NEWS AND NOTES FOR APRIL 8, 2016

TEXAS 2YO SALE POSTS INCREASED AVERAGE, YEARLING SALE ANNOUNCED Monday’s Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, the first conducted by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park without Fasig-Tipton as a partner, posted similar results to last year’s auction with an increase in average. Buybacks improved significantly from 33.3% last year to 19.7% this year.

Total sales for this auction came in at $981,300 with 53 of 66 head sold for an average of $18,515 and median of $12,000.

Last year’s sale, run by Fasig-Tipton, saw 66 head sell for $1,161,900 from 99 offered. The average for that sale was $17,605 with a median of $13,000.

Two horses at this year’s sale eclipsed the $75,000 top price from last year. The high seller was hip #40, a Texas-bred filly by Too Much Bling who worked the fastest time of :10 1/5 in Saturday’s under tack show. Consigned by Asmussen Horse Center, agent, the filly sold for $95,000 to Danny Keene. She is out of the Action this Day mare Soft Music, whose first two starters are both multiple winners. 

The second-highest price was also a filly, as hip #24, a Kentucky-bred by Henny Hughes, went for $80,000 to Hebert Bloodstock, agent, from the consignment of Oak Haven Farm, agent. She is out of the stakes-winning Saratoga Six mare Playcaller, who has produced Grade 1 winner Diplomat Lady and Grade 2 winner Dream Play.

“Especially considering we got a bit of a late start in putting this sale together, we could not be more pleased with the results and the increase in average over last year,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association. “With a Texas-bred topping the sale and a very low buyback rate, I think that proves there is still strength in the industry here.”

The TTA also announced that it will hold a yearling auction in late August at Lone Star. Like the 2-year-old sale, the yearling sale will take the place of the auction formerly operated in partnership with Fasig-Tipton.

“The TTA is committed to advancing the Texas racing and breeding industry, and part of that commitment includes giving horsemen a venue to buy and sell horses in this state,” said Ruyle. “In advance of this decision, we found significant interest from Texas breeders with yearlings to consign, and with the central location and quality facility at Lone Star we also expect to attract quality consignments from around the region. We were lucky to have Tim Boyce on board to manage this sale for us, and he will do the same for the yearling sale.”

More information about consignments and the sale date will be posted shortly. The TTA is also creating a website dedicated to its sales.

Complete hip by hip results are available at http://texasthoroughbred.com/wp-content/uploads/TEXAS2YOSALE2016.pdf

TEXAS THOROUGHBRED FUTURITY
For foals of 2014 already nominated to the 2016 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity, the final sustaining payment of $350 is due by Friday, April 15. That payment must be fax, credit card or postmark dated no later than April 15. Payments made after April 15 cannot be accepted.

Those horses early nominated to the Futurity as graduates of the Texas Thoroughbred 2-Year-Old Sale that do not go through the ring at that sale are no longer eligible for the 2016 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity.

Friday, May 1st is the deadline for late nomination to the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity. Foals of 2014 that go through the ring at the 2016 Texas Thoroughbred 2YO Sale, and have not already been nominated to the Futurity, may be late nominated by payment of $5,000.  That payment must be fax, credit card or postmark dated no later than May 1. Nominations made after May 1 cannot be accepted. 

The field for each division (fillies and colts/geldings) will be limited to twelve starters, who are determined by money earned. In order to give nominated horses ample opportunity for earnings and experience, Texas Thoroughbred Futurity nominees will have preferred entry in 2-year-old maiden races at Lone Star Park leading up to the 2016 Futurity.

Both divisions of the 2016 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity will be run on July 9 with entries taken the previous Wednesday. There is a $500 entry fee and $1000 start fee that will be deducted from your horseman’s account at Lone Star Park.

SUPERMASON WINS PREMIERE STAKES
There is no denying that Brad Grady’s super-fast gelding Supermason likes racing at Lone Star Park, and he proved that again on opening night on Thursday. The 4-year-old son of Grasshopper, out of the Midway Road mare Folksy, just cinched his third win over the Lone Star dirt surface from six total starts here. The victory marked his fifth overall from 16 career starts.

The six and one half furlong contest over a fast race track was over in 1:16.68. Posting fractions of 22.78 and 45.50, it was 7 ¾ lengths back to Spider’s Alibi, who was up for second place while favorite A M Milky Way was able to hold on for third another 1 ½ lengths behind the top two. 

At odds of 3.10-1, Supermason rewarded players with $8.20; $5.80 and $3.60.Fans of Spider’s Alibi got back $21.60 and $8.80, and A M Milky Way followers were returned $3.00. Texas Bling, Solar Charge, Ring Necked, F J Uncle Vic, Internet Success and Imma Bling completed the order of finish.

Supermason increased his career earnings account to $181,355 with the addition of $30,000 from the victory.

The win was the second straight in the Premiere Stakes for trainer Bret Calhoun tallying his win total in the Premiere Stakes a record of five (2010, 2012-13, 2015-16). Jockey Lindey Wade isn’t far behind. He has the record of four wins in this, the most of any rider.

Bred W.S. Farish and E.J. Hudson Jr. Irrevocable Trust, Supermason sold for $25,000 at the 2013 Texas yearling sale.

