News and Notes for April 14, 2017

House Bill 3926, the Purpose-Driven Pari-Mutuel Bill by Rep. Kuempel, has been passed out of the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee. The next step in the process is to be placed on the calendar for hearing by all state Representatives on the House floor.

Today, Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s homebred stakes winner Kat’s Infatuation (Silver City – Red Thread) will run in a field of 11 in the $50,000 Cajun Miss Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going 7 furlongs at Evangeline Downs.  Bret Calhoun will saddle the filly, who won the $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes at Houston on March 10 by a whopping 8 ¼ lengths.  She has been given odds of 3/1.

On Saturday, Keene Thoroughbreds LLC’s multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome (Grasshopper – Margarita Mistress) takes on 6 competitors in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (Gr. 2) for 4-year-olds and up going a mile and 1/8th. Given odds of 10/1, this will be the first out this year for the colt bred by Craig Upham and trained by J. R. Caldwell.

In a field of ten, there are two Accredited Texas-breds in Sunday’s $150,000 Sunland Park Handicap for 3-year-olds and up going a mile and 1/8. 

Multiple stakes placed Overland Park (Snow Ridge – Bonnie’s Slam), bred by Joe K. Davis and now owned by Donna Eaton has odds of 8/1. The 5-year-old gelding has a record of 20-4-11-0 with earnings of $133.831 and is coming off a second place finish in an allowance optional claimer on March 26.

Sam E. and Sammy L. Steven’s tenacious homebred multiple stakes winner Ol Winedrinker Who (Sligo Bay (IRE) – Silverup) seeks to improve his career record of 45-13-8-7 with a bankroll of $779,194.  Coming off a disappointing 5th place finish in the February 26 Curribot Handicap, the 8-year-old gelding has odds of 10/1.

Lone Star Park is celebrating their 20th season, running Thursday, April 20 through Sunday, July 30th.  Opening night features the $50,000 Premiere Stakes for 3-year-olds and up Accredited Texas-breds going 6 ½ furlongs.

In addition to exciting racing, the season will have entertainment infused with numerous giveaways designed to enhance the horseracing fan experience.

Besides attendee giveaways, attractions include Party at the Park every Friday (except on Music Series concert nights) when fans can enjoy exciting racing and live music with $2 drink specials from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Lone Star Music Series concert events on June 16, July 7 and July 21, Extreme Racing on Saturday, April 29, featuring camel, ostrich and zebra races along with a Family Fun Park on the lawn, complete with bounce houses and a petting zoo.

For a complete schedule of events, go to

According to a press release, Lone Star Park’s Grade 3 Texas Mile has been renamed the Steve Sexton Mile in honor of the track’s former executive vice president and general manager who died in December at age 57 after battling brain cancer.

“Anyone who knew or worked with Steve Sexton knows he was one of the most versatile, talented and dedicated racing executives of his time,” said Scott Wells, Lone Star Park’s president and general manager. “Horses and the people who work with them are the backbone of this sport; and throughout his career, Steve demonstrated a passion for both which was unsurpassed. We are proud that the Steve Sexton Mile will live on at Lone Star Park as a tribute to him and to his spirit of achievement and excellence.”

The $200,000 Steve Sexton Mile, for 3-year-olds and older horses, will be held Sunday, May 7. Lone Star’s meet runs April 20 through July 30, with racing Thursdays through Sundays. The Steve Sexton Mile is one of two graded stakes at the meet, the other being the Grade 3, Lone Star Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on May 28. 

The renamed stakes also will raise awareness for the fund created by Sexton’s family to put a student through college who otherwise would not have the opportunity. The family is in the process of making the Steven P. Sexton Foundation a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. The ultimate goal is to start one underprivileged kid a year in college.

Sexton was an integral part of Lone Star’s management team that opened the track in 1997. He had spent a decade working in various management positions at Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields, Canterbury Park and Thistledown.  As Lone Star’s vice president and general manager, Sexton was instrumental in one of the most successful track launches in the modern era.

Sexton was named president of Churchill Downs Inc.’s Arlington Park in 2001, overseeing the suburban Chicago track’s staging of the 2002 Breeders’ Cup, then left shortly thereafter to take a similar post at the company’s flagship track in Louisville. Sexton left Churchill in 2009 to pursue other interests and return to Texas, serving as the managing partner of the Dallas-based sports consulting firm LOGE at the time of his death.

“Having a race named after my dad is fantastic and fitting, an incredible honor for our family,” Taylor Sexton said. “We’re very excited about the race and look forward to watching the Steven P. Sexton foundation make a difference in the lives of young people. This is one of many instances where my dad wouldn’t say he deserved it. But he did.”

NOTES:  Texas Chrome, the reigning Texas-bred Horse of the Year after winning last year’s Grade 3 Super Derby and Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby, is being pointed to the Steve Sexton Mile, according to trainer J.R. Caldwell…ATB awards in connection with the 2017 Thoroughbred meet at Sam Houston Race Park should be in the mail next week…The Paddock Foundation has launched a new blog to highlight all the amazing things that former racehorses can do. The first entry showcases Silk, who was purchased through the Roses to Ribbons program. Check it out at…