LIVE THOROUGHBRED RACING RETURNS TO RETAMA PARK
Tuesday, July 31 marks the first day of Thoroughbred racing at Retama Park. On both Tuesday and Wednesday there are 9 races carded at distances from 5 furlongs to 1 mile on dirt and turf, including 3 races restricted to Accredited Texas-breds. Post time each day is 6:45pm.
LSP SEASON ENDS WITH RECORD-SETTING GAINS IN AVERAGE DAILY HANDLE
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie concluded its 22nd Thoroughbred season on July 19th with a record increase of 14.7% in average daily handle over 2017. That increase tops last year’s increase over 2016 of 11.7%, which set a track record a year ago. Daily average on-track handle on Lone Star increased 5.7% from 2017, and daily average export handle increased by 17.6%.
Especially noticeable is the growth over the last two seasons. Daily average export handle increased 36.4% from 2016 and is indicative of the increased awareness from a high-definition upgrade to video production beginning with the 2018 season, as well as airing races on the TVG Network beginning in 2017. Additionally, the racing product was more attractive to bettors, with an average field size of 8.4 starters per race, which was above the industry average and nearly a one-horse-per-race increase over 2017. The field size was helped by a purse increase this season.
The all sources handle daily average of just over $1 million per day is the highest daily average since the 2010 Thoroughbred season. Daily average attendance also increased 3.3% over 2017. The highest attended days included Extreme Racing, Triple Crown days and the July 4 Fireworks Celebration, which each had attendance of over 10,000.
The $200,000 Steve Sexton Mile (Gr. III) took place on Sunday, May 6 and featured the 2018 debut of Girvin, as well as a dominant victory by Bee Jersey for trainer Steve Asmussen. Bee Jersey, who went on to win the Metropolitan Handicap (Gr. I) at Belmont Park, has found his way onto the list of top horses of the year and looks to continue his dirt mile dominance this fall. This marked the second consecutive year the winner of the Sexton Mile went on to win the Metropolitan. Mor Spirit completed the feat in 2017. The all source handle for the day of $1,881,228 was an increase of 19% over 2017 and the biggest single day all source handle since 2011.
The $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (Gr. III) took place on Sunday, May 27 and featured an upset victory by Shotgun Kowboy. The winner defeated favorite Mubtaahij, who was ridden by Mike Smith. Smith shipped in to ride during his Triple Crown bid. The day saw an all source handle of $1,765,172, which was a 52% increase from 2017. Also featured was a $100,000 Guaranteed Late Pick-4, a first for the track, which attracted a record pool of $138,547.
Sunday, July 15 was Stars of Texas Day and featured four Texas-bred stakes with purses totaling $300,000. The all source handle of $1,630,401 was an increase of 35% from 2017 and the largest Stars of Texas Day handle since 2009.
Richard Eramia led all jockeys by wins and earnings. He recorded 77 wins from 264 starts, with earnings of $1,139,587. This was the second Lone Star Park riding title for Eramia. He won his first in 2017.
Karl Broberg was top trainer, scoring 69 wins from 230 starts. This was Broberg’s fourth training title. He won previously in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Broberg’s End Zone Athletics was the leader in the owner standings, with 39 wins from 111 starts.
119 CATALOGED FOR TEXAS YEARLING AND MIXED SALE
The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park have announced a catalog of 119 head for the upcoming Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale. The auction will be held August 27 at noon at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park.
Other sale events include a pre-sale party on the night of August 26 and a seminar that morning with representatives from The Jockey Club and equineline.com explaining the new digital certificates for foal registration. The seminar will include a demonstration of the new process and a question and answer session, so the TTA encourages all horsemen to attend in order to better understand the upcoming changes.
The catalog includes 90 yearlings and 29 weanlings and broodmares. Many of the weanlings and broodmares are consigned by the Estate of Ed Few. The noted Texas breeder and owner passed away earlier this year.
“I think the quality of the catalog has ticked up a notch this year,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We had two Texas-breds sell at this auction for $100,000 apiece last year, and that really proved that the market is still vibrant here for horses in Texas and around the region.”
For an online catalog and live video on sale day, go to www.ttasales.com.
NOTES: Congrats to Texas stallion Mr. Besilu who recently had his first winner with She B Glamorous at Canterbury Park…Call the TTA at 512.458.6133 to reserve your seat at The Jockey Club Seminar on Digital Foal Certificates on August 26 at Lone Star Park. There is no cost to attend…The TRC Rules Committee will meet in Austin at 10:30am on Tuesday, July 31st…The next meeting of the TTA Board of Directors will be at 10:30am on Saturday, August 25 at Lone Star Park.