NEWS AND NOTES FOR DECEMBER 20, 2013

NEWS AND NOTES FOR DECEMBER 20, 2013

TTA BOARD ELECTION RESULTS
As of January 1st, the TTA Board of Directors will welcome back three incumbents and welcome aboard four new directors to serve three year terms expiring in December 2016.

With five at-large board positions available, incumbents Keith Asmussen, Ken Carson and Henry Witt Jr. were re-elected. Stan Huntsinger of Waco and Bill Tracy of Fredericksburg were elected to fill the remaining two positions.  Phil L. Adams of Gainesville was elected to represent the North Central Region and Alfred Vardeman, DVM of Colorado City will be representing the West Region.

A total of 66 ballots were tabulated for the North Central Region, 19 for the West Region and 272 ballots for the At-large election.

We would like to thank all the candidates for their interest in serving on the board, and look forward to their continued participation in association activities.

SPECIAL HOUSTON HOTEL RATES FOR TTA MEMBERS
Hampton Inn Houston Brookhollow located at 12909 Northwest Freeway is now offering special rates of $69 per night on King Rooms and $79 per night for Queen Double Rooms, with Hampton’s free hot breakfast.

For individual reservations please call the hotel directly at 713-939-7100 and request the Sports Rate, or when making reservations online at www.houstonbrookhollow.hamptoninn.com, just click on “special rate code” and enter 0560012594, then input Texas Thoroughbred Association under “company name”.

IMPORTANT DATES FOR SHRP RACING
The Sam Houston Race Park meet is fast approaching, and track management and the Texas Thoroughbred Association would like to keep you informed about the important dates and major events coming up: Monday, December 16 – stable area opens; Thursday, December 26 – racetrack opens for training; Wednesday, January 8 – nominations for Texas Champions Weekend stakes close; Friday, January 10 – nominations close for the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, $200,000 G3 Connally Turf Cup, $75,000 Champion Energy Stakes and $50,000 Allen’s Landing Stakes; and Monday, January 13 – first day of entries.

OWNERVIEW TO HOST NATIONAL OWNERSHIP CONFERENCE IN OCTOBER
According to a recent press release, OwnerView, the website and information resource developed by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to assist both current and prospective Thoroughbred owners, will host a national, two-day Thoroughbred ownership conference in October 2014 at Keeneland Race Course.

The conference, sponsored jointly by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Keeneland Association, The New York Racing Association, Inc., and the Stronach Group, will feature panel discussions with prominent industry participants as well as an exhibit hall and several informational and educational networking events with owners and industry representatives.

Additional details about the conference, including dates, will be announced in the coming weeks.

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.

Additional information about OwnerView is available at ownerview.com or by contacting Gary Falter at gfalter@jockeyclub.com or (859) 224-2803.

ILLINOIS RACING ON A FISCAL CLIFF?
A year that began with grand expectations for Illinois racing due to expanded gaming is ending with a cliffhanger:  Will state lawmakers provide a last-minute reprieve from the sport’s virtual execution?

Without action during a one-day session on Jan. 29, the Illinois Racing Board will be without funding to regulate a full season of live racing and will implement a doomsday schedule.

Under that scenario, Hawthorne Race Course’s live schedule would be trimmed from this year’s 101 programs to just 15; Arlington Park’s from 89 to 49; and Fairmount Park from 69 to just 10 programs.

The heart of the problem is that authorization for advance-deposit wagering in Illinois expires at the end of January. Taxes on ADW are the primary support mechanism for the IRB.

All parties agreed in late November to proposed legislation that would have fixed the funding shortfall. But that measure, despite assurances it would be considered, was not called for a vote at a Dec. 3 special session of the legislature.

The IRB scheduled a Jan. 31 session to consider what to do after legislative action—or inaction.

NOTES: Best of luck to Pure Tactics, running for owner/trainer Morris Nicks in the $75,000 Buddy Diliberto Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds on Saturday…Racetrack and casino owner Churchill Downs Inc. has now joined the board of the American Gaming Association, which is the casino industry’s largest lobbying group. Racetrack owners Pinnacle Entertainment which owns Retama Park and Penn National Gaming Inc, owner of Sam Houston Race Park, are also members…New York racetrack Finger Lakes has announced the launch of its advance-deposit wagering site, FingerLakesBonusBets.com…The official trailer for the movie ’50-1,’ which documents Mine That Bird’s journey to victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, has been released and the movie is scheduled to hit theaters in March 2014…New stallion seasons have just been added to the list of 2014 seasons available through the TTA internet auction. Check them out at http://texasthoroughbred.com/stallion-register/online-stallion-auction/… Sam Houston Race Park announced a partnership with HRTV and Fox Sports Southwest to broadcast the January 25th Houston Ladies Classic… Congratulations to owner Wesley Melcher and trainer Bret Calhoun for Louies Flower’s win in the Springboard Mile at Remington Park… TTA member Wes Melcher’s Double Infinity Ranch is also the subject of the latest Southwest Feature on bloodhorse.com…The TTA office will be closed on December 24 – 25, and January 1st…We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!