NEWS AND NOTES FOR SEPTEMBER 13, 2013
RETAMA PARK FALL MEET TO FEATURE SIX STAKES
When Retama Park opens for its Thoroughbred meet to run October 4 – December 28, there will be a new later post time of 7:15 p.m. Central for the Friday and Saturday night cards.
Retama’s stakes schedule is comprised of a total of six races worth a cumulative $400,000. The El Joven, for colts and geldings, and the La Senorita, for fillies, a pair of 1-mile races for 2-year-olds each worth $75,000 will be contested on November 9th.
The $50,000 Fiesta Mile for fillies and mares at a mile on turf and the $50,000 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on turf, are both restricted to horses bred in Texas and are slated for November 16th.
There will be two divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes series at Retama on December 7th. Both carry a purse of $75,000 and are for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, with the Darby’s Daughter for fillies and the My Dandy for colts and geldings.
Turf races have been scheduled to run lightly during the first two weeks of the meet. Starting with weeks three and four, the turf races that are lost will be picked up at about one race per day. After week five, the rail will be moved back in for the El Joven and La Senorita Stakes in week six.
SHRP THOROUGHBRED RACING SCHEDULE
For its 2014 Thoroughbred season comprising January 17 – March 9, Sam Houston Race Park will run Friday and Saturday nights plus Monday and Tuesday afternoons.
Traditionally, Mondays and Tuesdays are considered a soft day for racing, with few national viewing options for simulcast bettors. SHRP’s Monday afternoon racing, begun in 2011, has helped fill that void and has enjoyed healthy simulcast handle. Sunday racing at the track has seen declines in attendance and handle, so swapping that day for Tuesday afternoon racing should also be successful.
SEPTEMBER 23RD DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS FOR TTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
This winter, TTA members will elect candidates to fill five at-large director positions in addition to regional director positions for the North Central and West regions on the TTA Board of Directors. Those elected will serve three-year terms beginning in 2014.
The TTA nominating committee will be accepting recommendations for board candidates until September 23. Candidates must have been a TTA member in good standing for the past two years and a resident of Texas. Contact information for Nominating Committee members may be found on the TTA website at www.texasthoroughbred.com.
TJC BREEDING STATISTICS
The Jockey Club reports the following statistics through September 9th:
- 2,392 stallions (down 8.7%) covered 37,908 mares (down 4.8%) in North America during 2012
- 22,001 live foals of 2013 (down 2.2% with reporting approximately 90% complete; expected to reach 23,000)
- 2,891 No Foal Reports for the 2013 foaling season
Among the 10 states and provinces in which stallions covered at least 1,000 mares in 2012, only Florida and New York stallions produced more live foals in 2013 than in 2012 as reported at this time last year. The following table shows the 10 states and provinces, ranked by number of state/province-sired live foals of 2013:
’12 Mares ’12 Live ’13 Live % Change
Bred Foals Foals
Kentucky 15,569 10,960 10,726 -2.1%
Florida 3,187 1,642 1,751 6.6%
California 2,475 1,600 1,582 -1.1%
Louisiana 2,306 1,344 1,172 -12.8%
New York 1,664 713 971 36.2%
Ontario 1,350 700 684 -2.3%
Pennsylvania 1,124 628 608 -3.2%
New Mexico 1,127 585 503 -14.0%
Oklahoma 1,124 509 470 -7.7%
Texas 1,014 444 417 -6.1%
MORE NATIONAL TV EXPOSURE FOR RACING
Columnist Richard Eng recently had a great piece in the Las Vegas Review-Journal discussing horseracing’s need for national television exposure.
At the Jockey Club Round Table, Michael Mulvihill, senior vice president of programming and research at Fox Sports, reported a Nielsen Research study showed over 36.5 million people watched either the Triple Crown or the Breeders’ Cup and of that number, an incredible 92% didn’t watch any other horse racing all year.
Mulvihill stated “Over 31 million people have already demonstrated some level of interest in racing … those viewers represent an enormous opportunity for this sport.”
He foresees the new Fox Sports 1 24-hour sports network as a “vehicle that inspires passive viewers to become active players who will contribute to growth and handle. That has to be our mission.” Fan education will be an element of each broadcast.
Fox Sports 1 will cover the 2014 handicap division with 10 90-minute broadcasts beginning with the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. This schedule allows the other networks to publicize the 3-year-olds who will become the handicap division when they turn age 4.
NOTES: At a cost between $5 and $10 million, work to expand the Del Mar turf course to accommodate fields of 14 has begun…For the sixth consecutive year, Oaklawn Park has increased overnight purses… Compared with 2012, average all-sources pari-mutuel handle declined 17% at the recently completed Ellis Park summer meet, a decrease the track attributes to new competition and fewer off-track wagering outlets in Kentucky…Wagering and attendance both declined slightly during Saratoga’s 40-day meet that concluded on Labor Day…Kentucky Downs opened its 21st season of live racing Sept. 7 with a record $2,837,897 bet on the 10-race card, a 108% increase over the 2012 opening day figure. Thanks in part to money generated by Instant Racing machines, the Kentucky track has been able to significantly boost purses ($75,000 for maiden special weights) and has enjoyed full fields and increased handle…Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!