.  It is not too late to get approved to bid on one of these fantastic horses. Horses can be ridden on Friday and there will be a vet on site for pre-purchase exams all weekend.

Email remembermerescue@live.com for more information.

SULTAN OF SLAM VOTED TEXAS CLAIMER OF THE YEAR
After more than 300 online votes were cast, Sultan of Slam was named the 2014 Texas Claimer of the Year. The award is designed to honor the hard-working claiming horses who fill race cards across the country every day.

Sultan of Slam and his connections will be honored alongside the divisional champions and Texas Horse of the Year during the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s awards banquet and annual meeting on June 20 at Lone Star Park. The TTA held the online poll among all accredited Texas-breds with three or more claiming victories at tracks in the Lone Star State.

Bred by La Bahia Stud Inc., the now 4-year-old Sultan of Slam made 10 starts last year and visited the winner’s circle four times. The Texas-bred broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park in April and then returned to his home state, where he recorded a win against $12,500 claiming company at Lone Star and then consecutive wins at the $7,500 claiming level at Retama Park. The gelded son of Grand Slam banked $24,032 on the year for owner Champion Racing Stable Inc. and trainer Allen Milligan.

EMERALD UNVEILS ‘SHIP AND RUN’ BONUS
Emerald Downs has announced a “Ship and Run Incentive Program,” in which a $400 bonus for horses whose most recent start was outside the state and have not previously raced at Emerald Downs. In addition, horses must have started for a claiming price of $3,000 or more in each of its three previous starts. First-time starters are not eligible. Read more »

19
Mar

Trainers’ Exam Prep Class Set for April 1-3 at Lone Star Park

Dr. C. Reid McLellan, an experienced teacher and former trainer who served on the committee that wrote the current National Trainers’ Exam, has scheduled a Trainers’ Exam Prep Class for April 1-3 at Lone Star Park. The class includes an intensive 20 hours of focus on material covered on National Trainers’ Exam Barn and Written exams. It will include an emphasis on Texas Rules of Racing and comparison of rules from other states represented. This class is also beneficial for individuals interested in learning about the Rules of Racing, whether you want to take Trainers’ Exam or not. For more information, call (859) 321-4377, go to purplepowerracing.com or download this flyer.

17
Mar

Texas Stallion Stakes Survey

In an effort to gather information on the reasons that horses nominated to the Texas Stallion Stake Series fail to run in one or more of the races, the following letter was recently sent out to the owners of nominated horses:

 

Dear Owner,

I’m contacting you because you have one or more horses nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series.  In the past few years, field size has become a problem in some of the Texas Stallion Stakes races.  Field sizes of 6 and 7 do not make a compelling race to bet, and that has to be a consideration for the tracks.  The number of horses nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes has never been below 200 for a series and TTA would like to get a better understanding of why the number of horses entered in these races isn’t higher.  Please take a few minutes to check any boxes below that apply, then use the space provided below to give us any more thoughts on this matter.  Write your name in the space provided.

__  My horse died or was sold

__   My horse has just not been ready at the right time

__  I believe the race distances should be reconsidered (shortened/lengthened) explain below

__  I’d prefer to include a turf race

For a 3 race series, pick a total of 3 (write 1, 2 3 for 1st, 2nd & 3rd races):

2YO race:     Summer ___   Fall ____

3YO race:     Early Spring ___  Summer ___   Fall ___

4YO race      Early Spring ___  Summer ___   Fall ___

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________    (write your name here)

Thank you for your input.  You may return these by mail or fax to the address or number below, or by email to jenniferg@texasthoroughbred.com.

4009 Banister Lane, Ste. 230 * Austin, TX 78704

Phone 512.458.6133 * Fax 512.453.5919

 

17
Mar

Sultan of Slam Voted Texas Claimer of the Year

ttalogoAfter more than 300 online votes were cast, Sultan of Slam was named the 2014 Texas Claimer of the Year. The award is designed to honor the hard-working claiming horses who fill race cards across the country every day.

