News and Notes for April 17, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has stopped Texas racing in its tracks – yet caretakers in the stable areas across Texas are still hard at work making sure the animal athletes of our sport are under the best care and ready for racing upon its return.

Racetrack chaplains at Retama Park and Sam Houston Race Park are also hard at work arranging for food, prayer and counseling for these critical employees in our sport.

There is an urgent need for food at this time and contributions are needed now.  Every contribution helps, large or small.

You can donate online at or mail checks made payable to RTCA-STC and mail to Office of the Chaplain, Retama Park, 1 Retama Parkway, Selma, TX 78154.  In the memo portion of your check please note: Samaritan Emergency Fund.

As horsemen, we are all in this together.  Take a moment to help others in great need.

By order of the executive director, all TxRC occupational licenses set to expire on 04/30/2020, INCLUDING those already extended from a 03/31/2020 expiration, are now valid until 05/31/2020.

As we continue to deal with the effects of the corona virus pandemic, we continue to work towards racing again. We still hope to be able to open up the stable area and race meet some time in May.

The Sexton Mile and Bluebonnet have officially been postponed and will be rescheduled after we have a better idea of when opening day might be. The whole stakes schedule will be reevaluated as well when a new start date is decided on.

The preliminary plan for the condition book is that the current Day One will be used as Day One whatever that might be then Day Two will be Day Two etc. and will continue on from there with some necessary small tweaks due to the rescheduling of stakes. After a start date is decided a new book one will be placed online and available on paper in the racing office. A new book one will not be reprinted in it’s normal book format.

Zero Date will now most likely be the Monday before our first race day. We will request that all foal papers that are brought into the racing office are turned in thru the mail slot in order to minimize contact. The mail slot is to the right of the racing office door.

The racing office will operate mostly by phone and entries will only be taken by phone even if you happen to be in the lobby.

Face coverings will be required when we open back up so please make plans now so you are prepared when the time comes.

During this time the racing office also is to remain closed until further notice but email and voice mail will be checked regularly throughout this time.

Please visit the horsemen’s information section of our web site ( for further information and please let us know if you have any questions. Our email address is Our phone numbers are (972)237-1130 or (888)4RACING.

Thanks for racing with us.

In a coordinated effort between Sam Houston Race Park (“SHRP”) and the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership, SHRP is offering Horsemen an opportunity to earn income during these difficult times. Only a few tracks are still operating live racing programs that are within reasonable driving distance from SHRP: Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas; Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma; and Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Effective immediately, SHRP will allow trainers to enter their horses currently stabled in SHRP’s barn area into races at these race tracks. The participating trainer must provide the following information to SHRP in advance:

Trainer’s Name, Horse’s Name, Track Entered, Date of Race, Intended Date of Departure, and Intended Date of Return.

The entry of the horse for the race on the designated date at the specified race track will be verified by SHRP and the SHRP Stable Gate security personnel will be notified of the horse’s Intended Date of Departure. An Out Slip (Departure Record) will be completed upon the horse’s departure and a copy provided to W. Hickman.

Upon the horse’s return, Stable Gate security will complete an In Slip (Receiving Record) as normal (Health Certificate, Coggins, EHV-1 required). Notification of the arrival will be made by the SHRP Stable Gate to W. Hickman and D. Ahrens, who will verify the identity of that horse (by Tattoo & Foal Certificate or Chip Reader).

Otherwise, the policy of no new horses entering the property or the departure and return of any horse for any other reason shall remain intact and enforced.

If for any reason there is a delay in the Intended Date of Return, the trainer must notify SHRP of such delay within 24 hours of the Intended Date of Return, or SHRP will assume this horse is not returning, without exception.

With the cancellation of the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, we are working to connect consignors with potential sellers to negotiate private purchases. Photos of available horses are posted on the Texas Thoroughbred Association FaceBook page. For more info, including sale catalog pages and consignor contact info, go to

The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park have announced that the upcoming Texas Summer Yearling Sale on August 24 will now include a horses of racing age session in lieu of having broodmares and weanlings. For this year only, the mixed session will only be open to 2-year-olds and older horses of racing age. The change is due to the cancellation of the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, which could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After talking to consignors, we found there was strong demand for a horses of racing age session, especially for 2-year-olds,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We realize these are unique times for consignors and buyers, so we are working to support them by being flexible with the format of this sale. For any 2-year-olds who have published works, we will include those on the sale website along with any videos that consignors wish to provide. And if we have enough demand for an under tack show, we will work to make that happen prior to the sale.”

The entry deadline for the sale is June 15, and consignment contracts are being mailed soon. More information, along with a downloadable consignment contract, is available at

All horses currently nominated to the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star Park will remain eligible provided the final payment of $350 is made. All horses entered in the now-cancelled 2-year-old sale will be considered to have passed through the sales ring for the purposes of eligibility for the race. Additionally, the April 15 due date for the final payment has been pushed back to May 15.

The Texas Thoroughbred Futurity, with a fillies and colts/geldings division for a $100,000-estimated purse apiece, is scheduled for July 12 at Lone Star. The TTA and Lone Star will make a future announcement should a date change be needed.

The deadline for accrediting Texas-foaled yearlings (foals of 2019) for $75 is a postmark, fax or email date of May 31, 2020. The non-member fee to accredit foals of 2019 is $125. Membership packages begin at $60 for a full year. If you are not a TTA member or your membership has expired, you may pay the $60 to become a current member and then pay the $75 accreditation fee. If you are not sure of your membership status, call the TTA office.

Please submit a completed application along with the appropriate fee. TTA will apply a virtual Accredited Texas-Bred stamp to your digital Jockey Club certificate once the foal’s registration is complete. 

Applications after the May 31 deadline will require an accreditation fee of $200 (members) or $250 (non-members).

Forms are available at

NOTE: A yearling nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series has not necessarily been accredited. To verify accreditation status, contact the TTA office.