News and Notes for February 2, 2018

Graded stakes winner Ivanfallunovalot (Valid Expectations – Flashdance Missy) is the 8-5 favorite in a field of 8 in Saturday’s $125,000 King Cotton Stakes for 4-year-olds and up going 6 furlongs at Oaklawn Park.  Trained by W. T. Howard for Lewis E. Mathews Jr., the gelding has a career record of 29-17-5-1 with a bankroll of $961,403 and a win here will put him over the $1 million mark.

He placed fourth in the King Cotton last year after winning it in 2015 and 2016.  The tenacious 8-year-old also won the $150,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes in each of the past four years.

Bred by Eileen Hartis, Ivanfallunovalot was named Texas Champion Older Male in 2015 and 2016, and Texas Horse of the Year in 2015.

At the January 27 meeting of the TTA board of directors, Henry Witt Jr. of Waco was elected to the office of Secretary/Treasurer to fill the vacancy left by outgoing director Fred Taylor Jr.  A complete slate of officers will be elected in June.

The date for the next regular meeting of the board is yet to be determined.

Texas Chrome will be named the Texas Horse of the Year for the second consecutive time at the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s annual meeting and awards ceremony on June 23rd at Lone Star Park. With live racing during the day this year, awards will be presented during a luncheon.

Texas Chrome competed in five graded stakes during 2017 with a trio of second-place finishes in the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3) and Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) in his home state and also in the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) in Iowa. Texas Chrome also won the Assault Stakes at Lone Star Park and in the process went over the $1-million mark in earnings for Danny Keene’s Keene Thoroughbreds LLC. The now 5-year-old stallion has since been retired to stud with a career record of 22-9-4-3 and earnings of $1,033,262. He will also be awarded the title of Texas Champion Older Horse. 

Texas Chrome, a $10,000 purchase by Keene at the 2014 Texas Summer Yearling Sale, was bred by Craig Upham and sired by Grasshopper, who previously stood at Lane’s End Texas and now stands at Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas. Upham and his wife, Sue Dowling, consigned Texas Chrome to the sale as Stoneview Farm.

Texas Chrome’s half sister, Patrona Margarita, will be honored as Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Filly after the daughter of Special Rate won the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs and ran third in the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star Park. Bred and owned by Upham, Patrona Margarita is out of the Texas-bred Naevus mare Margarita Mistress, who will be named Texas Champion Broodmare for the second year in a row.

Longtime Texas breeders and owners Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch also scored dual honors as their homebreds Kat’s Infatuation and Zippit E earned the titles of Texas Champion 3-Year-Old Filly and Texas Champion Older Filly/Mare, respectively.

Following is the complete list of the 2017 champion horses:

2-Year-Old Filly: Patrona Margarita (by Special Rate) • Owner/Breeder: Craig D. Upham;
2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Redatory (by Oratory) • Owner/Breeder: James Wessel; 3-Year-Old Filly: Kat’s Infatuation (by Silver City) • Owner/Breeder: Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch; 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Durocher (by Niagara Causeway) • Owner: Sterling Racing LLC, John Herzberg and Michelle Allan • Breeder: La Bahia Stud Inc.; Older Filly/Mare: Zippit E (by My Golden Song) • Owner/Breeder: Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch; Horse of the Year and Older Horse: Texas Chrome (by Grasshopper) • Owner: Keene Thoroughbreds LLC • Breeder: Craig Upham; Champion Broodmare: Margarita Mistress.

The 2017 Texas champions were determined by points earned in stakes performances during the year.

The award for the Texas Champion Claimer will be determined by an online vote to be available on the TTA website shortly.

Texas Chrome will enter stud this season in Arkansas according to his owner, Danny Keene.

Texas Chrome retired last year after becoming just the second Texas-bred Thoroughbred to reach $1 million in earnings, behind champion Groovy.

Keene said Texas Chrome will stand this year at his Keene Thoroughbreds.  He has a training center at the farm and said next year he will have a separate breeding facility completed in Hot Springs and that Texas Chrome will move there. Keene is breeding a number of his own mares to Texas Chrome, but also will offer the horse commercially to approved mares for a fee of $3,000.

The upcoming Electronic Logging Device deadline has sparked an animated discussion within the horse industry. The AHC would like to note that these are federal regulations that are left to state officials to be enforced. This division of responsibilities, and potentially divergent interpretation, is the basis for the sense of confusion felt across the industry.

In that light, the AHC is working collectively with the larger livestock industry to seek more concise and plainly presented expectations for the equine industry to follow.  For more information, go to

NOTES: Through one month of racing, trainer Steve Asmussen leads all North American trainers in earnings ($7,909,990), starts (136) and total number of starters (122)…The first sustaining payment of $250 for the Texas Sales Futurity has a postmark deadline of February 15th. Contact Jennifer in the TTA office at 512.458.6133 with any questions…The next meeting of the Texas Racing Commission is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, February 13th in Austin…Condition books for the Lone Star Park 2018 Thoroughbred meet are now available at…After a record number of applications, 794 trainers were accepted to compete at the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover, with 14 of them from Texas and including Lynn Reardon of LOPE.  See more at…The next Roses to Ribbons event will be on Saturday, March 10 at Sam Houston Race Park… Trainer Bret Calhoun said Texas Chrome’s half-sister Patrona Margarita is being pointed to the Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds.