News and Notes for October 9, 2015

THIS SATURDAY AT RETAMA PARK
The Paddock Foundation’s Roses to Ribbons Event will be held at Retama Park in San Antonio from 11-1pm. Racehorses who are ready for new careers will be available for viewing and purchase in the paddock. If you’re looking for a horse that is already re-trained, there will be well broke track pony horses there too! Come shopping at the tack swap and vendors booths! Some currently available horses are listed at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.905153629563378.1073741830.348104978601582&type=3&uploaded=1

Roses to Ribbons attendees will receive complimentary admission to the races on Saturday evening.

Along with a full card of Thoroughbred racing, Retama Park Race Track is giving away a trip package to see the Texas Rangers Playoff game! Come to their MLB Postseason Kick Off event – enjoy live racing, wear MLB fan gear, and enter to win the Rangers trip giveaway.

TTA MEMBER ACTION ALERT!
We have learned that if funding is not received by November 1, the Texas Racing Commission will begin the process of shutting down the agency.

Please call your elected representatives and the members of the Legislative Budget Board today and let them know that the Texas Racing Commission must be fully funded. In addition to phone calls, please follow up with a personal letter.

Gov. Greg Abbott 512-463-2000  Must use form at https://gov.texas.gov/contact/
Rep. Joe Straus 512-463-1000     joe.straus@speaker.state.tx.us
Lt. Gov Dan Patrick 512-463-0001   logan@danpatrick.com or LTGConstituent.Affairs@ltgov.state.tx.us
Sen. Jane Nelson 512-463-0112      jane.nelson@senate.state.tx.us
Sen. Kevin Eltife 512-463-0101       kevin.eltife@senate.state.tx.us
Sen. Juan Hinojosa 512-463-0120  juan.hinojosa@senate.state.tx.us
Sen. Joan Huffman 512-463-0117   joan.huffman@senate.state.tx.us
Rep. Drew Darby 512-463-0331     drew.darby@house.state.tx.us
Rep. John Otto 512-463-0570        john.otto@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Sylvester Turner 512-463-0554  sylvester.turner@house.state.tx.us

Others:
State Comptroller Glenn Hegar  512.463.4444  comptroller.help@cpa.state.tx.us
Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller   512.463.1408  sid.miller@texasagriculture.gov

Also, call your own Senator and Representative to contact the LBB to express their support for full funding of the TRC on behalf of the horsemen in their district. To find who represents you, go to:
http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Suggested talking points are available at:

http://texasthoroughbred.com/…/Talking-Points-for-Horsemen.…

You may also go to http://www.savetexashorses.com/ for information and to easily send an email to Legislators.

TTA ACTION SEEKING FULL FUNDING OF THE TRC
This week, TTA sent letters via email and regular postal mail to every Senator, Representative, and their chiefs of staff urging full and immediate funding of the Texas Racing Commission. Letters also were sent to the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, Comptroller and Commissioner of Agriculture.

Last week, we requested personal meetings with the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and are waiting to hear back from them.

THOROUGHBRED RACING ECONOMIC INDICATORS
A strong September in terms of handle on U.S. races helped wagering figures through the first three quarters of 2015 stay in the black, according to Thoroughbred racing economic indicators released October 5 by Equibase.

Through the end of September, wagering on U.S. races was up 0.86% to more than $8.3 billion compared with $8.23 billion the first nine months of 2014. Year-over-year handle on U.S. races has improved just twice in the past 11 years.

U.S. purses have not fared as well through the first nine months, down 1.77% to $831,498,950.

Handle and purse figures have been impacted by a 5.05% decline in races this year, 30,729, compared with 2014 when 32,362 were run. Average handle per race is up 7.7% this year to $236,895 and the average purse per race is up 5.2% to $28,875.

NOTES: The next meeting of the Texas Racing Commission is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 13 in Austin. The agenda includes allocation of live race dates for horse racetracks for the period beginning January 1, 2016 and ending August 31, 2018.