News and Notes for February 3, 2017

ttastar150TEXAS-BRED IVAN FALLUNOVALOT IN KING COTTON AT OAKLAWN
Ivan Fallunovalot, the 2015 Texas Horse of the Year and 2016 Texas Champion Older Horse,  will make his scheduled 7-year-old debut as the 6/5 favorite in a field of 9 in Saturday’s $125,000 King Cotton Stakes for older sprinters.

The 7-year-old Valid Expectations gelding is looking for a 3-peat after winning the King Cotton in 2015 and 2016.

Trainer W. T.Howard claimed Ivan Fallunovalot for $25,000 at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting on behalf of owner Lewis Mathews Jr.

Bred by Eileen Hartis, Ivan Fallunovalot has won four consecutive races, the last coming in the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) November 19 at Laurel Park. He has amassed $800,808 in career earnings, winning 15 of 24 starts.

TEXAS THOROUGHBRED SALE FUTURITY DEADLINE
February 15 is the deadline for the second payment ($250) in the $100,000-estimated 2017 Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity.  The 5 furlong race is scheduled for Saturday, July 22 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie.

TTA SALE CATALOGS
Because of rising postage and printing costs, the TTA will only mail printed sale catalogs to horsemen who request them.  We have found that the majority of buyers and consignors instead prefer to access our online interactive catalog, featuring photos and videos at www.ttasales.com.

If you would like to continue receiving sale catalogs by US mail, please let us know which catalog(s) you wish to receive. Contact us by calling 512.458.6133, fax to 512.453.5919, email to maryr@texasthoroughbred.com, using the online request form at www.ttasales.com, or send a note to us at 4009 Banister Ln, Ste 230, Austin, TX 78704.

We look forward to seeing you at the sales!

UPDATE ON TEXAS CHAMPION CLAIMER AWARD
Yesterday we sent an email about voting for the Texas Champion Claimer, but we mistakenly left one horse off the list who met the criteria to be included. In fairness to that horse and its connections, we have cleared the small number of votes already cast and restarted the voting. So if you have already voted, we ask that you please cast your vote again. We apologize for the mistake.

The updated list of candidates comprises Afoolsbrokenheart, Alamo City, Kitty Blonde, and Slew’s Song.

The Texas Champion Claimer Award is for Texas-breds who won at least three claiming or allowance/optional claiming races at Texas racetracks and earned at least $30,000 in total for 2016. The winning horse and his or her connections will be recognized alongside the other 2016 Texas Champions at the TTA Annual Conference and Awards Banquet at Lone Star Park this summer.

The winner of the Texas Champion Claimer Award will be determined by online voting. Only one vote will be counted per person and automated attempts to vote or duplicate votes will be disallowed. Voting closes on Friday, February 24 at 5 p.m. Central.

To read more about each horse and cast your vote, go to http://texasthoroughbred.com/vote-now-for-the-2016-texas-champion-claimer/

SIGNIFICANT’ HANDLE INCREASE REPORTED FOR HOUSTON RACING FESTIVAL According to a press release, it was an exceptional Sunday afternoon of racing on January 29 at Sam Houston Race Park. For the second time in the racetrack’s 24-year history, two graded stakes were contested and noted owners, trainers and jockeys shipped in for both the Grade 3, $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic and the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Turf Cup.

Officials reported that the handle for the Houston Racing Festival, which also included the $75,000 Frontier Utilities Turf Sprint, $50,000 Houston Distaff and $50,000 Space City Stakes was up 22% from 2016, making this the highest handle reported for the Houston Racing Festival since the inaugural running of the Houston Ladies Classic in 2013.

“We were pleased to host an outstanding afternoon of racing and showcase some the highest level of competition at Sam Houston Race Park,” said Sam Houston Race Park President, Andrea Young. “In its fifth running, the Houston Racing Festival continues to stand out on the national racing scene and was well supported by local fans and simulcast players across the country.”

NOTES: The Texas Racing Commission meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 16 at a time and location to be determined…Saturday is “dollar day” at Sam Houston Race Park with $1 admission, programs, sodas, hotdogs and beer from 4:30 – 10pm.  The evening will include family friendly fun with Swifty Swine Pig Races between horse races. There are 9 horse races carded, with a post time of 6pm.