Sultan of Slam and his connections will be honored alongside the divisional champions and Texas Horse of the Year during the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s awards banquet and annual meeting on June 20 at Lone Star Park. The TTA held the online poll among all accredited Texas-breds with three or more claiming victories at tracks in the Lone Star State.

Bred by La Bahia Stud Inc., the now 4-year-old Sultan of Slam made 10 starts last year and visited the winner’s circle four times. The Texas-bred broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park in April and then returned to his home state, where he recorded a win against $12,500 claiming company at Lone Star and then consecutive wins at the $7,500 claiming level at Retama Park. The gelded son of Grand Slam banked $24,032 on the year for owner Champion Racing Stable Inc. and trainer Allen Milligan.

13
Mar

News and Notes for March 13, 2015

NEWS AND NOTES FOR MARCH 13, 2015

LEGISLATION FILED TO HELP INCREASE PURSES
Some potentially positive news from Austin is the filing of Senate Bill 1027 by Senator Kel Seliger, a Republican from Amarillo serving District 31.  The bill would allow racetracks to advance supplementary purse funds, then receive an annual refund of state taxes paid to offset the increase in purses over those awarded in the base year of 2014.

It calls for reimbursing taxes such as sales, franchise, and mixed beverage taxes, plus the state’s share of the handle. Since the bill provides for a tax refund, the amount reimbursed to a track could not exceed the amount of taxes paid by that track.

Complete bill text is available at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB1027

You may email a note of thanks to Senator Seliger at kel.seliger@senate.state.tx.us or call his office at 512.463.0131.

It would also be most beneficial for you to contact your specific Senator and Representative to ask for his/her support of this bill.  To find out who represents you, simply go to http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx and type in your address.

The email address format for Senators is firstname..lastname@senate.state.tx.us and for Representatives is firstname.lastname@house.state.tx.us.

ROSES TO RIBBONS EVENT A SUCCESS
The Paddock Foundation’s inaugural Roses to Ribbons Old Fashioned Horse Fair at Sam Houston Race Park on March 8 was deemed a success in spite of inclement weather.

The goal of the event was to showcase Thoroughbred racehorses ready to transition into new careers and to introduce potential purchasers to trainers and owners. Eleven Thoroughbreds were presented in the Sam Houston paddock with two purchased that morning.

The event also included vendor and information tables. The Paddock Foundation is planning to conduct a Roses to Ribbons event at each of the three Class I racetracks prior to the conclusion of their Thoroughbred race meet. Please watch for further information to come.

SAM HOUSTON THOROUGHBRED MEET STATISTICS
Total handle for the recently concluded 32-day Thoroughbred meet at Sam Houston Race Park increased more than 15%, totaling $51,258,598 – up from $44,493,991 in 2014.  2015 also marked the fourth consecutive year of average daily handle gains for the annual Thoroughbred season.  Total average daily handle ticked up to $1,601,537 for the meet.

“This was another successful Thoroughbred racing season with many notable gains,” said Sam Houston Race Park president, Andrea Young.  “We were very pleased to top the $2-million mark seven times this season compared to just once in 2014. Without a doubt, the success and the excitement surrounding this meet continue to build.” Read more »

12
Mar

TTA Member Jimmy Smith of Winters, Texas Passes Away

James “Jimmy” Smith (1942 – 2015)

March 9, 2015

James “Jimmy” Smith DVM, 72, of Winters died March 9, 2015. He was born June 20, 1942 in Winters and graduated from Winters High School in 1960. He married Virginia “Ginny” Pilmer in 1968 and she preceded him in death in 1998. He graduated from Texas Tech with an Ag Ed Degree and taught Ag in Anson and Winters. He then went to Texas A&M where he received his degree in veterinarian medicine in 1974. He worked in Winters until semi retiring in 2008. He married Sherie Luce June 6, 2008 in Drasco. He then worked part time for Dr. Alan Bolt, Rescue the Animals and Dr. Alfred Vardeman. He was a member of the Bluff Creek Cowboy Church.

