NEWS AND NOTES FOR JANUARY 13, 2017

ttastar150TTA INTERNET AUCTION OF 2017 STALLION BREEDINGS ENDS TODAY AT 5 PM
The third and final round of internet bidding for 2017 stallion breedings is active and will close today at 5pm Central. Go to http://texasthoroughbred.com/stallion-register/online-stallion-auction/ to view available stallions and place your bid.

SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK POSTPONES TEXAS CHAMPIONS WEEKEND STAKES
As per their press release, Sam Houston Race Park (SHRP) has postponed and will reschedule at a date to be determined seven $50,000 Thoroughbred stakes races scheduled for Friday, January 20th and Saturday, January 21st as part of Texas Champions Weekend. SHRP will write and card extra overnight races to replace the postponed races, which were planned as part of the Houston racetrack’s annual opening weekend festivities. The decision was made due to the equine herpes virus outbreak in Louisiana at Fair Grounds racetrack.

Sam Houston Race Park has placed restrictions on horses shipping into the track that would have limited entries for the Texas Champions stakes races. The policy is designed to protect the current Houston-based horse population from the virus. The track has not had a case of the virus. 

The decision impacts the $50,000 San Jacinto Turf Stakes, $50,000 Yellow Roses Stakes, $50,000 Bara Lass Stakes, $50,000 Star of Texas Stakes, $50,000 Richard King Turf Stakes, $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes and the $50,000 Groovy Stakes.

Sam Houston Race Park’s 2017 Thoroughbred Racing Season begins on Friday January, 20th. Friday and Saturday post times are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., respectively. The tradition of lunch-time racing at the Park will continue every Monday and Tuesday afternoon, with a new 12:00 p.m. post time.

For more information on the challenges associated with the EHV-1 outbreak , see the article at http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/new-protocols-tests-fair-grounds-ehv-1-outbreak-least-45-day-process/.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions bulletin on EHV, available at http://www.aaep.org/info/horse-health?publication=753

TEXAS CHROME AIMING FOR 2017 DEBUT IN OAKLAWN HANDICAP
Multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome should arrive at Oaklawn in early February to begin preparing for his 4-year-old campaign, trainer J.R. Caldwell said Tuesday morning, adding he’s targeting the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 15 for the Texas-bred’s comeback spot.

Texas Chrome is at owner Danny Keene’s Friendswood Farm in Hot Springs, Caldwell said, following a 2016 season highlighted by victories in the $400,000 Super Derby (G3) September 10 at Louisiana Downs and $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) September 25 at Remington Park.

“He had a hard little campaign,” Caldwell said. “We gave him some time off to grow up a little bit and get ready for his 4-year-old campaign.” 

Texas Chrome’s eight-race 2016 schedule began with a third-place finish in last April in Oaklawn’s $150,000 Bachelor Stakes. In addition to the Super Derby and Oklahoma Derby, he won the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes May 15 at Lone Star Park and the $100,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes August 6 at Louisiana Downs.

Keene purchased Texas Chrome, a Texas-bred son of Grasshopper, for $10,000 at the Texas Yearling Sale. The colt bred by Craig Upham has bankrolled $842,807 off eight victories from 14 lifetime starts.

LONE STAR PARK SETS STAKES SCHEDULE FOR 2017 THOROUGHBRED MEET
The 2017 Thoroughbred stakes schedule at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie will offer 11 stakes worth a combined $1 million in purses, headlined by the $200,000 Texas Mile (G3) on Sunday, May 4, and the $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) on Sunday, May 28. The 50-day meeting runs Thursday, April 20 through Sunday, July 30.

The Texas Mile and the Lone Star Park Handicap, both Grade 3 events, are for three-year-olds and up. The Lone Star Park Handicap will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth. 

Four Texas-bred stakes make up the Stars of Texas Day card on Saturday, July 22 – the $100,000 divisional Texas Thoroughbred Futurities at five furlongs; the $50,000 Valor Farm for fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up at six furlongs; and the $50,000 Assault for three-year-olds and up at one mile.

A pair of $75,000 divisional Texas Stallion Stakes for three-year-olds and up will be run at one mile on Saturday, May 27.

Keeping with tradition, the $50,000 Premiere Stakes will open the meet and kick off the stakes action. The Premiere is for Texas-bred three-year-olds and up at six and a half furlongs. It is the scheduled first race on opening night, Thursday, April 20.

The remaining stakes on the schedule are the $50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial for Texas-bred females, three-year-olds and up on Sunday, April 23, and the $50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes for Texas-bred females, three-year-olds and up on the turf at seven and a half furlongs on Saturday, June 24.

NTRA ESTABLISHES PROCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS TO URGE TREASURY TO ENACT PROPOSED PARI-MUTUEL REGS; SUBMITS RESPONSE ON BEHALF OF INDUSTRY
According to a press release, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that a system has been established at https://www.ntra.com/comment for individuals to submit an e-mail comment directly to the United States Treasury Department in support of newly proposed regulations related to withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel winnings.

The proposed regulations, which would replace outdated regulations adopted nearly 40 years ago, more accurately reflect today’s pari-mutuel wagering environment and will positively impact a significant percentage of winning wagers, particularly those involving multi-horse or multi-race exotic wagers. It is believed that the proposed changes will result in tens of millions of dollars in additional pari-mutuel wagering annually. If adopted, the new regulations will not only promote greater compliance and more accurate reporting and withholding by taxpayers but also reduce burdensome and needless paperwork system-wide. 

Efforts spearheaded by the NTRA on behalf of the industry over the past two and a half years came to fruition on December 30 when Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed guidelines designed to modernize withholding and reporting regulations. The 31-page Treasury document, “Withholding on Payments of Certain Gambling Winnings,” clarifies the phrase “the amount of the wager” to include the entire amount wagered into a specific pari-mutuel pool by an individual – not just the winning base unit as is the case today.

“A unified message of support is critical as the horse racing industry urges Treasury and the IRS to finalize the proposed regulations,” Waldrop added.

NOTES: Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Texas Racing Commissioner John Steen III of Houston as the Commission’s presiding officer…Congrats to TTA member Bill Casner of Flower Mound, who was recently inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame… Texas-bred Thegirlinthatsong, a Grade 2 winner by Valor Farm stallion My Golden Song, sold for $210,000 at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. The 6-year-old mare bred by Clarence Scharbauer Jr. sold in foal to Honor Code.  She was named the 2015 Texas Champion Older Filly/Mare…Send in your consignment now for the April 4 Texas 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale.  See http://www.ttasales.com/forms/ for more information.