News and Notes for April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013

Legislative News
Senate Bill #1340 (Seliger – SD 31) has now passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee and will move on for consideration by the full Senate.  This bill extends the time authorized in the Texas Racing Act for a racetrack to offer pre-opening simulcasting from 2 years to 6 years.

SB 64 (Carona – SD 16) was discussed this week in a standing-room only hearing of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. The measure would allow casino resorts in Tarrant, Dallas and Bexar counties and permit casinos and slot machines at Texas racetracks as part of a broad-based effort to revitalize the state’s foundering horse-racing industry. Since then, Senator Carona has been working with stakeholders, including horsemen’s organizations, to develop a committee substitute bill that addresses their needs.

TTA Sales Futurity Deadlines
For foals of 2011 already nominated to the 2013 TTA Sales Futurity, the final sustaining payment of $350 is due by Monday, April 15. That payment must be fax, credit card or postmark dated no later than April 15. Payments made after April 15, 2013 cannot be accepted.

Lone Star Park TB Meet Opens
Lone Star Park opened for its 17th Thoroughbred spring meet Thursday evening, to an ongoing $11-million capital improvement campaign, which began last year with a $3 million makeover of its Bar & Book simulcast center. It has continued this year with a renovation of the main track, the clubhouse Silks Dining Terrace, and the addition of a new 17-foot-by-60-foot infield video screen that replaces the old Jumbotron that was there since the track’s opening in 1997. The new LED video screen will allow it to present two simultaneous video feeds, such as a pan and head-on view.

The main track will see action opening week; the turf course will not. Due to cool winter and spring weather, track officials felt the grass needed another week of spring growth before use.

Triumph and Song, the 1-5 favorite, recorded his first stakes victory in the $50,000 Premiere Stakes for Texas-breds at 6 1/2 furlongs.  The 4-year-old gelding by My Golden Song trained by Bret Calhoun owner-breeder Victoria Ashford her first stakes victory at Lone Star Park.

Along with the Premiere, 11 stakes are on deck for the season with purses totaling $1.1 million, and are highlighted by the G3 $200,000 Texas Mile an April 27 and the G3 $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 27. Overnight purses are flat at approximately $130,000 per day, and the stakes program is roughly equivalent to last year’s, minus a couple stakes for Texas-sired 2-year-olds.

No Black Type for Jersey Village Stakes
Under new rules adopted by the North American International Cataloguing Standards Committee (North American ICSC) races must meet minimum quality control standards in order to receive black type in 2014.

A race that has lost black type status must be conducted two times subsequent to losing its black type status before being evaluated for reinstatement. A further explanation of black type requirements is available at the North American ICSC website at

Julie Krone Named as National Women’s Hall Of Fame Inductee
In conjunction with National Women’s History Month, the National Women’s Hall of Fame announces the upcoming Induction of nine American women who have made valuable and enduring contributions to our nation.  These women will be formally inducted during a ceremony on October 12, 2013, in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement.

With more than 3,700 career wins, Julie Krone is the leading female Thoroughbred horse racing jockey of all time.  Krone made history in 1993 when she became the first woman to win a Triple Crown event at the Belmont Stakes.  In 2003, she went on to become the first woman to win a Breeders’ Cup event at the Juvenile Fillies and the first woman to win a million dollar event at the Pacific Classic.  Krone initially retired from horse racing in 1999 and became a commentator and analyst for the TVG racing network, but returned to the sport in 2002, retiring for a second time in 2004.  Krone was named ESPN’s 1993 Professional Female Athlete of the Year, and in 2000, she became the first woman inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

Historical race wagering machines at Kentucky Downs
Despite concerns voiced by one member, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved an additional 40 historical race wagering machines and additional types of games and wagers at Kentucky Downs.

So far, Kentucky Downs and Ellis Park are the only two Kentucky tracks to offer historical race wagering. The other tracks in the state have opted to hold off on investing in historical race wagering until a legal challenge by the Family Foundation of Kentucky is resolved.

According to information presented at the April 9 commission meeting, nearly $302.6 million has been bet through the machines since they were first installed at Kentucky Downs in September 2011 and at Ellis Park on Aug. 31, 2012. With the latest approval, Kentucky Downs will have more than 300 historical race wagering machines operational.

Of that, almost $19.9 million has gone to the tracks, which have in turn paid out $2.8 million of the historical race wagering revenues to purses. An additional $198,883 from the track’s commission has gone to the Breeders’ Incentive Fund.

The $4.5 million from historical race wagering that has gone to the state of Kentucky has included $1 million to the general fund, with the remainder used to fund various equine and educational programs.

Breeders’ Cup Qualifying Races
Breeders’ Cup will offer 67 automatic qualifying races for its 2013 World Championships, including 48 grade or group I races around the world.

The schedule, announced April 8, features races in Argentina, Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and South Africa, as well as the United States and Canada. The first automatic qualifier in the U.S. is the June 15 G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs; the race offers the winner a guaranteed spot in the $5 million G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in November.

NOTES… According to a report out of Indianapolis, lawmakers are considering a controversial plan to take $10 million in annual slot machine revenues away from the state’s horse racing industry and give the money to the auto racing industry instead…Today’s G1 $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park includes Kentucky-bred Don’t Tell Sophia, who is co-owned by Texan Jerry Namy and is out of a mare by all-time leading Texas stallion Valid Expectations. In the G1 Arkansas Derby, Texas Bling, the most experienced runner in the field with 13 starts, is 20-1 but he may have a bit of home field advantage with new jockey Calvin Borel since  Danele Durham has sent him out over the Oaklawn strip his last three times out.  Good luck to our Texas connections!