News and Notes for November 6, 2015

ATB’S IN WEEKEND STAKES
Accredited Texas-breds account for three horses in today’s 7-horse field for the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes going 7 furlongs at Remington Park.

Bret Calhoun will saddle Victoria Ashford’s homebred Bravura (Early Flyer – Coryphee) as the 2/1 favorite.  The 2-year-old colt most recently placed second in the $75,000 My Dandy Division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park on September 12th.

Trainer Shea Stuart will send out two colts for owner Danny Keene: 20/1 Valid Decision (Valid Expectations – My Girl Bess), bred by Fletcher Properties, Inc. and at 3/1, multiple stakes winner Texas Chrome (Grasshopper – Margarita Mistress), bred by Craig Upham.  With a career record of 5-4-0-1 and $179,562 in earnings, Texas Chrome’s wins include the Governor’s Cup Stakes at Zia Park on October 12th, the Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park on August 16th and the TTA Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park on July 11th.

Good luck to our Texas-breds!

FEWER HORSES SEEKING TO RACE IN HOUSTON AMID POLITICAL FIGHT
Sam Houston Race Park has received far fewer applications from horse owners seeking to participate in upcoming races than in years past.

Just 1,270 applications were submitted by this week’s deadline for the thoroughbred live racing season that begins in January, according to the track — 35.8 percent fewer than the 1,979 that came in last year.

Houston industry officials say the drop is almost certainty due to the political situation and uncertainty surrounding continued funding for the Texas Racing Commission, which could prevent the races from taking place altogether.

COMPARISON OF STATE THOROUGHBRED PURSES
The following figures were obtained from The Jockey Club State Fact Books for 2014:

State                            Total TB Purses          Race Days      Average Purse Per Day

TEXAS                        $15,022,080                115                  $130,627
LOUISIANA                $75,686,139                336                  $225,256
OKLAHOMA               $22,639,584                130                  $174,151
NEW MEXICO           $30,238,509                270                  $111,994

TTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION UNDERWAY
Ballots for the TTA Board of Directors election were mailed out on Monday, November 2 to all current TTA members, with an election deadline of December 15.

Five at-large candidates will be elected as well as a regional director for the South and Northeast regions of Texas.

The 10 candidates seeking an at-large position are John Adger (incumbent), Bethe Deal, Sonny Ellen, Terry Eoff, Phil Leckinger (incumbent), Rick Penn (incumbent), Rory Rieger, Tracy Sheffield, Sherie Smith and David Stephens DVM (incumbent).

Vying for South Region director are Jerry Moore and G. W. Oliver.

J. M. Harris and Judy Peek are running for director to represent the Northeast Region.

TVMDL RECEIVES INTERIM ACCREDITATION FROM RMTC
As reported in TheHorse.com, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Drug Testing Laboratory received interim accreditation from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board at the group’s October meeting. The laboratory is only the seventh such to achieve this status.

The laboratory annually performs more than 3,500 tests for livestock and 7,400 tests for canine and equine racing animals. Since 1989, when the Texas Racing Act gave TVMDL the responsibility for providing drug testing services to the pari-mutuel horse and greyhound racing industries, the drug testing laboratory has provided reliable screening for illegal and regulated therapeutic drugs in performance animals. Chemists work with veterinarians, offering diagnostic testing that helps ensure animal and public health.

“In order to achieve RMTC accreditation, we submitted to a rigorous application process, had a site inspection and completed the first round of an external quality assurance test,” said Travis Mays, MS, analytical chemistry section head, the section that oversees the drug testing and toxicology labs at TVMDL. “We are confident that the lab will confidently pass further inspections to fulfill the requirements for full RMTC accreditation.”

The laboratory continues to make strides in improve upon the expert testing already provided to clients. In 2014, the lab received ISO 17025 accreditation from the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) Competition Animal Drug Testing Laboratory Accreditation Program. Receiving this interim accreditation from RMTC is reflective of the superior level of service and attentiveness provided to clients by the drug testing laboratory.

CLAIMING CROWN NOMINATION DEADLINE
Gulfstream Park, which will play host to the $1.1 million Claiming Crown for the fourth consecutive year, reminds horsemen the nomination deadline is Sunday, Nov. 8.

The 17th running of the Claiming Crown will be held on Opening Day of Gulfstream’s Championship Meet Saturday, Dec. 5. The eight-race program last year handled more than $10 million. This year’s Claiming Crown has added a ninth race – a 5-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares with a purse of $110,000. The feature event will again be the $200,000 Jewel, won last year by the 17-1 longshot Catholic Cowboy.

Supplemental nominations will be made at time of entry on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Nomination forms can be found at http://claimingcrown.com/images/2015nominationform.pdf. For more information, email andys@toba.org or Michael.costanzo@gulfstreampark.com.

NOTES: Nomination forms for the 2016 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity (formerly the TTA Sales Futurity), the Texas Stallion Stakes Series for foals of 2014, the Texas Stallion Stakes Series for foals of 2015, and Texas Stallion Stakes nomination forms for stallions standing in Texas for the 2016 breeding season were mailed this week to all TTA members.  All have a December 31, 2015 deadline. Forms are also available on the TTA website at http://texasthoroughbred.com/texas-bred/forms/… Applications for scholarships through the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund are now available, with a deadline of February 15, 2016. Almost $280,000 in educational grants has been awarded since the fund’s inception in 2005.  See http://texasthoroughbred.com/ttef-scholarships/ for more information and call Mary Ruyle at 512.458.6133 to request an application.