NEWS AND NOTES FOR APRIL 10, 2015
LONE STAR MEET KICKS OFF WITH PREMIERE STAKES
The 19th Thoroughbred meet for Lone Star Park got underway last night with the 6 ½ furlong $50,000 Premiere Stakes for Accredited Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up.
A little more than a month after being claimed for $40,000 at Fair Grounds on March 5, Wagson (Wagon Limit – Great Lady B) recouped a large portion of his purchase price by winning the $50,000 Premiere Stakes at Lone Star Park on the track’s opening night Thursday.
Stalking the pace under Lindey Wade, Wagson rallied from seventh to take command in midstretch, getting the jump on fellow closer Solar Charge (Authenticate – Another Sunlit), and lasted over that rival for a head victory. He raced 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.80, paying $7 as the favorite for owner Randy Galloway of Wimp Free Racing Stable.
He’s a Bling (Too Much Bling – Prado Lady), with Hall of Famer Russell Baze in town from California for the mount, finished third, followed by F J Uncle Vic (Uncle Abbie – Let Her Reign) in fourth. Edplicit (Explicit – Hay Costa), Martys Wimbledon (Wimbledon – Martys Expectation), and Nublado Bling (Too Much Bling – General Reunion) completed the order of finish.
Music Row, A M Milky Way, and morning-line favorite Texas Air were scratched.
Equibase reported track attendance of 4,884 with total handle of $1,298,900.
Tonight, the 2015 Lone Star Music Series kicks off, with Universal South recording artists and ACM and CMT Award nominees, Eli Young Band, performing after the last live race.
Saturday will be the 19th running of the $50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial Stakes for Accredited Texas-bred fillies/mares going 6 ½ furlongs. Judy Peek’s homebred Lasting Bubbles (Pulling Punches – Slim’s Secret) is the 7/5 favorite in the field of 6. Trained by Kevin Peek, the 7-year-old mare is looking to add to her bankroll of $373,418.
Infectious (Valid Expectations – Red Cell), Afoolsbrokenheart (Mutakddim – Don’t Blame Wayne), Scooter’s Choice (Too Much Bling – Fast Find), Early Fantasy (Early Flyer – Personal Fantasy) and Platinum Song (My Golden Song – Rocket Launch) complete the field.
Grammy-nominated Nashville star Chris Young will take the stage after the last live race.
Sunday will feature afternoon racing with a new and improved Sunday Brunch in the Silks Dining Terraces, including a new Bloody Mary and mimosa bar.
The 50-date meet will run 15 weeks through Sunday, July 19, with live Thoroughbred racing held three days a week on Fridays and Saturdays at 6:35 p.m., and Sundays at 1:35 p.m. The exceptions are the three Triple Crown dates of May 2 (Kentucky Derby), May 16 (Preakness Stakes) and June 6 (Belmont Stakes), with a special 1:35 p.m. first race post time. Memorial Day, Monday May 25, will also start at 1:35 p.m. There will also be racing on a few Thursdays (April 9 & 23, June 18 and July 16).
Lone Star Park’s $1 million, 11-race stakes schedule features the Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile for three-year-olds and up on Friday, April 26 and the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap for three-year-olds and up on Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day).
Those races, along with the $175,000 Governor’s Cup in August at sister track Remington Park, will again be linked to form the Global Gaming Triple. There is no bonus this year, but there are incentives like free start fees for participation in more than one race.
Other key race dates will be simulcasts of the Triple Crown races:
Kentucky Derby, simulcast from Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 2, and the Kentucky Derby Hat Contest, with grand prizes awarded for the “Most Creative” and “Most Stylish” of $500 each.
Preakness Stakes, simulcast from Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 16.
Belmont Stakes, simulcast from Belmont Park on Saturday, June 6.
ACCREDITED TEXAS-BREDS IN OTHER STAKES ACTION
Today, Karl Broberg will send out David Davis’ homebred A M Milky Way (Elusive Bluff – Actress E) in the $100,000 Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer Bret Calhoun will send out two horses at Oaklawn on Saturday. Robert and Myrna Luttrell’s Promise Me Silver (Silver City – Uno Mas Promesa) is the 6/5 favorite in a field of 7 in the $100,000 Instant Racing Stakes and Brad Grady’s Supermason (Grasshopper – Folksy) will start in the $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes at odds of 5/1.
