NEWS AND NOTES FOR FEBRUARY 13, 2015
SATURDAY STAKES AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Sam Houston Race Park will present three stakes on Saturday, February 14. The Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes Series includes the $75,000 Two Altazano Stakes (race 8) and the $75,000 Jim’s Orbit Stakes (race 6), both at 7 furlongs for 3-year-olds sired by nominated Accredited Texas-bred stallions. The third feature, the $50,000 Jersey Village Turf Stakes, is for 4-year-olds and up on the Connally Turf Course.
Trainer Bret Calhoun will send out three of the six entrants in the Jim’s Orbit Stakes for colts and geldings, including Douglas Scharbauer’s Alamo City (Silver City – Most Magic) and Silverhill (Silver City – Indian Notion) along with Brad Grady’s Supermason (Grasshopper – Folksy).
Douglas Scharbauer’s Silverhill has been installed as the 9-5 morning line choice. He is a son of first crop sire, Silver City, bred by the late Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. at Valor Farm. Silverhill ran second in the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes on November 15 at Retama Park.
Witt’s Tax Day (Drums of Thunder – Bill Collector), Witt’s Runner (Drums of Thunder – Discovery Launch) and Flying Frenchman (Early Flyer – Aguascalientes) complete the field.
Robert and Myrna Luttrell’s undefeated homebred Promise Me Silver (Silver City – Uno Mas Promesa) is the 2-1 favorite in the Two Altazano Stakes for fillies. Trained by Bret Calhoun, the talented filly won her debut last May at Lone Star Park by almost seven lengths and added stakes wins at Churchill Downs, Retama Park and Fair Grounds. Her win streak remained intact with a victory in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes on January 15 at Oaklawn Park.
Danny Pish has two fillies in the seven furlong stakes. Infectious (Valid Expectations – Red Cell), a Will S. Farish home-bred, returns following her victory in the $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes here on January 16.
The seven-horse field also includes Carol’s Flyer (Early Flyer – Deep Finesse), Tea for Two (Valid Expectations – Bridal Tea); Air Ride Jones (Seneca Jones – Dixie’s Destiny), Rain Expectations (Valid Expectations – Festive Rain) and Santacafe (Early Flyer – Cafe Pacific).
In 2005, the Texas Thoroughbred Association renamed each of the Texas Stallion Stakes races to honor a famous Texas Thoroughbred. The colts and gelding division at Sam Houston Race Park has been named for Jim’s Orbit, who won the Grade 2 Ohio Derby and started in the 1988 Kentucky Derby. The fillies division is a tribute to Two Altazano, winner of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks in 1994. The accomplished mare, owned by the late Harold V. Goodman, was inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.
Bret Calhoun has fond memories of the 2014 Two Altazano Stakes victory by Fiftyshadesofgold. Bred in Texas by Clarence Scharbauer, Jr., the long-striding filly won the Two Altazano by an easy 2 1/2 length score and followed that with runner-up finish in the Grade 2, Fair Grounds Oaks and a victory in the Grade 3, Eight Belles at Churchill Downs.
The Texas Thoroughbred Association recently announced Fiftyshadesofgold as the 2014 TTA Horse of the Year. She has been retired and will be bred to Tapit.
The third stakes of the Saturday evening card is the $50,000 Jersey Village Stakes with a field of ten accredited Texas-breds competing at a mile and one-sixteenth over the Connally Turf Course.
One year ago in the Jersey Village, trainers Danny Pish and Karl Broberg had to wait on a photo finish to separate their horses, Quiet Acceleration (Silent Picture – Terrific Speed) and Fly the Red Eye (Early Flyer – Rare and Sixy), at the wire. On Saturday night, the competitive duo will meet again and face additional Texas-bred contenders and stakes winners.
Their rivals will include 7-2 favorite Magna Breeze (Magna Graduate – Flashbulb Breeze) and Special UFO (Special Rate – Mysterious Light), who finished third and fourth in the Richard King Stakes here on January 17th. They will be joined by F J Uncle Vic (Uncle Abbie – Let Her Reign), winner of the one-mile $50,000 Star of Texas Stakes and Edplicit (Explicit – Hay Costa), who captured the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes, a six furlong sprint, also run on opening weekend.
Owner and trainer Patti Turner made her first visit to Sam Houston Race Park last month with Edplicit, an 8-year-old son of Explicit. Turner cites the versatility of her runner, who will be making the 60th start of his career in the Jersey Village. He has run ten races on grass, with a record of two wins, two seconds and a third on the lawn.
Completing the field are Rule Breaker (Ish Ar – Heavenly Rules), Seeking West (Authenticate – Seeking a Storm), Valid Message (Valid Expectations – Templemartin) and Ring Necked (Too Much Bling – Wood Duck).
The Jersey Village Stakes is the ninth race on the card and will be part of the $20,000 Pick 4, which begins in race seven.
SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK JOCKEY, TRAINER AND OWNER STANDINGS
Deshawn Parker, who made his Sam Houston debut last year, remains the leader in the rider standings through the fourth week of the 2015 racing season. Parker has won 30 races. David Cabrera, who captured the riding title this year at both Lone Star Park and Retama Park, added 11 wins last week and is second with 22 victories to date.
Danny Pish, who has won the training title here three times, has won 15 races with Steve Asmussen in second place with 12 victories. Asmussen has clinched leading trainer honors at Sam Houston Race Park six times.
2014 leading owner Danny Keene and Asmussen are tied in the owner standings; each have won five races.
NEW EVENT FOR RACEHORSE REHOMING SET FOR SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
The Paddock Foundation, a non-profit organization launched by the Texas Thoroughbred Association to support and advance Thoroughbred aftercare, is pleased to announce the inaugural Roses to Ribbons Old Fashioned Horse Fair will be held March 8 at 11 a.m. at Sam Houston Race Park.
The event is designed to promote Thoroughbred horses moving to new careers after racing. There will be horses available and a chance for prospective buyers to meet with racehorse trainers and tell them what kind of horse they are looking for. Racehorse rehoming organizations will be there as well. There will also be tack available for sale and swap along with concessions. This event is also an opportunity for owners and trainers to find a new home for their racehorses who are ready to exit the racetrack.
“Part of our responsibility as racehorse owners, breeders and trainers is to help further the education and careers of hese horses once they leave the racetrack,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association. “We hope this event is another step forward in achieving that goal, and we invite everyone from the racing industry and those outside the industry to attend.”
For more information, contact the Texas Thoroughbred Association at (512) 458-6133 or visit www.texasthoroughbred.com or facebook.com/thepaddockfoundation.
EQUILOTTERY BILL CLEARS KY SENATE COMMITTEE
As reported in Blood-Horse, legislation that would permit the Kentucky General Assembly to approve a new game linking Thoroughbred racing and the state lottery unanimously cleared a Senate committee February 10.
Brad Cummings, president and chief executive officer of EquiLottery, explained the concept to the committee. The game, he said, is designed to leverage existing pari-mutuel pools, provide new revenue for Thoroughbred racing, expand its fan base, and provide more money for college scholarships in the state via the lottery statute.
Under EquiLottery, the Kentucky Lottery would sell tickets at existing lottery outlets around the state. Customers would purchase tickets with random numbers tied to specific live pari-mutuel races held in the state; a portion of the amount bet would go into the pari-mutuel pool at the racetrack.
Officials with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association told lawmakers their organizations support the concept.
“The board and president are excited about the opportunity to present racing to a much larger audience and to increase the purse structure,” Kentucky HBPA executive director Marty Maline said.
The concept is structured in that for every $2 ticket purchased, $1 would go to the lottery corporation and $1 to the pari-mutuel pool for the race of the day. Of the lottery’s share, a percentage would go to a supplemental pool for winning tickets on top of the pari-mutuel payout.
Sen. Damon Thayer, a co-sponsor of the bill, noted the proliferation of lotteries played a role in reductions in pari-mutuel handle over the years. “This is an innovative idea to marry the two,” he said.
NOTES: A state-approved 10% reduction in video lottery terminal revenue and continued softness in the regional gambling market have led officials and horsemen at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort to reduce purses…Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens was among the proponents of Instant Racing who testified Feb. 9 before an Idaho legislative committee urging lawmakers not to repeal a law that permits the electronic gaming machines at racetracks…Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s winter mixed sale ended Feb. 9 with declines overall in gross, average, and median. .. Starting with its March 2-year-olds in training sale’s under-tack show March 11-13, Ocala Breeders Sales Co. will enforce the RCI medication schedule for administering nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and bronchodilators and will incorporate the entire RCI medication schedule by the 2016 2-year-olds sales season…Stewards at Sam Houston Race Park have denied an appeal lodged by jockey Roman Chapa, ruling on Tuesday afternoon that an allegation that the rider used an electrical device on a horse at the track in January “constitutes an immediate danger to the public health, safety, and welfare.” Under the ruling, Chapa has been granted a full hearing Feb. 27 but will remain unable to ride until then…The Texas Racing Commission voted Tuesday to approve the allocation of funds for the Accredited Texas-bred Incentive Program, change the license status of Valle de los Tesoros from “Active – Other” to “Inactive”, tabled the review and designation of Saddle Brook Park’s license status until the April meeting, and granted Gulf Coast Racing’s request for live race dates in 2016, enabling the greyhound track to continue simulcasting…Nice story this week in the Paulick Report on Accredited Texas-bred I Am Jane Dough: http://www.paulickreport.com/features/breeders-cup-presents-connections/texas-homebred-overcomes-the-odds/…Deadline for receipt of Texas Thoroughbred Education Fund Scholarship Applications is Monday, February 16th.