He is survived by his wife: Sherie Smith of Winters. 2 daughters: Sally Smith Arnold and husband Brent of Coleman and Jamie Klassen of Leander. 4 step-children: Cody Wilkinson and wife Shelda of Tuscola, Adam Wilkinson and wife Jamie of Rockwall, Katie Ross and husband Josh of Sweetwater and Jake Wilkinson and wife Sterling of Houston. 1 brother: Douglas Smith and wife Joyce of Granbury. 2 sisters: Marlene Smith and husband Elton of Winters and Judy Daugherty and husband Randy of Austin. 5 grandchildren and 5 step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and 2 sisters: James Ernest Smith, Sr., Myrtle Smith, Patsy Shomette and Darlene Wilson.

Services will be 4:00 P.M. Friday March 13, 2005 at the First Baptist Church in Winters. Burial will follow at Lakeview cemetery.

The family will receive friends at 6:00 P.M. Thursday March 12, 2015 at Winters Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the Dr. James E. “Jimmy” Smith FFA Scholarship Fund, c/o Winters High School, attn. Rhonda Neal or the Bluff Creek Cowboy Church.

Funeral Home

Winters Funeral Home
120 State St Winters, TX 79567
(325) 754-4529

10
Mar

Equine Law Seminar Slated for April 9 in Houston

The Houston Bar Association Animal Law Section is hosting an Equine Law Seminar. It is designed to educate horse owners and equine professionals (including trainers, stable keepers, and breeders) about Texas law. The seminar will take place at the Houston Polo Club on April 9, 2015. After the seminar, attendees are invited to stay for a league polo match.

For more info and to register, go to:
http://www.lawsforpawsblog.com/

6
Mar

News and Notes for March 6, 2015

NEWS AND NOTES FOR MARCH 6, 2015

FINAL DAYS OF THE SHRP 2015 THOROUGHBRED MEET
Competitive battles are taking place for the leading jockey, trainer and owner honors at Sam Houston Race Park with just four days remaining in the 2015 Thoroughbred racing season.

Veteran jockey Deshawn Parker is on top with 49 wins with David Cabrera in second with 36. Lindey Wade, who was leading rider here in 2011, is third with 29 wins.

Steve Asmussen, who has won five leading training titles at Sam Houston Race Park, has been highly competitive throughout the meet and currently has 23 wins. Danny Pish has four titles here and is in second-place in the standings with 21 wins.  Bret Calhoun is third with 11 victories.

Asmussen will battle to the wire with Texas businessman Danny Keene for the owner of the meet title. Asmussen has won 11 races while Keene’s horses have made 10 trips to the winner’s circle. Shea Stuart is training for Keene in Houston this year.

TEXAS-BREDS IN STAKES ACTION THIS WEEKEND
Trainer Bret Calhoun brings in Myrna and Robert Luttrell’s snappy Texas-bred Promise Me Silver (Silver City – Uno Mas Promesa) to take on eight foes in the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III), going a mile and 1/16th at Oaklawn on Saturday.

The undefeated 3-year-old filly broke her maiden with a 6 ¾ length win at Lone Star Park last May, going on to win 4 more stakes at a distance of 6-furlongs: the $100,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill in June, the Darby’s Daughter division of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park in November, the $50,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds in December and the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn on January 15th.  Most recently, she took the  7-furlong Two Altazano division of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Houston on Valentine’s Day by 9 ¾ lengths. Clifton Berry will pilot the 3-1 favorite.

Coming off a win in the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes on February 7th, Accredited Texas-bred Ivan Fallunovalot (Valid Expectations – Flashdance Missy) is the 6-5 favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes. The 5-year-old gelding bred by Eileen Hartis has a career record of 15-9-1-1 and earnings of $261,910.

TRC SUSPENDS, FINES JOCKEY ROMAN CHAPA
Texas Racing Commission stewards suspended jockey Roman Chapa five years and fined him $25,000 – the maximum penalties allowed under Texas law – for carrying an illegal electrical device while riding Quiet Acceleration to victory in the Richard King Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on January 17th.

