News and Notes for March 22, 2013


March 22, 2013


Sam Houston Race Park concluded its 20th annual live Thoroughbred meet on March 18. The 33-day racing season was highlighted by a series of high profile stakes races and notable attendance and handle gains.

The revamped stakes schedule in 2013 was anchored by the richest Thoroughbred race in Texas and in Sam Houston Race Park history. Along with three additional stakes, the inaugural $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, was televised nationally on HRTV and locally on Fox Sports Southwest.

Daily purses were up 5% from 2012 to $170,000 per day, compared to $162,000 in 2012. For the third consecutive year Sam Houston Race Park was able to offer the highest purse structure since opening in 1994. In total, the meet featured 23 stakes races with purses of $1.7 million, including four new stakes for Texas-breds.

Increases were noted in both on-track and total handle. Total handle was up 2% with $43,917,000 wagered compared to $43,071,000 last year. Total on-track handle from Houston fans increased 9%. Monday afternoon racing continued to be well-received by racing fans. On both February 11 and March 18, Sam Houston Race Park led the nation in handle for the live cards.

Live attendance was up 10% from 2012 with sizeable crowds for several of the racing festival events. On March 9, Sam Houston Race Park hosted the second annual Camel and Ostrich Races. The highly entertaining evening attracted a crowd of 14,818, topping the record-setting attendance of 12,389 in 2012.

Danny Pish notched his fourth training title at the track, winning 27 races, and jockey Gerardo Mora captured his first Sam Houston Race Park leading rider title with 47 victories. Tom Durant won his second leading owner title with 16 wins and Joyful Victory was named the 2013 horse of the meet.

It is time for Texas horsemen to stand up and be heard – so do not miss this opportunity! Our legislation has been filed and referred to committees, and hearings are expected very soon. SB 789 and SJR 36 (proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize video lottery terminals at licensed Texas racetracks) have been referred to the Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters. It is now time for you to do the following: 

Please contact each member of the Subcommittee as soon as possible, via email, fax or telephone and ask for their support. Then let us know the content of your message and any reply you receive. Be sure to thank them for their time and emphasize that this legislation allows the citizens of Texas to vote on the issues:

Chair:Glenn Hegar   512.463.0118           512.475.3736-Fax                
Joan Huffman            512.463.0117          512.463.0639-Fax                
Eddie Lucio               512.463.0127            512.463.0061-Fax                
Jane Nelson               512.463.0112            512.463.0923-Fax                
John Whitmire         512.463.0115           512.475.3737-Fax                

Texas HORSE (Horse Organizations for Racing, Showing and Eventing) will hold “Horse Week at the Capitol” on April 1-5. As a member organization of Texas HORSE, TTA is calling for Texas horse owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, track employees and racing fans to come to Austin the week of April 1-5 to meet their Texas State Senators and Representatives to tell their story and ask for the legislators’ support for initiatives beneficial to the Texas horse industry.

To make reservations and receive assistance in arranging visits with their elected officials, participants should call one of these organizations: Texas HORSE at (817) 845-2917 or (512) 934-2974; TTA at (512) 458-6133; or TQHA at (512) 458-5202. Online registration is available at

For more information on any bill, go to and enter the specific bill number. If you do not know who represents you, you may go to or call the TTA office at 512.458.6133.

Lone Star Park has designated Saturday, March 23 as “Customer Appreciation Day” where all Star Player Rewards members will receive a coupon to spin the wheel for great prizes. Each spin coupon will count as an entry into a drawing for the grand prize, a trip for two to the 2013 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park, including airfare and hotel accommodations. The prize wheel will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with prizes including mutuel vouchers, RaceBook programs and extra entries into the grand prize drawing. Just print your coupon from the Star Player Rewards kiosk before the 3 p.m. deadline.


  • Beginning Wednesday, March 13: 7:00 am to 10:00 am, no break; OPEN on Sunday, March 24
  • Beginning Monday, March 25: 7:00 am to 11:00 am, no break
  • Monday, April 1 – Under Tack Show Day for Fasig-Tipton Texas Sale: 6:00 am to 9:00 am, no break
  • Beginning Tuesday, April 2: 6:00 am to 10:00 am, break at 8:00 am
  • Starting Gate Schooling: Begins Tuesday, March 26, 2013
  • TattooerCall (254)722-8436 to schedule
  • ClockerEvery day
  • State VetApril 3 & then Fridays – Please call 972-237-5012 to schedule a time.

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has determined Kleberg County (located in south Texas) equids could be at high risk for exposure to equine piroplasmosis (EP) and will begin testing animals in that county for the disease on Monday, April 8.

“The TAHC is asking for the support of equine owners and veterinarians to make this testing effort a success and help assure the health of the equine population,” said Dee Ellis, DVM, Texas state veterinarian.

Kleberg County equine owners or veterinary practitioners who have questions are asked to contact the Region 5 office at 361/358-3234.

NOTES… There will be a meeting of the Texas Racing Commission Committee on Rules at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26…A “Welcome Back” party to benefit the Lone Star Park Charitable Foundation for Grand Prairie is scheduled for Wednesday evening, April 17th…VIP Tickets for the Randy Rogers Band, Gary Allan, Josh Turner, Pat Green & Billy Currington concerts at LSP are on sale now…Please note that the Lone Star Music Series has an age policy for all concerts; you must be 18 years of age or older unless accompanied by a legal guardian…Catalogs for the Fasig-Tipton Texas Two-Year-Olds In Training and Horses of Racing Age Sales may now be viewed online and will also be available via the Equineline Sales Catalogue App. The print version of the catalogs are available from all Fasig-Tipton offices and local racing secretaries…If you plan to attend Remember Me Rescue’s Celebrity Gala and All Thoroughbred Horse Show & Battle of the X’s on April 26th and 27th, the Crowne Plaza, Arlington has a block of rooms at a reduced rate… The Jockey Club, in collaboration with the NBC Sports Group, will kick off the Road to Kentucky Derby series with a 30-minute special previewing the Triple Crown season on Saturday, March 23, on the NBC Sports Network from 6 – 6:30 p.m. EDT.