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Update on the Texas Racing Commission Budget Situation

ttalogoThis week’s Texas Racing Commission meeting has garnered a lot of attention, with a lot of misinformation floating about.

About 200 horsemen from around the state converged on the TRC meeting in Austin Aug. 25 and urged the commission to leave its rules for historical racing intact, despite an ongoing court case and veiled threats from some legislators to withhold funding from the commission. Representatives from the Texas horse industry and individual TTA members argued against repealing the rules—which the TRC had publicly said it intended to do—because it would nullify the appeal of a court ruling that stated the commission had no legal standing to promulgate the rules.

The commission voted 4-3-1 on a motion to repeal the regulations, which failed because there was not a clear majority supporting the initiative. At issue now is whether the TRC will continue to receive adequate funding from the state past the end of its fiscal year Aug. 31. When the new state budget was adopted in June, a provision was attached to the TRC budget that requires the commission to specifically request $750,000 from the Texas Legislative Budget Board. This money funds TRC executive director Chuck Trout’s position and other staff salaries and covers the commission’s rent and utilities. The commission is prohibited from moving money from other accounts to cover this shortfall, so without the budget board allocation the commission would shut down and so would all live racing and simulcasting across Texas on September 1. It should also be noted that the TRC is not funded by taxpayer money but rather from fees collected by industry participants (tracks and horsemen) and that the LBB simply serves as a “pass through.” So the TRC is only asking for approval to utilize funds generated by the horse industry to regulate the horse industry.

Some Texas horsemen said risking a shut-down of racing was necessary in order to keep the hope of historical racing alive.

Shortly after the meeting, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick expressed his extreme displeasure, claiming that inappropriate and offensive comments concerning Senator Jane Nelson were made and demanding an apology.  The entire text of his response may be viewed here.

For the purposes of transparency, we would like to publish TRC Chairman Robert Schmidt’s testimony before the Senate Finance Committee last February, which can be viewed here, as well as a link to the video archive of that meeting. You will need to fast forward to 2:26:28 to get to the proper section.

Also, take a moment to view Chairman Schmidt’s letter to Senator Nelson in May regarding the repeal of rules authorizing and regulating pari-mutuel wagering on historical races.

Do you find anything disrespectful here?

We assert that Chairman Schmidt displays nothing but class in his words and conduct, and we applaud him for his actions.

We encourage you to contact members of the Legislative Budget Board (listed below) to ask for their support in funding the Texas Racing Commission:

Governor Gregg Abbott
office: (512) 463-2000
Fax: (512) 463-1849

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
(512) 463-0001

Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus
(512) 463-1000

Senator Kevin Eltife
(512) 463-0101

Representative Drew Darby
(512) 463-0331

Senator Craig Estes
(512) 463-0130

Senator John Otto

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa
(512) 463-0120

Rep. Sylvester Turner
(512) 463-0554

Senator Jane Nelson
(512) 463-0112

Rep. John Zerwas
(512) 463-0657


TTA Announces 2-Year-Old Sale and Changes to Sales Futurity

ttalogoThe Texas Thoroughbred Association has announced the establishment of a 2-year-olds in training sale to be held next April at Lone Star Park. The auction will be similar to the one held by Fasig-Tipton Texas in previous years.

“We are excited to be continuing the tradition of Thoroughbred sales in Texas,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We were unsuccessful in bringing back the summer yearling sale after Fasig-Tipton decided to leave the state, but the 2-year-old sale has always been the strongest in the region and we expect that to continue.”

The sale will be operated by the TTA and managed by Tim Boyce, who formerly ran the sale for Fasig-Tipton Texas.

“The sale facility and racetrack at Lone Star are among the best you will find anywhere for a 2-year-old sale, so we expect a strong response to the continuation of this auction,” Boyce said. “We also think the changes to the TTA Sales Futurity will benefit both buyers and consignors.”

The TTA announced changes to the former TTA Sales Futurity, which in past years had been restricted to graduates of the Texas yearling and 2-year-olds in training sales or accredited Texas-breds made eligible through a berth entry.

