NEWS AND NOTES FOR OCTOBER 18, 2013
HORSE RACING SHOW TO DEBUT ON KCLW RADIO IN TEXAS
Fred Taylor of Mojo Racing Partners is launching a horse racing radio show called “The Starting Gate” that will air on KCLW (900 AM) in Hamilton, Texas. The bi-weekly radio program will be dedicated to providing listeners with unique perspectives about the horse racing ownership experience.
Starting November 2, Mojo will produce shows that will be on the air the first and third Saturdays of each month. Links to each broadcast will be available on the Mojo Racing Partners website, and the shows will eventually be converted to podcasts.
The Starting Gate, hosted by Taylor, will take listeners out to the farms, sales companies and racetracks to introduce these perspectives. Every fourth show will feature an interview with “the experts” who breed, sell, train and come up with the strategies for horse racing success.
“Public interest in our beloved sport is waning, and I’ve created The Starting Gate to help introduce new people to the thrills of ownership with the hope they will become passionate about horse racing and possibly future participants/clients,” said Taylor about the program. “My overall goal is to give our listeners the opportunity to experience the less publicized, but more-intriguing, areas of our fantastic sport that only owners typically see and do.”
For more information, visit The Starting Gate page of the Mojo Racing Partners website.
RACE-DAY LASIX ADMINISTRATION
Since Kentucky regulators took over the administration of race-day Lasix in October of last year, scientists at the state’s official testing laboratory say the change in regulation appears to be doing its job despite problems early on.
Dr. Rick Sams, director of the HFL Sport Science testing laboratory in Lexington, Ky., reports that his team has run the numbers on Lasix levels and found that violations related to the drug are much less common than they were before the state racing commission’s veterinarians began administering it.
“If you go back a year ago, before the commission began doing these administrations, there was much wider variability,” he said. “We did a statistical analysis on the distribution of furosemide concentration before and after the commission veterinarians began treating the horses and we saw the same thing regardless of the [track and meet] comparisons we made—we saw a lower mean and a narrower distribution after the commission vets began doing the administrations.”
Urine samples are tested for the presence and the concentration of Lasix, according to Sams, both to ensure the drug was administered as reported in the program and to check whether the levels in the horse’s system are appropriate to the threshold established by the state.
A concentration of Lasix above the established threshold would indicate that the horse received too much Lasix, received it too close to the race, or received it via intramuscular injection, which is not permitted.
SHRINKING FOAL CROP WILL HAVE NATIONAL IMPACT ON RACING
Blood-Horse has published the following article by Evan Hammonds entitled Tough Losses in which he discusses the national impact of the shrinking foal crop on racing:
An interesting statistic came out of the International Simulcasting Conference held earlier this month in Lexington. Hank Zeitlin, president and COO of Equibase, reported that due to the shrinking foal crop the number of starters in Thoroughbred races in 2016 is projected to be about 39% less than it was in 2003.
Based on racing through the first nine months of this year, the projection is that by 2016 the average field size would be about six horses.
That would make for a lot of unappetizing racing for the core fans of Thoroughbred racing who prefer larger fields to produce better odds and offer more exotic options.
While the drum has been beating since the dawn of off-track wagering that simulcasting will reduce the number of racetracks and the number of races, the size of the foal crop—a racetrack’s product—will surely hasten some racetracks’ demise.
Where will that reduction come from? Who is to say, but let’s be realistic: Will tracks such as Parx and Hollywood Casino at Penn National have enough horses to offer year-round racing from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31? How about the tracks in West Virginia that run 150-plus cards a year? Will even the mighty New York Racing Association be able to conduct year-round racing?
Without some dramatic changes in the number of racing days and races per card, the bread-and-butter product of our sport would appear to be headed toward the cliff unless states are willing to work together on a realistic national racing schedule. The clock is ticking louder than ever—2016 is just more than two years away. The coming shortage of racing stock is nearly upon us, and will leave the sport with a huge hole to fill.
NOTES: The California Cup, a fixture on the fall racing calendar at Santa Anita Park since it was established in 1990, will not be contested this season; instead, it will be combined with the Sunshine Millions program this winter and will be run Jan. 25 at Santa Anita… Penn National chairman Peter Carlino said decreased regional interest in the company’s casinos and racetracks was a factor in PNG’s 11% third quarter income decline compared with the third quarter of 2012…The Breeders’ Cup announced that pre-entries for all 14 of the World Championships races at Santa Anita Park will close Monday, Oct. 21 at noon (local time at place of pre-entry). ..Tampa Bay Downs is offering a $1 million bonus payout in 2014 to the owner of any horse sweeping the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III), Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II), and Kentucky Derby… Individual Report of Mares Bred information by sire is now available for purchase via the Equineline website…The Maryland Racing Commission has approved a new rule that in the future will void any claim of a horse that dies during a race or is euthanized on the track as the result of an injury…Chamberlain Bridge, the winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint owned by Texas-based Carl R. Moore Management LLC, has been retired, after a career of 53-19-9-11 and earnings of $1,953,016… Stall applications for the 2014 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred Meet have been sent to horsemen with a requested deadline of November 18.