The stewards, who conducted a hearing on the matter last Friday, found Chapa in violation of four rules: unlawful influence on racing (Rule 3.16); influence of race prohibited (311.206); inhumane treatment of horse or greyhound (311.207); and possession of contraband (311.215). They referred the case to Texas Racing Commission executive director Chuck Trout, who has the authority to increase the fine to $100,000 if he believes it is warranted.

Stewards also ordered Quiet Acceleration be unplaced in the Richard King Stakes, disqualifying him from purse money and making Fly the Red Eye the official winner.  According to TRC officials, Chapa has now filed an appeal.

TEXAS CHAMPION CLAIMER VOTING NOW OPEN
Claiming horses fill the vast majority of race cards every day, but these hard-workers rarely receive recognition so the Texas Thoroughbred Association created the Texas Champion Claimer Award. The winning horse and his or her connections will be recognized alongside the other 2014 Texas Champions at the TTA Annual Conference and Awards Banquet at Lone Star Park this summer.

The Texas Champion Claimer Award is for Accredited Texas-breds who won at least three claiming or allowance/optional claiming races at Texas racetracks last year.

The winner of the Texas Champion Claimer Award will be determined by online voting. Only one vote will be counted per person and automated attempts to vote or duplicate votes will be disallowed. Voting closes on Monday, March 16 at 5 p.m. Central. Results will be posted online the following week.

For more information and to cast your vote, go to http://texasthoroughbred.com/vote-now-for-the-2014-texas-champion-claimer/

HANDLE ON U.S. RACES DOWN 3.66% IN FEBRUARY
In February, pari-mutuel handle fell 3.66% to $763,403,451 when compared with the same month last year, according to industry economic indicators released March 4 by Equibase. Those declines followed an encouraging month in January, when handle was up 1.52% compared with January 2014. But the February declines mean year-to-date handle is down 1.06% to $1,575,985,375 when compared with last year.

Some of the February handle decline on U.S. races can be attributed to a 1.42% decline in race dates to 277 and 2.98% decline in races to 2,341. In February, tracks cancelled either their entire cards or the majority of their cards 42 times because of bad weather.

Also likely impacting handle is a continued dispute over simulcast rates that is keeping signals from Stronach Group tracks, and others, from being offered at simulcast venues represented by the MidAtlantic Cooperative.

Along with the 2.98% decline in total races in February, there was a similar decline in U.S. purses for the month, down 2.57% to $60,854,668. For the year, purses are down 2.19% to $126,881,597.

NOTES: Legislation that would put a constitutional amendment legalizing pari-mutuel wagering to a vote in 2016 passed an important Georgia Senate committee March 4…Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has announced a 10% increase in overnight purses, effective March 7, for the remainder of its 143rd Thoroughbred racing season that concludes March 29… The Roses to Ribbons Old-Fashioned Horse Fair will take place at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 8th at Sam Houston Race Park.  For information, see http://southernracehorse.com/new-event-for-racehorse-rehoming-set-for-sam-houston-race-park/

 

1
Mar

Vote Now for the 2014 Texas Champion Claimer

Voting for the 2014 Texas Champion Claimer Award is now open. Claiming horses fill the vast majority of race cards every day, but these hard-workers rarely receive recognition so the Texas Thoroughbred Association created the Texas Champion Claimer Award. The winning horse and his or her connections will be recognized alongside the other 2014 Texas Champions at the TTA Annual Conference and Awards Banquet at Lone Star Park this summer.

ttalogoThe Texas Champion Claimer Award is for Accredited Texas-breds who won at least three claiming or allowance/optional claiming races at Texas racetracks last year.

The winner of the Texas Champion Claimer Award will be determined by online voting. Only one vote will be counted per person and automated attempts to vote or duplicate votes will be disallowed. Voting closes on Monday, March 16 at 5 p.m. Central. Results will be posted online the following week.

Below are the candidates for this year’s award and a listing of their connections as of their last start in 2014. To learn more about each horse and review complete past performance information from Equibase, click on the name of any horse. VOTING IS NOW CLOSED. Read more »