Starting in 2016, the race with divisions for fillies and colts/geldings to be held during the summer at Lone Star Park will be open to all accredited Texas-breds with a free nomination for horses that went through any yearling sale or a $250 nomination for a horse that did not go through a yearling sale. In addition, every horse consigned to the 2016 Texas 2-year-olds in training sale, regardless of where they were bred, will receive a free nomination. Purse information, a complete payment schedule and information about late nominations will be released shortly. The race will also have a name change to be announced.


Racing Commission Votes to Keep Historical Racing

Austin American-Statesman:

Racing commission votes to keep historical racing, risks own funding

The commissioners showed that they wanted to give some hope to the struggling racing business in Texas by not repealing a controversial rule they made last year to allow Texas tracks to take part in historical racing, an electronic form of gambling in which bettors wager on already-run races that have been stripped of all identifiers.

The move is likely to anger Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican and chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, and other Republican legislators who have equated historical racing terminals to slot machines.

The immediate results could be severe. The commission might lose its funding next week and racing in Texas consequently could be halted.

Andrea Young, president of the Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, said a vote the other way would have been “anti-Texan” and “anti-horse racing,” but now, at least, the industry can go forward with court hearings on the legality of historical racing.

The new form of betting offers the floundering horse and dog racing industries in Texas hope for survival, Young and other said at the hearing. It would inject needed capital into the system and allow purses for winning animals to grow and be more competitive with those in surrounded states that can supplement winnings with proceeds from other types of gambling, she said.

“We are proud of the commission’s willingness to stand by the Texas horse and racing industries,” Young said. “We look forward to having our day in court on historical racing, and are confident that the Court of Appeals will uphold the validity of these essential rules. We continue to have hope that the historic Texas horse and racing industry can thrive in Texas, continuing to employ thousands of hard-working people and contributing millions in revenue to the Texas economy.”


News and Notes for August 21, 2015

The Texas Racing Commission will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 25 in the John H. Reagan Building located at 105 W. 15th Street in Austin.

On the Agenda is consideration of the repeal of all rules pursuant to Historical Racing.

At the heart of the matter is the threat of commission funding being withheld if the rules are not repealed.  Because the Legislative Budget Board has yet to approve funding for the commission to operate in the new fiscal year beginning September 1, TRC executive director Chuck Trout has warned that the agency may have to shutter the state’s tracks at the end of August.

Horsemen are urged to attend the meeting to voice your opinion on the issue. The Texas Horsemen’s Partnership and Retama Park are providing bus transportation to the meeting. If you would like to participate, contact CyDeana Lee at 210.237.8715 or Sabina Pish at 210.867.2475 to commit to ride the bus from Retama. There must be at least 20 committed before the bus will be chartered.

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of racing at Retama Park.  To celebrate the occasion, the track will offer nine exciting Thoroughbred races, along with live music tonight by Hunter A. Smith.  Saturday is “Island Night at the Park” with delicious tropical food and drinks, including a pig roast in the courtyard, along with a chance to win an island vacation package. Post time for Friday and Saturday is 6:45 p.m.

In conjunction with the Gillespie County Fair in Fredericksburg, the track will conduct the final two days of the 2015 Mixed Meet with a 1 p.m. post time each day.

On Saturday, the G.C.F.A. Texas-bred Stakes has a field of 6 going 7 furlongs, led by Southwestern Racing LLC’s 2/1 morning line favorite Special U F O (Special Rate – Mysterious Light).  Completing the field are: Wild Slew (Doneraile Court – Sunnie Wild), 8/1; Berry Loud (Gold Alert – Be Berry Quiet), 6/1; Halifax Flyer (Early Flyer – Halifax Rose), 5/1, Ring Necked (Too Much Bling – Wood Duck), 5/2; and Our Romeo (Captain Countdown – Crimson Flagship), 4/1.

Good luck to all!

Accredited Texas-bred D. Shifflett (Valid Expectations – Smokin N Jokin) is part of a field of 13 going 7 furlongs in the $100,000 Arlington – Washington Futurity (gr. 3) at Arlington Park on Saturday. Bred by Fletcher Properties, Inc. and owned in partnership by Haynes Stables LLC, the 2-year-old gelding is trained by Michael Stidham and has been given odds of 8/1.