ACCREDITED TEXAS-BREDS IN UPCOMING STAKES
Janet Marden’s homebred Tiz Cherry Wine (Tiz the One – Miss Cherry) is part of a field of 10 in Saturday’s $50,000 Ragin Cajun Stakes for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs at Evangeline Downs.  The gelding has been given odds of 12/1.

Sunday’s $50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial Stakes at Lone Star Park has drawn a field of 6 going six and a half furlongs.

The 2015 Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Filly, My Master Plan (Oratory – One O Seven) is the 8/5 morning line favorite.  Dan and Joyce McGough’s homebred will be saddled by trainer D. K. Von Hemel. 

Danele Durham will send out a pair of homebred Too Much Bling fillies for Hall’s Family Trust –   9/5 Everything Bling, a 4-year-old out of Anythingmore who won the $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on January 22, and Too Much Prada, a 3-year-old out of Kimbell’s Prada.

Danny Pish will saddle W. S. Farish’s homebred 5/2 Infectious (Valid Expectations – Red Cell), and 8/1 Indygo Rocket (Indygo ountain – Rockin Regent) for Riley E. Morgan.

Expect to Fly (Early Flyer – Martys Expectation), bred by Jim Evans, now runs for Team Bryant Thoroughbreds and is trained by G. R. Bryant.

Good luck to all.

ARCI “TOWN HALL” MEETING AT LONE STAR PARK
As part of an effort to build a consensus on addressing the problems of racing and any regulatory structural reforms necessary, the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) is holding a series of “Town Meetings” to obtain local and regional input from industry participants, leaders and fans.

Lone Star Park will host one of the meetings on Monday, April 18th at 10:30am.

Those planning to attend and participate are asked to pre-register (there is no cost) at https://racingintegrity.wufoo.com/forms/z4bnwxl0ilas2b/.

TEXAS HORSE OF THE YEAR IVANFALLUNOVALOT GETS TIME OFF
Multiple stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot, a son of Valid Expectations who was the 2015 Texas Horse of the Year, will be turned out for approximately a month at owner Lewis Mathews’ farm south of Hot Springs to recover from a quarter-crack, trainer Tom Howard said Saturday morning, an injury that will keep the gelding from running in the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10 at Oaklawn. The gelding finished second in last year’s Count Fleet. 

The injury to Ivan Fallunovalot’s left front foot was detected in late February and kept the gelding out of the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 5 at Oaklawn.

Ivan Fallunovalot won the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes January 30 at Oaklawn in his 2016 debut, increasing his career earnings to $536,910.

On behalf of Mathews, Howard claimed Ivan Fallunovalot for $25,000 at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting. Ivan Fallunovalot was bred by Eileen Hartis.

TEXAS’ ARLINGTON DOWNS RACETRACK TO BE RECOGNIZED WITH HISTORICAL MARKER
The city of Arlington will hold a special ceremony on April 9 at 10 a.m. to dedicate Arlington Downs as a local landmark by placing a marker where the racetrack once stood. The location is now occupied by Everest College – Mid Cites Campus, and the address for the dedication ceremony is 300 Six Flags Drive. After the dedication, attendees are invited to continue the celebration at the historic Top O’Hill Terrace. There will be numerous speakers during the Bankhead Highway Centennial Celebration, including Martha May Martin speaking on “Arlington Downs & the W.T. Waggoner Legacy” at 5:45 p.m. 

Arlington Downs, which cost more than $2 million when it opened in 1929, enjoyed considerable success despite operating as a racetrack for less than a decade. In fact, pari-mutuel wagering was not legal at the time so a “no bet meet” was conducted that commenced on November 6, 1929. Pari-mutuel wagering was passed in 1933 and another $1 million was spent to improve the facility, which featured a 6,000-seat grandstand. Some of the top horsemen of the time raced there, including trainer Ben Jones and jockeys Tommy May, Eddie Arcaro, George Woolf, Buddy Haas, George Seabo and Johnny Longden. The Texas Derby became an important race on the road to the Kentucky Derby.

Arlington Downs was built by oil and cattle magnate William T. Waggoner, who also owned the famed Three D stock farm. The farm’s brand “DDD” was well known for racing success as well as with other equine endeavors.

Despite the popularity of Arlington Downs and other Texas tracks of the time, such as Alamo Downs in San Antonio, Fair Park in Dallas and Epsom Downs in Houston, the state of Texas outlawed pari-mutuel wagering in 1937, effectively killing the horse racing industry. Pari-mutuel wagering did not become legal again in the state for another 50 years.

The historical marker is in front of a concrete water fountain with images of horses and jockeys. It is the last intact artifact from the track in its original location. The marker and dedication ceremony aims to inform present and future generations of the impact that W.T. Waggoner and Arlington Downs has left on local, state and national history. The state of Texas also placed a historical marker for Arlington Downs in 1978.

For more information on the festivities at Top O’Hill Terrace, go to www.topohillterrace.com.

NOTES: Jim Byers has been hired by Lone Star Park as its track announcer when live racing resumes Thursday, April 7. He replaces John Lies, who resigned last month…The Texas Racing Commission will meet at 10:30a.m. on Tuesday, April 12 in Austin…Plan to attend the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at Lone Star Park on Saturday, June 18.  Invitations will be mailing soon.