NEWS AND NOTES, January 17, 2013
TEXAS CHAMPIONS WEEKEND
This weekend, Sam Houston Race Park will open for its 20th annual live racing season with seven stakes set for Friday and Saturday evening, featuring Texas Breds.
Friday’s opening ten-race card will be highlighted by three $50,000 stakes. With a field of eight, Connie Scherr’s homebred Esscalator is the early favorite in the Bara Lass Stakes. H. L. Southard’s homebred Joy’s Paradise is looking to repeat her victory in the Yellow Rose Stakes where she will face 9 competitors. Smiles Golden Song is a perfect three-for-three on the grass and makes her Sam Houston Race Park debut in the San Jacinto Stakes for breeder/owner Sylvia Baird.
Saturday’s action features colts and geldings in the $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes, and the Groovy Stakes, Richard King Stakes and Spirit of Texas Stakes, each with purses of $50,000.
Coyote Legend, has a storied history in Texas Champions stakes. In 2009, the talented Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. homebred captured the $50,000 Groovy Stakes. He returned last year to win the $100,000 Star of Texas. On Saturday evening, the 6-year-old son of Gold Legend will attempt to defend his title and further add to his stakes accomplishments. Solar Charge, who won last year’s edition of the Spirit of Texas Stakes, returns to defend his title in the six-furlong sprint. The 6-year-old Authenticate gelding is owned by H & H Ranch and will be saddled by Danny Pish. The $50,000 Groovy Stakes has been a great springboard for young colts and geldings and a full field of ten will square off in Saturday’s seven-furlong feature, with Breathethefire and Buck Ninety Nine named as early favorites. The final stakes of Texas Champions Weekend is the $50,000 Richard King Stakes, for 4-year-olds and upward at a mile and one-eighth on the Connally Turf Course. The full field includes Rose Mary Chandler’s homebred Skip a Smile, and Quiet Acceleration, bred, owned and trained by Danny Pish.
Post time for Texas Champions Weekend is 7:00 p.m. on Friday and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 19.
83RD SESSION OF TEXAS LEGISLATURE UNDERWAY
When the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature convened on Tuesday, January 8th, the largest ever class of freshman legislators was in place and ready to tackle the learning curve. There were few surprises. The Texas Senate voted on rules, Joe Straus was re-elected as Speaker, Comptroller Susan Combs announced an $8.8 billion budget surplus, and state leaders called for a focus on education, infrastructure and the economy — and, perhaps, tax relief.
The Texas Tribune has some great tools for keeping up with the action. To see detailed information on our elected officials, go to http://www.texastribune.org/directory/. Another data application, http://www.texastribune.org/bidness/explore/, includes extensive research into all 180 current members of the Texas Legislature, plus the governor and lieutenant governor. It details everything from a lawmaker’s employment history and financial records to stock holdings, property listings, campaign finance data and ethics investigations. It also contains reporter analysis — compiled over the course of nine months — into legislation filed and votes taken that could conflict with a lawmaker’s personal or financial interests. To track filed legislation, go to http://www.texastribune.org/session/83R/bills/.
The legislative reference library has a wealth of information on a wide variety of topics at http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/index.cfm.
USDA ADOPTS ANIMAL DISEASE TRACEABILITY PROGRAM
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has instituted its Animal Disease Traceability Program (ADTP) to improve its ability to trace livestock, including horses, in the event of a disease outbreak. The new system applies to all livestock moving interstate. Under the new federal regulations, horses moving interstate must be identified and accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI).
CONDUCTING CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE, INCLUDING HORSES
The USDA is also preparing to conduct its 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture. Every five years, USDA conducts the census to determine the number of U.S. farms and ranches and gather vital information about U.S agriculture, including the horse community. The American Horse Council wants to ensure that the American horse community is properly accounted for in the upcoming Census. Further information can be found at www.agcensus.usda.gov. Please note completed forms are due by February 4, 2013.
Notes: The TTA website is back online with a new look – check it out…ATB Awards for the recently concluded Thoroughbred meet at Retama Park have been mailed…Ballots in the Run-off election for the final At-large position on the TTA Board of Directors must be received by close of business on Friday, January 25th…Voting for the 2012 Texas Champion Claimer Award is now open through January 25th…Mark your calendar and plan to attend the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet at Sam Houston Race Park on February 16th…Sponsorship opportunities for the Annual Meeting and Award Banquet are available – call the office for details…Too Much Bling made Bill Oppenheim’s list of Best Rated APEX (Annual Progeny Earnings Index) US Regional Sires for Consistency…The dirt track at Lone Star Park is now in the process of being resurfaced…Researchers at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences are launching a new clinical trial to investigate the use of a compound called resveratrol as a possible treatment to slow the progression of osteoarthritis, and they are seeking 40 horses to enroll in the study…We are saddened by the deaths of Ralph Arnold, Robert Gentry and Rusty Hatcher and we extend our sympathies to their families.