Fly the Red Eye (Early Flyer – Rare and Sixy) will run in the $75,000 Edward J. Debartolo Memorial Handicap at Remington Park.  Bret Calhoun will saddle the 7-year-old gelding for owners Carl Moore and Brad Grady.  Bred by Brent Davidson, Fly the Red Eye has been given odds of 3/1 in the field of 6 going a mile and 1/16th on the turf.  He boasts a career record of 60-14-16-12 with earnings of $292,425.

I saw a great post on Facebook this week that says it all.  Here is a portion of it:

“Texas Racing is more.

It is more than the trainer who is working countless hours a day to make sure the horses in their barn are conditioned and cared for to reach peak performance.

It is more than the jockeys who ride every mount from a $5,000 claimer to a Grade 1 Stakes horse with the burning desire to cross the finish line first.

It is more than the owners who pick a prospect, pay the training, vet, farrier, and nomination fees in hopes to stand in a winner’s circle.

It is more than the breeders who plan for a foal from before conception and lose countless hours of sleep waiting for that next winner to arrive. Then watch it grow and develop, all the while praying for its health and skill to be exceptional.

It is more than the vets, farriers, grooms, security, feed stores.

It is more.”

To see the entire post, go to :

The Texas Thoroughbred Association board of directors is finalizing plans to conduct a 2-year-old in training sale next April at Lone Star Park, along with an associated futurity.  A formal announcement is expected soon.

Having surpassed the $1.1 billion wagering mark and coming off the best month since it was introduced in September 2011, historical racing in Kentucky is poised to soar as it enters the Lexington market with more than 900 terminals at The Red Mile within the next two months.

Through July, $1.028 billion has been wagered on historical racing at Kentucky Downs and the $34 million in July was a record. From that, more than $9 million has gone to purses at Kentucky tracks and more than $11 million to various equine incentive and development funds, drug research, and equine industry programs. The state’s General Fund has received $3.6 million from historical racing and a higher education fund has received more than $1 million.

Since Ellis Park began offering the new form of gaming in August 2012, more than $108 million has gone through the machines, generating even more money for purses, breeding funds, and the state.

NOTES: ATB incentive award checks for the recently concluded Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park mailed on Wednesday…The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation has approved 2015 funding of $300,320 for 25 equine organizations and special projects committed to improving the welfare of the horse. Among the initiatives receiving support are student veterinary scholarships and educational programs, important equine laminitis research, Equitarian workshops, unwanted horse programs, and professional and youth development… The Jockey Club has announced the election of four new members: W. B. Rogers Beasley, John Magnier, Rosendo (Ro) Parra of Texas, and Thomas S. Robbins…Kudos to Texas Chrome, winner of the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park… Congrats to Henry Witt’s Texas-bred Witt Six, who finished second in the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park in Edmonton. The son of Texas stallion Drums of Thunder had previously won three stakes at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg after scoring two wins in Texas…Ivan Fallunovalot, a Texas-bred by all-time leading Texas stallion Valid Expectations, could be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland. The gelding has won 10 of 18 career starts and has banked $222,200 in five starts this year…The next meeting of the TTA Board of Directors will be August 29 at Retama Park…Our condolences to the family of jockey Weldon Cloninger Jr., who passed away last Sunday.


TTA Issues Statement on Historical Racing

Texas Thoroughbred AssociationThe Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA), which represents more than 1,100 racehorse owners and breeders in the state, strongly opposes the measure published in the Texas Register seeking to repeal previously adopted rules authorizing and regulating historical racing at Texas racetracks. The TTA strongly supports the concept of historical racing, which already has proven to bolster the racing and breeding industry in several states.

“The prospect of historical racing in Texas is the only thing providing hope to our struggling industry,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We firmly believe that historical racing provides a means of pari-mutuel wagering and falls within the Commission’s scope of authority under current law.”

In spite of reports to the contrary, unlike slot machines in which a patron is betting against the “house,” wagering on historical races is conducted through a self-service terminal connected to the racetrack’s totalisator system utilizing pari-mutuel wagering, which is legal in Texas.

“The Texas racing industry is in severe decline and on the verge of disappearing altogether,” Ruyle added. “As the Commission is well aware, Texas horses, horsemen, and associated service industries are being forced to leave Texas and take their business to other states that supplement purses with proceeds from gambling activities that are illegal in Texas.”