TEXAS-OWNED BOLD CONQUEST IN ARKANSAS DERBY
TTA members Lee and Bob Ackerley’s homebred Bold Conquest (Curlin), looking to improve on a third-place finish behind American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) in the March 14 GII Rebel S. in Saturday’s GI Arkansas Derby, worked four furlongs at Oaklawn Park Monday in :48.60. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.80 for trainer Steve Asmussen.
A maiden winner at Saratoga last August, Bold Conquest was a narrowly beaten runner-up in the GIII Iroquois S. before ending his juvenile campaign with a third-place effort behind Carpe Diem (Giant’s Causeway) in the GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity. He opened 2015 with a fourth-place finish in the February 22 GIII Southwest S. He was 8 3/4 lengths adrift of American Pharoah in the Rebel.
Bold Conquest’s third dam is the Ackerley Brothers’ multiple Grade I winner Jersey Girl (Belong to Me), who won the 1998 GI Mother Goose S., GI Test S. and GI Acorn S.
TEXAS THOROUGHBRED EDUCATION FUND SCHOLARSHIPS ANNOUNCED
The Texas Thoroughbred Education Fund Board of Directors met earlier this week and is pleases to announce the renewal of scholarships for five current recipients and the award of one new scholarship for the 2015 – 2016 school year.
Students with renewing grants include Cameron Bragg of Mesquite, son of TTA member Steve Bragg, who is studying Digital Art and Graphic Design at Louisiana State University; TTA member Breanna Bristol of Round Rock, who is studying Nursing through Austin Community College; Todd Hartis of Austin, son of TTA member Eileen Hartis, who is studying Law at UT Austin; Victoria Spakes of Round Rock, daughter of TTA member Audrea Spakes, studying Animal Science at Sam Houston State University; and Brittnee Zamora of Powderly, daughter of TTA members Joe & Cindy Zamora, studying Animal Science at Texas A&M University.
First-time recipient Quentin McPherson of Canadian is the son of TTA member Kenny McPherson. He will be attending Oklahoma State University to study Aviation.
We send hearty congratulations to Michael Davidson, son of TTA members Brent and Colleen Davidson, who is graduating from Texas A&M University in May with a degree in Animal Science.
RACING ECONOMIC INDICATORS FALL
Key U.S. racing economic indicators fell in March, according to an April 4 report from Equibase Co., as inclement weather led to numerous cancellations during the month.
With a 14.74% decline in the number of races contested in March compared with the same month a year ago—from 3,337 to 2,845—U.S. total wagering fell 11.99% from $963,154,754 to $847,659,953. There were resultant declines in U.S. purses, down 11.64% to $75,750,954 last month compared with $85,728,161 in March 2014.
The 332 race days in March represented a 14.87% decrease from the 390 in March 2014 and the number of starts fell 10.9% from 24,698 to 22,005.
For the first three months of 2014, U.S. racing handle fell 5.18% from $2,555,948,225 in 2014 to $2,423,645,328. U.S. purses were down 5.95% during the quarter, as U.S. race days, number of races, and number of starts also declined.
NOTES: Tonight, Lone Star Park will host the third annual Remember Me Rescue Celebrity Fundraiser and Gala – a benefit raising money for out-of-service racehorses – with keynote speaker retired jockey Rosie Napravnik accompanied by Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, who will have a string of horses at Lone Star this year, as he did last year… The Texas Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (TTHBPA) recently concluded its annual Board of Directors election. TTHBPA (Thoroughbreds and Arabians) members were selecting two (2) owner and one (1) trainer representatives. Incumbent owner Jan Haynes and trainer Randy Mayfield were re-elected to serve another three-year term. Meanwhile, owner Jack Cook was elected to serve his first term on the Board. Donna Keen recently resigned from the TTHBPA Board, and the new TTHBPA Board of Directors will fill her unexpired term by appointment at their first meeting. They will also elect officers at that meeting, as well as the TTHBPA’s representatives on the THP’s Management Committee…Racing industry officials in late March and early April said they again expect to see federal legislation filed this year that would authorize the United States Anti-Doping Agency to oversee equine medication and drug testing procedures.