News and Notes for September 1, 2017

There are two Accredited Texas-breds in a field of 10 for today’s $50,000 Evangeline Downs Prince Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings going 6 furlongs.

Bret Calhoun will saddle the 6/1 Wayne Sanders/Larry Hirsch homebred Kats Second Silver (Silver City – Red Thread) who broke his maiden on July 30 at Lone Star Park.

Stakes-placed Toledo Pache (Littleexpectations – Trifolium) runs for owner Susan Moulton, who purchased the colt from the Texas 2-Year-Old Sale from breeder Keith Asmussen.  He placed third in his division of the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star Park on July 22, and is trained by Brandon Jenkins with odds of 12/1.

I Want a Picture (Redding Colliery – Bond’s Babe) is a stakes-placed Louisiana-bred who also went through the Texas 2-Year-Old Sale.  Tom Julian purchased the gelding for $40,000 from the consignment of Richardson Bloodstock.  After finishing second in the $75,000 D. S. Shine Young Futurity on July 29th, he has odds of 5/1.

The $50,000 Evangeline Downs Princess Stakes for 2-year-old fillies going 6 furlongs has an Accredited Texas-bred in the field of 8. 

Shes Our Fastest (Oratory – Dawali) was bred by Eureka Thoroughbred Farm and runs for Mark Norman and Norman Stables LLC.  Trained by Scott Gelner, she is a graduate of the 2016 Texas Yearling and Mixed Sale, and broke her maiden at Prairie Meadows on August 3rd.  She has odds of 5/1.

Stakes winner Janae (Closing Argument – Debs Pet) is a Louisiana-bred graduate of both the 2016 Texas Yearling and Mixed Sale and the 2017 Texas 2-Year-Old Sale.  Bred by Jim and Sue Harris, she is trained by Brandon Jenkins for owner Susan Moulton.  She won her division of the $97,525 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star Park on July 22nd.

This evening marks the beginning of the 2017 Thoroughbred meet at Retama Park. First post is 6:45 p.m. and will feature 9 thoroughbred races followed by one quarter horse race, the $39,800 G.C.F.A. Maiden Classic Stakes, a race that was originally scheduled to run at the Gillespie County Fair last weekend but was cancelled due to the weather.

Expected to participate at this year’s Thoroughbred meet include jockeys Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez, Ted Gondron and Eguard Tejera and trainers Karl Broberg, George Bryant and Danny Pish.

The 2017 Thoroughbred Meet is presently scheduled to run every Friday and Saturday through November 11 starting at 6:45 p.m.

Due to the destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, TTA has created a page on our website to publicize resources to connect those in need with those able to assist. It will be updated regularly and there will be a link posted on the TTA Facebook page.

Five Texas track licensees, including the Gillespie County Fair, have informed the Texas Racing Commission that they will not be paying their annual license fee for the fiscal year starting September 1. The other four include two unbuilt horse tracks, Laredo Downs and Valle de los Tesoros Race Park, and two Greyhound licensees, Gulf Greyhound Park and Gulf Coast Racing. The TRC had increased license fees for the tracks starting with the next fiscal year. 

A letter from attorney William Moltz to the Commission included the following: “The purpose of this letter is to inform you on behalf of the management of those racetracks that the annual fees set forth in such invoices will not be paid by the racetracks’ management. Further, the management of each track acknowledges that such will result in a lack of authorization to continue operations and, therefore, all operations requiring a Racing Commission license at each referenced facility will cease at or before the close of business on August 31, 2017. Please advise as to how the Racing Commission would like to proceed in light of this complete cessation of licensed operations.”

The move comes as the TRC is facing a budget shortfall that could come to a head at the end of September. Three other licensees for unbuilt tracks, Saddle Brook Park, Laredo Race Park and Longhorn Downs, previously indicated they will not renew their licenses.

Gillespie recently completed their live racing for the year, so the shutdown currently affects only their simulcast operations. If a resolution is found, simulcast operations at Gillespie could resume rather quickly.

For now, operations at the state’s three Class 1 tracks, Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park and Retama Park, are expected to continue. The tracks are currently working on a resolution to the funding issue with the TRC and government officials.

The next TRC meeting is scheduled for September 20th in Austin.

NOTES: Our condolences to the family of E. Fred Currie, who passed away on August 2 at the age of 82.  Fred was a lifetime TTA member and served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors from 1999 – 2001…The TTA office will be closed on Monday, September 4th in observance of Labor Day.