Last month, CBS News in Minnesota reported that Texans Charlie Smith and Terry Propps, who, after 20 years in the industry, are now breeding and racing Thoroughbreds there because of the more lucrative opportunities available to them. It is a story that has been repeated many times in the past with other horsemen who were formerly based in Texas.

The only development since the historical racing rules were adopted that casts any doubt on the Commission’s authority is a district court decision that is being appealed. If historical racing rules are repealed, that appeal becomes moot. The TTA believes the Commission should await the outcome of that legal process before making any changes that would mean the industry’s hard work over the past year has been all for naught.

The TTA has also stated their position in a letter sent to the Commission.


News and Notes for August 14, 2015

Henry Witt’s homebred multiple stakes winner Witt Six (Drums of Thunder – Taitt Hill) is entered in the $200,000 Canadian Derby (gr. 3) for 3-year-olds going 1 3/8 miles at Northland Park in Edmonton, Alberta on Saturday.  The race has a full field of 12, and Witt Six has been given morning line odds of 6/1.

Paul Rigali Jr.’s homebred graded stakes winner Texas Air (Texas City – Malaysian Air) is the oldest in the field of 11 for the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Stakes for 3-year-olds and up going 1 mile and an eighth at Remington Park on Saturday.  Trained by Allen Milligan, the 7-year-old gelding currently boasts a career record of 41-8-12-4 with $359,274 in earnings. He has morning line odds of 8/1.

Also at Remington, graded stakes placed Ivan Fallunovalot (Valid Expectations – Flashdance Missy) is the 8/5 favorite in the $75,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs.  The 5-year-old gelding, bred by Eileen Hartis, now runs for owner Lewis E. Mathews Jr. and is looking to increase his career earnings of $341,910.

Best of racing luck to all!

Next week, the TTA office will be mailing out ATB incentive award checks for the recently concluded Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park.

Award totals were calculated as follows:

Breeder Awards:      7.98936% of 1st/2nd/3rd purse money earned

Owner Awards:        8.12110% of 1st/2nd/3rd purse money earned

Stallion Awards:       4.40673% of 1st/2nd/3rd purse money earned

The total amount of awards paid out for Owner, Breeder and Stallion Owner Awards for this period of racing at Lone Star Park is $531,968.35.  By law, 40% ($212,787.34) is paid for Breeders Awards, 40% ($212,787.34) is paid for Owners Awards and 20% ($106,393.67) for Stallion Owner Awards.

Please note that for awards calculation purposes, all individual purses are capped at $75,000.00.  There are no ATB Owners Incentive Awards paid on restricted stakes, as the purse already contains added money from the ATB Program.

Also, if an Accredited Texas-bred horse placed first, second or third in an open company race during this meet, the owner will receive an Owner’s Bonus award totaling 13.24727% of purse money earned. The first 25% of total ATB Awards is allocated to the Owner Bonus Fund, which equates to $193,989.46 for this meet

Be checking your mailbox!

Following is a condensed version of the lengthy Fort Worth Star-Telegram article detailing the ongoing woes of the Texas horseracing and breeding industry:

It’ll be down to the wire, but the Texas Racing Commission hopes to satisfy the concerns of state officials who could cut off funding to keep the agency — and racetracks statewide — open. Read more »


Anthrax Confirmed in Equine in Uvalde County

August 11, 2015
Anthrax Confirmed in Equine in Uvalde County
AUSTIN – The first Anthrax case in Texas for 2015 has been confirmed in equine in Uvalde County.
The premises is located approximately 25 miles northwest of Uvalde. The Texas Animal Health
Commission (TAHC) has quarantined the premises. TAHC rules require proper disposal of affected
carcasses and vaccination of livestock on the premises prior to release of the quarantine.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with
worldwide distribution, including certain parts of Texas. (It is not uncommon for anthrax to be
diagnosed in the southwestern part of the state.) A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock in
high risk areas.

Acute fever followed by rapid death with bleeding from body openings are common signs of anthrax in
livestock. Carcasses may also appear bloated and decompose quickly. Livestock displaying symptoms
consistent with anthrax should be reported to a private veterinary practitioner or a TAHC official. If
affected livestock or carcasses must be handled, producers are encouraged to follow basic sanitation
precautions such as wearing protective gloves, long sleeve shirts and washing thoroughly afterward to
prevent accidental spread of the bacteria to people.

“The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state.
Producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office if they have
questions about the disease in livestock and their medical professional if they have concerns about
anthrax exposure,” said Dr. T.R. Lansford, TAHC Assistant Executive Director for Animal Health

For more information regarding Anthrax, contact your local TAHC region or call 1-800-550-8242 or
visit .

To learn more about Anthrax, visit the TAHC’s brochure at



News and Notes for August 7, 2015

Coming off a big win in a 7 ½ furlong turf race at Lone Star Park on July 18tth, Accredited Texas-bred 2-year-old gelding Better Than Magic (My Golden Song – Most Magic) is part of a field of 8 in tonight’s $75,000 Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile Stakes.  Bred by the Estate of Clarence Scharbauer Jr., the colt is trained by Bret Calhoun for owner Douglas Scharbauer. He has been given morning line odds of 5/1.

On Saturday, Tom Durant’s homebred Baby Not Tonight (Sing Baby Sing – Secret I. D.) will compete in the $50,000 Aspen Cup Stakes going six furlongs at Ruidoso Downs.  The 3-year-old filly has been given odds of 8/1 in the field of 7.

In order to keep up with the demand for instant information, Blood-Horse this week introduced a new mobile platform called Blood-Horse Daily. The Daily is available through the Apple App Store or Google Play for Android phone users. The new platform give customers access to the latest news, curated analysis and commentary suited to the Thoroughbred industry professional, bloodstock insights, market trends through the team at Blood-Horse MarketWatch, and commentary on industry issues from the Blood-Horse staff and knowledgeable correspondents around the globe.

The app also provides results and entries for stakes races and important allowance and maiden races throughout North America along with select results from important races overseas.
For those not quite ready to consume their daily content on a phone, the Daily is also available via email in a PDF format. Previous editions of the mobile Daily will be available on the phone, while an archive of past PDF editions will be housed on

Two federal bills have been filed that both aim to create a national program for managing and enforcing medication use in horse racing.

The Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act of 2015 has been co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania and Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico. The second bill is the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Andy Barr of Kentucky and Paul Tonko of New York.

While the goal is the same, the approaches proposed by each bill have some significant differences. Below is a link to a side-by-side analysis of 24 key elements of the bills. The analysis was created by Marc Summers, vice president and general counsel for The Jockey Club and co-author of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act.

For the complete analysis, go to;

Remington Park announced overnight purses will increase 10% for the 67-day Thoroughbred meet that begins Aug. 14 and runs through Dec. 13.

The boost in purses, approved by The Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, will give Remington Park an estimated $230,000 for daily average purse distribution. Open company maiden special weight races will be worth $33,000 and maiden special weight races for Oklahoma-breds will increase to $42,750. Open allowance company races will now be worth $44,000.

If only it were in Texas…

Perhaps helped a bit by added attention for horse racing following American Pharoah’s Triple Crown sweep, wagering on U.S. races improved 1.41% in July, to $903,673,455, when compared with July 2014.

Increased wagering in July on U.S. races also is likely tied to an increase in race days, up 4.84% to 542; and total races, up 2.23% to 4,257. Despite the increased racing, purses were flat in July, up less than one-tenth of 1% to $103,658,025.

After a slow start to the year, pari-mutuel wagering through the first seven months of 2015 now nearly matches the total bet through the first seven months of 2014. This year $6,382,866,327 has been wagered through July, which is down 0.25%. These steady numbers have been delivered despite a 4.44% decline in total races to 23,062.

Purses have not fared as well for the year through July, down 3.08% to $598,003,206.

NOTES:  Live racing continues this weekend at Gillespie County Fair with 12 races each day, including two Thoroughbred races on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Post time both days is 1:00 p.m…In case you missed it, check out the Forbes article on Lone Star Park at …The Texas Racing Commission Committee on Rules will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 11 in Austin…The regular meeting of the TRC originally scheduled for that date has been postponed; we will keep you updated…The TTA Sales Committee has been meeting to discuss options for a Texas 2-Year-Old in Training Sale; stay tuned for news…Retama Park’s Thoroughbred meet gets under way on Saturday, August 21…The next Roses to Ribbons event will be held at Retama Park prior to closing weekend…Our sympathies go to the family of trainer Jerry ”Trainwreck” Lazenby, who passed away this week.


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: